Quite the contrary, besides slogging along with a U.S. infantry platoon through Germany and Austria during the closing days of WWII in Europe, you’re going to encounter Judas Goats (garishly painted B-24s) and German jets (Messerschmitt Me 262s).
You’re also going to get to know, for better or for worse, a Luftwaffe pilot who doesn’t want to give up his pursuit of an American flyer even after the two have parachuted from their doomed airplanes.
The novel, overall, is based on the true exploits of a young U. S. Army lieutenant from Oregon, Jim Thayer, who, just days prior to the German surrender, leads his platoon into a shadowy forest near Gunskirchen, Austria, in search of an enemy ammo depot. Instead of a depot, they stumble into something entirely different—the living hell of a Nazi death camp, a gruesome spectacle that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.Jim’s orders prevent him from pursuing the camp commandant, a brutal SS officer, but he gives tacit approval to a unique group of volunteers to give chase. Their pursuit, through the rugged Austrian Alps, ends in violence and a tragedy no one could have foreseen.
Down a Dark Road, May 9, 2023.