A story of naval battles in fire and ice and of a merchant seaman's flight to freedom from Soviet captivity during World War II
Escape from Archangel is an extraordinary story, a story of
human bravery and endurance, which not only captures the emotional
spirit of World War II but its desperation, too.
This book is a rare and fascinating tale of a merchant sailor's life at
war on dangerous waters, with an escape so fantastic that I simply would
not have believed it had I not carefully checked its credibility myself.
--Kemp Tolley, Rear Admiral U.S. Navy (Ret.)
It tells a truly amazing story. Now that we are friends again with
Russia, this book can be read as a remarkable adventure story of the
war-just one more reason why we must never again have a war.
--Frank O. Braynard, American Merchant Marine Museum
During World War II, merchant marine tankers in convoys
plied the frozen North Atlantic through the flaming wreckage of
torpedoed ships. Working to keep see lanes open, valiant merchant seamen
supplied food, fuel, and goods to the Allies in the last pockets of
European resistance to the Nazis.
This exciting book acknowledges that the merchant marines, all
volunteers, are among the unsung heroes of the war. One of these was Jac
Smith, an ordinary seamen on the Cedar Creek, a new civilian
tanker lend-leases to the U.S.S.R. and in the merchantman convoy running
from Scotland to Murmansk. Smith's riveting adventures at see and in the
frozen taigas and tundra are a story of valor that underlines the
essential role of merchant marines in the war against the Axis powers.
This gripping narrative tell s of a cruel blow that fate dealt Smith
when, after volunteering to serve on the tanker headed for Murmansk, he
was arrested and interned in a Soviet work camp near Arkhangelsk.
Escape from Archangel recounts how this American happened to be
imprisoned in an Allied country and how he planned and managed his
escape. In his arduous 900-mile trek to freedom he encountered the
remarkable Laplanders of the far north and brave Norwegian resistance
fighters. While telling this astonishing story of Jac Smith and of the
awesome dangers merchant seamen endured while keeping commerce alive on
the seascape of war, Escape from Archangel brings long deserved
attention to the role of the merchant marine and their sacrifices during
Thomas E. Simmons is a businessman and writer who lives in
Gulfport, Mississippi. He is the author of The Brown Condor: The True
Adventures of John C. Robinson.