• Trail of Hope

  • The Anders Army, an Odyssey Across Three Continents
  • By: Norman Davies
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following the conquest of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, hundreds of thousands of Polish families were torn from their homes and sent eastward to the arctic wastes of Siberia. Prisoners of war, refugees, those regarded as "social criminals" by Stalin's regime, and those rounded up by sheer chance were all sent "to see the Great White Bear".

However, with Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa just two years later, Russia and the Allied powers found themselves on the same side once more. Turning to those that it had previously deemed "undesirable", Russia sought to raise a Polish army from the men, women, and children that it had imprisoned within its labor camps.

In this remarkable work, renowned historian Professor Norman Davies draws from years of meticulous research to recount the compelling story of this unit, the Polish II Corps or "Anders Army", and their exceptional journey from the Gulag of Siberia through Iran, the Middle East, and North Africa to the battlefields of Italy to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with Allied forces. Complete with firsthand accounts from the men and women who lived through it, this is a unique record of one of the most fascinating episodes of World War II.

©2015 Norman Davies (P)2018 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Trail of Hope

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Amazing story of Polish peoples and never giving up hope for free Poland.

The detail in this book is really amazing as it takes you through the unbelievable and heartbreaking story during and after World War Two. A must read or listen in order to get a full understanding of the Second World War.

2 people found this helpful

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A deeply important account of the Polish struggle

In many ways it is an important telling of polish deporties with communist oppression

1 person found this helpful

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amazing story of struggle and survival during Ww2

narrator was very good. pronunciation of Polish names and locations was not that good, but only someone who knows polish would notice

1 person found this helpful

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History that most do not know, but should.

This is a great account of the struggles of Poland during the Second World War. The betrayals and the sacrifices of the Poles who were driven from homes who fought for their motherland, many never to return home again because of death or the betrayal of the US, Britain and Russia.
While I am a little biased because I'm a child of a former Deportee / Slave Camp, / Army veteran / survivor, It still filled in many holes through my families' history and journey to their ultimate exiled homes.

I wish there were maps and pictures available and will check out the hard cover version.

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  • Richie279655
  • 04-26-19

No end to the tears and hardships!

I learned so much about the suffering of the polish people from the start of WW11 until well after it ended,
So sad how they were sold out by political agreements that they were not allowed to participate in.
How they fought bravely and lost so many and still did not win their freedom.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-16-21

history at its best

loved this book. its a part of history I knew little about. amazing story of how the Polish exiles overcame adversity, joined the war effort and contributed in a way that should be more widely known.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-15-21

Amazing and gripping story

Highly recommended for its strong narrative, combination of both personal stories as well as high level politics shaping the lives of soldiers and their families.

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  • Michael and Jane Bochenski
  • 01-12-21

My father’s story

I found this deeply moving. Towards the end of his life my father shared something of his story. Stalinist thugs invading Eastern Poland and then forced evacuation to slave labour camps in the Soviet gulag. Anders and Sikorski. The journeys to and around the Middle East. Training there for war service. An incredible journey to the UK and settling here. Trail of Hope has helped me set his story in its broader context. Thank you for making this available via Audible. (Michael).

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  • Dan F.
  • 05-02-20

An in-depth account of Anders and his army

A typically thorough detailed account of the Anders Army by Norman Davies, with equal focus spent on the fighting men and women, as well as the non-combatant women and children that were swept along the trail.

I can't find fault with the narration of the English parts of the text, but the narrator's attempts at Polish are, whilst not entirely uninformed, unfortunately poor and at times incomprehensible. It would have been better to omit the Polish phrases than to have some of them badly mispronounced.

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  • Kat
  • 04-15-20

Thank you for this great book!

A compilation of personal stories, historical archives and research moulded into one great story. My review can't give it it's justice. I highly recommend it.

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  • AS
  • 04-14-20

FACT not FAKE history

One of the best TRUE & FACTUAL books recently heard and read . Davies masterpiece

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-27-19

extraordinary book

Absolute must read for anyone interested in history, politics, humanity. Loved it, only quibble is sometimes it can be hard to tell when its going in to a quote

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  • Michal
  • 09-03-18

Enthralling story, well read

A wonderful book on a fascinating subject slightly marred by the author’s sometimes unnecessary meandering and the narrator’s obvious struggle with Polish names. I’ve enjoyed the story, rich in detail, well told and beautifully read. The narrator has a wonderful warm voice which is a pleasure to hear. The only problem was the narrator’s obvious and painful struggle with quite frequent Polish words – he really could have used some coaching on basic Polish pronunciation and probably should have worked a bit more on the difficult Polish language. Apart from those minor issues, I’ve enjoyed the book and found the story enthralling.

1 person found this helpful