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Barry Flanagan was born and educated in a coal mining town in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. Having completed his schooling he worked in the industrial city of Newcastle before forging a career in the Defence Forces with the RAAF. After six years maintaining and servicing the French built, Mirage III, supersonic aircraft - including two of those years in Singapore and Malaya - he opted for a new career in the underground coal mining industry. Thirty years later, with a Bachelor of Teaching under his belt, and countless hours of electrical and safety training communicated to his students, he decided to write a book. It was a fictional story of his experiences within an underground coalmine. It’s still in his top drawer, unpublished, ready and waiting for him to get a grip on it again. Why? Because there were changes to his life and he fell in love with a woman whose own life had been turned upside down. She’d lost her husband to cancer who, along with his sister and parent’s, had an incredible story to tell about oppression in their occupied country during World War II. Although fictional, The Undeclared War and Across The Green Border are set in Kaunas, Lithuania, and was inspired by this family and based on facts. Much research for the novel was done in Lithuania. They hold drama, action and emotion - enough to make the author shed a tear during his writings. He hopes you enjoy the journey.
on Sep. 24, 2012 :
Police chief, Jonas Petraitis desperately tries to protect his family, friends and all the peaceful citizens of Kaunas, Lithuania, from the rape and plunder of Stalin's Red Army. Meanwhile, partisans hide in the forest committing acts of sabotage as their meager arms allow.
Many people would be hard pressed to name the Baltic States and some would assume Lithuania was always one of the Soviet Republics, but that's not the case. Lithuania is an ancient kingdom and was an autonomous republic at the outbreak of World War II. That came to a tragic end when Hitler and Stalin conspired to divide Eastern Europe between their spheres of influence. This chilling account of the Soviet occupation of the Lithuania reads as if an eyewitness was telling it. Barry Flanagan has captured not only the terror of the occupied citizens and the brutality of the marauding Soviets; he also transports us to the place where it happened. The imagery, the detail, the street names, the descriptions of the buildings fools the reader into believing he has seen the places where the story unfolds, and the characters are flesh and blood people who might just knock on the door at any time to share a glass of vodka.
The Undeclared War is a masterwork that ranks with the historical fiction of Jeff Shaara and Ken Follet.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Aug. 11, 2012 :
This book was easy reading. Once I started reading I just wanted to continue. Each chapter ending made you wonder what was going to come in the next chapter. The author had obviously done their research and gave an insight into life in Lithuania during the second world war. Well done.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)