In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing findÃ¢ÂÂhis 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 worldÃ¢ÂÂs finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machineÃ¢ÂÂan 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. ArmyÃ¢ÂÂs last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decisionÃ¢ÂÂwith General George PattonÃ¢ÂÂs blessingÃ¢ÂÂto mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, ReedÃ¢ÂÂs 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, HitlerÃ¢ÂÂs imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senatorÃ¢ÂÂs son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farmÃ¢ÂÂs 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 LettsÃ¢ÂÂs 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
Ã¢ÂÂWinningly 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.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂThe Christian Science Monitor
Ã¢ÂÂLetts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂKirkus Reviews
Ã¢ÂÂThe Perfect Horse raises the narrative bar. Applying her skills as a researcher, storyteller and horsewoman, Letts provides context that makes this account spellbinding.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂCulturess
Ã¢ÂÂThe Perfect HorseÃÂ is an enthralling and moving story that I could not put down. This is a riveting and unique perspective on World War II.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂMolly Guptill Manning, author ofÃÂ When Books Went to War
Ã¢ÂÂPassionately told and dazzling in scope,ÃÂ The Perfect HorseÃÂ charges headlong into an unforgettable tale of World War II, when good men were given a final missionÃ¢ÂÂto save beloved horsesÃ¢ÂÂat an hour when no one wanted to die. In Elizabeth Letts, the saga of World War IIÃ¢ÂÂs white stallions has found its perfect guardian.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂAdam Makos, author ofÃÂ A Higher Call
Ã¢ÂÂElizabeth LettsÃ¢ÂÂs beautiful prose, woven together with meticulous research, takes you for a ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂRobin Hutton, author ofÃÂ Sgt. Reckless
About: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER â¢ 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 In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing findâhis briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines.
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