Up until I read the book by David Howarth, I’m ashamed to say, I’d never heard of ‘The Shetland Bus’. But the very name caught my interest. And reading about the bravery and commitment of those selfless souls who manned simple fishing boats during WW2 – sailing in perilous conditions from Shetland to Norway and back was compelling.
I began to explore further life in occupied Norway; it was quite simply a time of fear and survival. The underground work of the Resistance was crucial to the cause and so the Shetland Bus became a life line. Missions involved transporting radios, ammunition, agents and there was even a failed attempt to destroy Tirpitz. Boats were under constant fear of discovery and attack. These were extraordinary times and required extraordinary bravery.
Here’s a link to a fantastic website to give you more information:
David Howarth’s book is a wonderful insight into the story of The Shetland Bus operations. And for a further tale of survival, Howarth’s follow-up book, ‘We Die Alone’, is simply incredible.
But I knew now, that the story of Tirpitz, and the Shetland Bus could somehow come together in my book. That perhaps, the German radar operator who ensured the destruction of Tirpitz escaped. According to the documentary, ‘The Dambusters’ Great Escape’, this was entirely feasible if he had already been involved in helping the Resistance. And then I began to wonder if, perhaps….he could have escaped to Shetland?