Book Rating (128)
Narrator Rating (27)

The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II

Unabridged Audio Book

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Patrick Lawlor

11 Hours 0 Minutes

Tantor Media

October 2007

Audio Book Summary

The astonishing, never-before-told story of the greatest rescue mission of World War II-when the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines...

During a bombing campaign, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian villagers risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers, and for months the airmen lived in hiding, waiting for rescue.

In 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip-without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the rescue planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back-without getting shot down themselves.

Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time. The Forgotten 500 is the breathtaking, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II.

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  • Anonymous

    POWERFUL This book tells a moving and powerful story. It is generally well written, although its does drag a bit and is a little redundant at times. However, this is more than offset by the depth of the individual stories and the tales of the incredible sacrifices made by so many to save these 500 airmen. It also sheds light on the tragic failure by the British government and the American State Dept which led to the rise of Tito and the betrayal of our allies in Serbia. Overall, an interesting book, which reaffirms why this was "The Greatest Generation:.

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  • Adam H.

    Great story!

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  • Debra B.

    Interesting history. Book seems to wander off to give background of characters, which can be distracting. It all ties together but sometimes takes more time away from the main story. Certainly provides a view of historical events and how political some of the war time decisions impacted much more than anticipated.

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  • Valerie G.

    Great story! I was hooked. Must listen! I also enjoyed the narrator. He used accents to compliment the various characters both American and yukoslavian accents. Highly recommend, very compelling story!

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  • Anonymous

    Amazing and moving account of WWII in Yugoslavia that is generally not known. Highly recommend this listen!

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  • Laurie R.

    It was an interesting story. At times it was hard to follow with a lot of background detail that was somewhat distracting, but on balance was worth the time.

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  • Anonymous

    It was mostly interesting. It lost me for a few moments here and there. As it's my first military/history audiobook I'm not sure how it stack against other similar books so I gave it a 4. Maybe it's worth more, maybe less. Sorry if I'm not helpful, I'm a novice

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  • Devon G.

    great book was a quick 10 hours

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  • Andy D.

    Brilliantly written, these men were true hero’s in every sense of the word. Terrific historical quality.

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  • Connie

    WOW....what a story! Very sad that the world was not allowed to hear this true story immediately after the war. I admired the men that were involved, that they persisted in trying to get the truth out, even many years after the fact. Disappointed to hear that the U.S. followed U.K.'s direction in handling this event, and in the end.....the governments of both countries were wrong.

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