The Perfect Horse

The Perfect Horse

The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

Book - 2016
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"Traces the lesser-known efforts of Hitler to build a master race of the finest purebred horses and the heroic achievements of American soldiers to rescue imperiled stolen equines from a hidden Czechoslovakian farm during a 1945 battle between Third Reich and Allied forces,"--NoveList.
In the chaotic last days of World War II, a small troop of American soldiers captures a German spy and learns that on a secret farm behind enemy lines, Hitler has stockpiled the world's finest purebred horses 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 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. Elizabeth Letts's exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life for the first time one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.--Adapted from dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780345544803
0345544803
Branch Call Number: 940.542 LETTS
Characteristics: xix, 369 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm

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elainegruninger
Sep 03, 2017

This was an excellent read. highly recommend it to horse lovers. Story shows how the love for horses can over ride politics and nationality.

Nicr Nov 21, 2016

Well-paced history that successfully juggles several narratives to tell the story of dedicated efforts to rescue the Lipizzaner of Vienna and champion Polish Arabians from the invading Russian and German armies.

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PRLatta
Sep 01, 2016

It may be the first time the "full" story is told, but the tale has stayed with me ever since I saw the 1963 movie, The Miracle of the White Stallions - even drawing me to spend hours in the mid-70's watching practices at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_White_Stallions

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