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The perfect horse: the daring U.S. mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War IIWINNER OF THE PEN AWARD FOR RESEARCH NONFICTION In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food. With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses. Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender. A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.Praise for The Perfect Horse “Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”The Christian Science Monitor “Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”Kirkus Reviews
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ISBN:
9780345544803
9780345544810
9780735285095
9780735285064
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Grouped Work ID1f3fd9d2-72d9-8133-eb43-80bc92e80f99
Grouping Titleperfect horse the daring u s mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped
Grouping Authorelizabeth letts
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-03-04 02:27:21AM
Last Indexed2021-03-04 02:59:54AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9780735285088

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Sylvan Oaks
display_descriptionNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II
WINNER OF THE PEN AWARD FOR RESEARCH NONFICTION
In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.
With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.
Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.
A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.
Praise for The Perfect Horse
“Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”The Christian Science Monitor
“Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”Kirkus Reviews
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subject_facet
Arabian horse
Arabian horse -- Poland -- History -- 20th century
Audiobooks
Austria
Books on CD -- Unabridged
Commando troops
Confiscations
Czech Republic -- Hostouň
Germany
History
Lipizzaner horse
Lipizzaner horse -- Austria -- History -- 20th century
Podhajsky, Alois
Poland
Reed, Charles Hancock, -- 1900-1980
Spanische Reitschule (Vienna, Austria)
Spanische Reitschule (Vienna, Austria) -- History -- 20th century
United States
United States. -- Army. -- Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized, 2nd
United States. -- Army. -- Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized, 2nd -- History
World War (1939-1945)
World War, 1939-1945 -- Austria
World War, 1939-1945 -- Commando operations -- Czech Republic -- Hostou
World War, 1939-1945 -- Commando operations -- Czech Republic -- Hostouň
World War, 1939-1945 -- Confiscations and contributions -- Germany
World War, 1939-1945 -- Confiscations and contributions -- United States
title_displayThe perfect horse : the daring U.S. mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis
title_fullThe Perfect Horse The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis
The perfect horse : the daring U.S. mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis / Elizabeth Letts
title_shortThe perfect horse
title_subthe daring U.S. mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis
topic_facetArabian horse
Biography & Autobiography
Commando operations
Commando troops
Confiscations
Confiscations and contributions
History
Lipizzaner horse
Nature
Nonfiction
Podhajsky, Alois
Reed, Charles Hancock
Unabridged
World War, 1939-1945