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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of courage in WW2 on the North Sea, and its true!
You won't find any buses within the pages of this splendid book. This book relates the little known story of the brave British and Norwegian men who operated what we would today call a "shuttle service" between Nazi-occupied Norway and the Shetland Isles, 200 miles apart across the treacherous North Sea. Even if you're not into war-related...
Published on 30 Jan 1999

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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of courage in WW2 on the North Sea, and its true!, 30 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
You won't find any buses within the pages of this splendid book. This book relates the little known story of the brave British and Norwegian men who operated what we would today call a "shuttle service" between Nazi-occupied Norway and the Shetland Isles, 200 miles apart across the treacherous North Sea. Even if you're not into war-related fiction/non-fiction, I would recommend this book for a good read.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly gripping, 10 Jun 2007
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
An utterly gripping and fantastically well written account of the unconventional British Navy and Norwegian operations through the dark, storm lashed winters in Shetland. Howarth vividly evokes Shetland - you can almost feel the rain on your face. This book is a fitting remembrance to the courage of the men who risked all; in Shetland people remember them very well. It describes how closely Norway worked with Britain and how a special relationship developed betweenour two countries. Every year Norway sends 2 christmas trees to the UK, one intended for Trafalgar Square in London, and the other to Shetland.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and uplifting tale of heroism, 10 Dec 2008
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Mr. LGD Williams (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
This is a wonderful tale of an diverse mix of men from Norway and Britain, some military, most not who came together in the Shetlands to form a link between Norway and Britain during the dark days of Nazi occupation. The tales of heroism at sea are awe inspiring, long voyages north of the Artic circle in vile conditions right under the nose of the Nazi war machine to deliver men and munitions and importantly hope to Norway. A really good read indeed about people whose deeds are scarcely known but fully deserve to be recorded. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different sort of War Story, 22 Dec 2008
By 
C. Shepherd "Retired reader" (Costa Blanca, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Hardcover)
When changing flights between England and Shetland I picked up a used copy of this book at a charity stall in Inverness airport. Expecting the usual sort of war story, I was quickly drawn into a fascinating account of bravery and stamina, to such an extent that I couldn't put it down until it was finished. Although I had, and still do, visit Shetland regularly, the story of the Shetland Bus was new information for me. Since reading it I have made a point of visiting the places mentioned, and on a recent visit to Shetland I experienced some of the exceptionally wild weather that these islands endure.
If you like true stories, this is one of the best. Then go north, and see the place, you will never forget it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern saga - epic, dramatic, true, 18 Nov 2010
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
The book: from late 1941 to early 1943 there was a steady stream (as long as the nights were long) of small Norwegian fishing boats between Shetland and many parts of Norway. The shortest crossings were some 150 miles; the longest 900 miles - all this in 50 to 75 feet boats with single-cylinder engines, in winter, with the occupying Germans hunting them with 'planes and warships. The boats carried people, messages, explosives, weapons (400 tons), 350 refugees, 60 radio transmitters; sometimes they laid small mines, and occasionally they would attempt the odd attack on a German battleship. The boats were manned by volunteers, resourceful and brave Norwegians, and when their boats were sunk they died, or if they were lucky escaped by rowing forty miles in a leaky boat - one guy rowing, the other baling. In early 1943 the losses were mounting, so they switched to US subchasers, with which they carried out 114 ops without losses - this bit occupies two pages! The main part is about what all Norwegians understood by the Shetland bus: small Norse fishing boats plying a dangerous trade. One of the skippers was Leif Larsen, who for his services received the GCM, DSM (bar), DSC, DSO - the only allied officer of the war to receive all of these; plus a host of Norwegian medals.

The author was one of the main organizers on the Shetland side; he was categorically forbidden to sail with his 'independent buccaneers', which rankled; he felt the proper spirit was officers to share their men's dangers and all their risks. In the end he asks 'was it worth it?' and writes "everyone in Norway knew that the route to and from Shetland was always kept open" and that "our base of 100 men" was an essential link in a chain which bound 284,000 German soldiers in Norway throughout the war.
four-and-a-half stars!

My opinion: excellent - a restrained style, very British, full of admiration for 'his' Norwegians, writing with pride; and also with grief at the sacrifices, the summary executions, the waste and the losses.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, 21 Jan 2010
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Miquel (Barcelona, Catalonia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
The story of a bunch of brave men operating out of Shetland and into occupied Norway. Although the scale of the operations was small in the overall WWII context, the audacity and bravery some of these men displayed is astonishing, they saved lifes and kep hope alive. I recommend reading it together with "Another Man's Shoes" (to get the vision from those that were on the occupied land).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They served us well, 8 Feb 2009
By 
Shetlandpeat "shetlandpeat" (blackpool tower ballroom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
A must buy for all folk interested in war history.

A very easy read and factual.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lars when I was very young...a true hero.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shetland Bus, 1 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
An informative book, which I have read many years ago, but which I wanted to read again having just returned from Norway. It sets out in detail the early "seasons" for this work, but then skips the last few seasons when the fishing boats were replaced by ex American ships. Pity about the error made by the author's son in the last page. The memorial to those lost and those who survived the experience was unveiled in Aalesund and not Bergen as stated in the text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is simply fantastic because it tells the stories exactly as they happened, 25 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
Being a native Norwegian, and growing up in Western Norway in the 1960's I often heard stories from the Shetland traffic during WW2. This book is simply fantastic because it tells the stories exactly as they happened. Many of the stories in this book took place in the area where I grew up. This makes it all the more interesting. However, the essence of this book is about the guts, the courage and the determination these men and women had, and that they were willing to sacrifice anything in order to live in a free country. It is also a huge tribute to the people of Shetland. WIthout their help none of this would have been possible, We owe a lot to all of those who took part in these dangerous operations. May they never be forgotten. Thank you to all of those of fought. To those who surived, and not least, to those who gave their lives for our beloved Norway. Last, but not least, thank you David J. Howarth for writing this book. It is a mastertpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read at school, 11 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Shetland Bus (Paperback)
From what I remember this is an excellent book. Whilst doing the GSE in 1961this was required reading.
I have since tried to locate the thing and having found it on this site why isn't it available on kindle ?
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The Shetland Bus
The Shetland Bus by David J. Howarth (Paperback - 28 Aug 1998)
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