By Tim Brady
The actual tale of the way a rusty New Orleans banana boat staffed with a very unlikely and numerous team used to be drafted into carrier in WWII—and heroically succeeded in surroundings the level for Patton's epic invasion of North Africa.
The biggest amphibious invasion strength ever to move the Atlantic Ocean set sail from Virginia in November 1942 with the purpose of taking pictures Casablanca and an important airfield northeast of the town. regrettably, the airfield was once positioned a dozen miles up a twisting Morrocan river, too shallow for any send within the complete Allied fleet. because the invasion neared, the struggle division grew to become up the Contessa, a salt-caked Honduran-registered civilian freighter that had spent so much of her occupation hauling bananas and honeymooners.
This unremarkable send, crewed by way of seamen from twenty-six varied international locations, eighteen sailors pulled from the Norfolk County penitentiary, and a French harbor pilot lively out of Morroco by means of OSS brokers, grew to become the focal point of the outlet salvo of worldwide battle II. Too past due to hitch the large convoy crusing for Africa, the Contessa set out on her personal during the U-boat-infested waters of the Atlantic to the shorelines of Morocco, where she confronted her such a lot daunting problem: the twelve-mile voyage up the well-defended Sebou River, sporting an explosive cocktail of airplane gasoline and 9 hundred a whole lot bombs in her holds.
Twelve determined Miles is a shocking and interesting account of 1 of the good untold tales of the struggle.