Twelve Desperate Miles is the story of the November 1942 invasion of Axis forces in North Africa consisting of more than 100 ships carrying over 30,000 soldiers, with a spotlight on a little-known aspect of Operation Torch, as it was dubbed: the role of the SS Contessa, the naval oddity that trailed the largest cross-ocean invasion force in the history of the world. In the book, author Tim Brady depicts how General George Patton's legendary mission required an armed naval ship packed full of combustible airplane fuel drums and 900 tons of bombs as well as an assault team to sail twelve miles up a shallow, well-defended Moroccan river, a short flight from the city of Casablanca, which the Allies were prepared to bomb if necessary. In spite of the vast resources of the U.S. forces, it was determined that the Contessa, a banana boat of Honduran registry, was the only vessel with a draft shallow enough to make it up the river. While portraying the ship's journey day-by-day and describing its colorful crew, Twelve Desperate Miles chronicles the overall invasion and its aftermath, as well as the critical but unsung role played by the Contessa.
Twelve Desperate Miles / Tim Brady
“A Moroccan river pilot escapes his occupied country in a monoxide-choked utility trailer while a rusty old Honduran banana boat pulls into a Norfolk drydock for repairs after a harrowing voyage through the storm-tossed North Atlantic. Brady tells both of these stories with the art of a master raconteur, and when their plots converge, this true-life WWII tale turns explosive. Joe Barrett proves the perfect choice to narrate this military thriller. His delivery celebrates the drama of every personal and tactical plot twist. The choice to impart a touch of dialect to the characters’ dialogue serves to emphasize the near-fictional excitement of Brady’s story. Even those who are not often disposed to pick up a work of history will find this gripping.” Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award ~AudioFile (R.L.L.)