AT ALL COSTS: How a Crippled Ship and Two American Merchant Mariners Turned the Tide of World War II

 

 

 

 

This is the astonishing untold account, with original historical reporting, of how two men faced unfathomable danger to help save the island of Malta, Churchill’s crux of the Second World War

Admiralty's Orders: The Convoy Must Get Through At All Costs.

Random House; Publication Date: November 14, 2006

  “This book tells a great story. But Sam Moses is not just sharing a gripping tale. He is sharing an important and oft neglected story about a battle that played a decisive role in shaping the outcome of WW II. You will meet people who will linger in memory for their bravery, foolishness, or wisdom.”

—Ken Auletta

  “Thrillingly told and beautifully researched, At All Costs is not just the against-all-odds story of the saving of Malta, but also of how the fate of nations can turn on the personal bravery of two ordinary men.”

­­—Robert Kurson

 

 Sam Moses has skillfully blended the vivid recollections of many eye witnesses with a wealth of original documentary research to produce an immensely readable and authoritative account of this crucial operation.”

   —Mark Whitmore, Director of Collections, Imperial War Museum, London, England

In this gripping, page-turning account, Sam Moses has told a story in the tradition of Sebastian Junger’s A Perfect Storm, Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers, and Hampton Sides’ Ghost Soldiers. It’s a story about the heroism of two men in battle at sea during World War II, and one woman fleeing Nazi Norway with her child. It’s about how courage can change the course of history.  

 In 1942, the tiny island of Malta was the most heavily bombed place on earth. Hitler needed Malta as a stepping-stone to get to the oil in Iraq and Iran (Persia at the time). Blockaded by sea, Malta was running on empty, in food, fuel and ammunition. Axis U-boats and dive-bombers made supply convoys to Malta more like suicide missions. In this last-hope convoy, 50 warships escorted 13 freighters carrying aviation fuel, and a single critical tanker, the SS Ohio, with 107,000 barrels of oil from Texas. Winston Churchill had traveled  to Washington and asked FDR for the tanker—his prime ministership was at stake over this mission to Malta.

Relentlessly dive-bombed and repeatedly torpedoed, the Ohio suffered huge hits and was abandoned. Two young American merchant mariners—pulled from the sea after their own ship went down in flames—boarded the ravaged tanker, repaired her guns and fought off German and Italian dive-bombers, as the sinking Ohio was towed at 4 knots toward Malta with a tiny crew of volunteers.

Sam Moses’ AT ALL COSTS is a triumphant story of human bravery: fearless, selfless acts by men determined to save a ship and win a war; profound communal courage from an island under brutal siege; and leaders who understood the cause of freedom.