The Perfect Horse

The Perfect Horse

The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

Large Print - 2016
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The daring behind-Nazi-lines rescue of priceless pedigree horses by American soldiers in the closing days of World War Two - a riveting equine adventure story from the author of "The Eighty-Dollar Champion."
Publisher: New York, New York : Random House Large Print, ♭2016.
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781524709303
Characteristics: xxiv, 598 pages :,illustrations, maps, portraits ;,24 cm.


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Dec 31, 2020

If you enjoy history and are interested in WWII or the waning days of the US Cavalry, then this is an excellent and easy book to read that reflects the experience of cavalry officers on both the US and German sides of the war, including assimilated citizens, primarily Polish and Austrian. While a Disney movie was made of the rescue of the Lippizaners giving much credit to General Patton, the true story was, unsurprisingly, much more nuanced and also involved Arabians and other breeds. The ending is somewhat bittersweet with how some of these precious horses were brought to the US and almost discarded, but at least they weren't killed by the Soviet Army for meat! A different take on the war and the evolution of the cavalry division.

Dec 18, 2020

I previously read Elizabeth Letts' Eighty Dollar Champion book, and I was captivated by this true story of a horse that was rescued from slaughter only to become a champion horse, and such a gentle horse at that. Of course, I then felt compelled to read the story of the daring rescue of magnificent world famous show horses from the Nazis. Letts didn't disappoint. What a fabulous true story of the people who were willing to risk their lives to ensure the safety of these wonderful equines. A must read for anyone who loves horses or war heroes. It's all in there! A fabulous read!

Sep 14, 2020

An important and fascinating story of the noble and famous horses of Europe: Lippizaners, Arabians and others, and their survival through the European chaos preceding, during and following World War II. However the author records impressions, thoughts and motivations from the minds of people and the horses in their lives through those troubled times - impressions, thoughts and motivations which are pretty much all inventions to elaborate the story.
Nevertheless, the work is very well researched and sourced, and one does not mind the evident equestrian fervour that leads the author to humanize the heroes; the show horses of Austria and Poland. Quite a bit of American flag waving in it as well, the design of warfare that placed the United States Army as liberators in southern Germany and their members as crucial protectors for the desperate keepers and their horses.

The story does not need quite the extensive embellishment or florid description to make it a worthy read, which it does remain.

bibliosara Jun 26, 2020

Elizabeth Letts entrancingly reveals a world obsessed with perfection in this non-fiction book about the Nazi horse breeding program, its consequences, and the men who rescued prize horses from the edge of extermination. Written in a way that captures both the facts and the reader's interest, The Perfect Horse is a beautifully written historical piece that sheds light on little known military activities on the part of both the Nazis and the Allies. Crossing decades and oceans, the people who fill the pages of this book create an enduring legacy – and save horses that are more than animals, but are the heritage of dying nations. Fundamentally, this book is not about horses – it is about what makes us human, and the hope that fuels a global war. It is about perseverance, beauty, and the seemingly small moments that can make enemies friends and men heroes.

May 03, 2020

Gift from Barb. Wonderful story.

Nov 01, 2019

The horse brings enemies together for a common purpose

Sep 03, 2017

This was an excellent read. highly recommend it to horse lovers. Story shows how the love for horses can over ride politics and nationality.

Nicr Nov 21, 2016

Well-paced history that successfully juggles several narratives to tell the story of dedicated efforts to rescue the Lipizzaner of Vienna and champion Polish Arabians from the invading Russian and German armies.

Sep 01, 2016

It may be the first time the "full" story is told, but the tale has stayed with me ever since I saw the 1963 movie, The Miracle of the White Stallions - even drawing me to spend hours in the mid-70's watching practices at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

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