Title: Trapped Behind Nazi Lines
Author: Eric Braun
Major Themes: World War II, Albania
Synopsis: After 30 American flyers, medics and nurses crash-land in Albania during World War II, they must brave many dangers to find their way to safety.
I’ve always been interested in World War II stories, and have read a lot of them. Trapped Behind Nazi Lines was a totally new one for me, though; apparently, the events described by Eric Braun have only recently been made known.
The story begins in November 1943. The British have just taken land near Bari, Italy, and need their wounded soldiers to be evacuated. The 807th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron is sent to their aid. However, both the radio and the compass quit working right, and when the flight crew is finally able to contact the Allies they are refused help because they failed to learn the day’s password! Eventually, they make a crash landing—and discover they are in Albania, quite a long distance from where they are supposed to be, and in an area which is soon overrun by the Axis forces.
The local partisans give food and shelter to this group of American nurses, medics and flyers, and offer to lead them to safety. They must keep out of sight of the Nazis, and make their way over mountains to the sea. When they are led in circuitous routes, away from the sea, they begin to wonder if they will be betrayed to the Nazis—or exactly what their guides have in mind. Will the entire group make it to safety, or will some be captured by the Germans?
I found Trapped Behind Nazi Lines to be a very well-written account of a little-known event. The action keeps the reader turning pages to find out what will happen to these brave Americans. The language is very clean, and, for a war story, there is very little blood and gore. If you’re looking for something quite different from the normal World War II stories, take a look at this book.
I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
WARNING: Page 87 uses the exclamation “My God”. Also, at the very end of the book is half a page of Common Core questions/correlation.
Listening Level—Ages 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15