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We Die Alone by David Howarth
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We Die Alone (original 1955; edition 1957)

by David Howarth

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6092816,018 (4)52
Member:jezebelr
Title:We Die Alone
Authors:David Howarth
Info:The Reprint Society (1957), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:norway, world war II, adventure, endurance

Work details

We die alone by David Howarth (1955)

  1. 01
    Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (srdr)
    srdr: Although this book is about mountain climbing rather than WW II, it is an equally gripping survival story.
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» See also 52 mentions

English (27)  Danish (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
An incredible story that hooks and holds you from beginning to end! Some found Jan Baalsrud's exploits and survival so amazing that they claimed it couldn't be true so Astrid Karlsen Scott & Tore Haug decided to research the matter and confirmed its reality and published their own book on this event called Defiant Courage which came out in 2001. ( )
  lisa.schureman | Sep 20, 2014 |
I read this excellent memoir on a transcontinental flight and couldn't put it down. The night I arrived at my destination, I stayed up to the wee hours finishing it. The author David Howarth ran a spy ring during WWII called the Shetland Bus, which ran spies from the Shetland Islands into occupied Norway. This book is derived from the story of one of those spies. Jan Baalstrud was a Norwegian, who had escaped the Germans and received special forces training in England. He and a few others were sent to the Norwegian coast by fishing vessel; their mission was to infiltrate inland, hook up with native resistance groups, and support them as much as possible. Unfortunately the group is betrayed shortly after their arrival and only Jan makes it off the beach alive. The story of his escape through the Norwegian Arctic is spellbinding. He faces hunger, unbearable cold, isolation, avalanches, snow blindness, frostbite, you name it. But thanks to the bravery and generosity of some individuals he meets along the way, he survives. His story is so incredible that the author takes pains to assure the reader of the verification process he went through in checking Jan's story. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Highly recommended. ( )
3 vote labfs39 | Aug 24, 2014 |
This is the incredible true story of loyalty, survival and determination, as told through the eyes of a soldier who lived against all odds. Though circumstances dictated that he should have died on more than one occasion, his survival instincts and the selfless sacrifice and support from strangers results in a story that is nothing less than amazing. ( )
  KarensStories | Jun 13, 2014 |
An incredible story of survival against all odds. A Norwegian returns to Northern Norway on the "Shetland bus" with Norwegian companions to attack a German airfield which commands the Arctic convoy routes. Unfortunately the group is betrayed to the Germans almost immediately and only one escapes and must make a long and arduous trek across frozen mountains to Sweden and freedom. This is his amazing story pieced together afterwards with those involved at every stage of his heroic flight. ( )
  edwardsgt | Feb 23, 2014 |
Are you depressed? Are you sick of people? Have you just read a book that has put you in the dumps? Then you must read We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance. I am sure you will like it. It works like a tonic. People are not all creeps! People do help others. This book is non-fiction, it is true and I dare you to read this book and not feel happy at the end. G-o-o-d book!

It is about events that occurred in Norway during the German occupation of WW2. The story begins in March 1943. Here is a survival story and a war story that will make you be happy to be alive. Have you been in Norway? Then you will also appreciate it, the book I mean. You will recognize the people, the food, hear about the Lapps and of course be swallowed up by the dark nights in the winter and recognize how glorious it is when the spring comes and it never gets dark....but this is scary if you are hiding. This book takes place in northern Norway, near Tromsö and the Bardufoss Airstation and Kilpisärvi Lake.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Stuart Langton. The narration was OK, but the pronunciation of Norwegian names kind of threw me off at times. Other than that I have no complaints. Maybe he showed a bit too much engagement; I prefer neutral narrators but heck he never wrecked the story, and I was completely glued to it once I had stated it.

The events are amazing. The story is well written, and there is humor and hope. If you are just a teeny bit in the mood for a survival story - pick this. I liked it even better than Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Surviva and will try Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster to compare all three. There is mountaineering in all three.

I am giving this five stars not really because it was amazing but because I enjoyed it from start to finish and felt extremely happy at the end. People need books like this. ( )
2 vote chrissie3 | Aug 23, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Howarthprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kontio, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odd Bang-HansenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ringnes, HaagenAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tossey, VerneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
On mourra seul - Pascal, 1623-1662
Dedication
First words
Even at the end of March, on the Arctic coast of northern Norway, there is no sign of spring.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
We die alone was later published as Escape alone.
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Jan Baalsrud's escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway is one of the most exciting escape narratives to emerge from the challenges and miseries of World War II chronicles . In March 1943, a team of expatriate Norwegian commandos sailed from northern England for Nazi-occupied arctic Norway to organize and supply the Norwegian resistance. But they were betrayed and the Nazis ambushed them. Only one man survived - Jan Baalsrud. This is the incredible and gripping story of his escape. Frostbitten and snowblind, pursued by the Nazis, he dragged himself on until he reached a small arctic village. He was near death, delirious, and a virtual cripple. But the villagers, at mortal risk to themselves, were determined to save him, and - through impossible feats - they did. We Die Alone is an astonishing true story of heroism and endurance. Like Salvomir Rawicz's, The Long Walk, it is also an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit.… (more)

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