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Operation Cowboy: The Secret American Mission to Save the World's Most Beautiful Horses in the Last Days of World War II
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Operation Cowboy: The Secret American Mission to Save the World's Most Beautiful Horses in the Last Days of World War II

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  570 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A thrilling account of one of the strangest and most daring military operations in history.

In the final days of World War II, with the ravenous Red Army marching across Czechoslovakia, a wily band of American soldiers did the unexpected: they teamed up with the Nazis and went behind enemy lines to save the world’s rarest horses from imminent extinction at the hands of the
Kindle Edition, 68 pages
Published April 3rd 2014 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
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Oct 22, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
This nice Kindle Single relates the rescue of the Lipizzaners during the end of the Second World War. It is told in greater detail than the Lipizzaner books that I have read. Enjoyable. Also includes about the horrible inaccurate movie about the event done by Disney. Talty goes into detail about the background of the men involved, using it to shed insight on why they were willing to risk so much for horses.
Apr 26, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
As a history buff, I always like to read about those quirky "secret missions" during war time that no one ever hears about. This one, about the time Hitler collected 250 of the last Lipizzaner horses on Earth for his crazy experiments, and the American and Nazi troops who teamed up to rescue them and save them from extinction in the last days of World War II, was one of those stories. Absolutely a great read.
Sherwood Smith
The subtitle pretty much says it all. It's a short piece, written in a journalistic style, peppered with interviews of some of the participants, as Americans and the Germans in charge of the Lippizaner horses work together in uneasy alliance in the last, weird days of WW II, to keep the horses from being slaughtered and eaten by the advancing Russian army.
Gerri Leen
May 19, 2014 Gerri Leen rated it really liked it
I had never heard the true story of the liberation of the Lipizzaners from Czechoslovakia at the end of the war. I had seen the horrific Disney version, The Miracle of the White Stallions and turned it off before it ended. I'm so happy to know that the movie wasn't just boring and stupid: it was so so so wrong. Walt Disney chose a more, well, "Disney" cast of characters--Austrian royalty vice gritty American GI's who risked everything for some horses. Call me crazy, but the latter story sounds m ...more
4.5 stars. I've known for a long time about the rescue of the Lipizzaners by U.S. forces at the end of WWII, but here, finally, is a detailed and concise account of just how it happened, drawing on the personal accounts of those involved in the operation. I'd also known that the Disney film Miracle of the White Stallions (1963) presented a fictionalized version of the rescue (the film is briefly discussed near the end of Operation Cowboy), but you'll find that the true story is actually more com ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it
This was a quick read, but so fascinating. With all of the hopelessness of WWII, the joining together of enemy forces to save these beautiful horses seems unbelievable. I loved that the men involved explained it as needing to do something beautiful after all of the carnage.
Apr 27, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
Heroic, pure Majesty. Encore, events like these is what makes history a truly wondrous field of study. The few choose to do what is right even in the face of overwhelming odds. Encore, encore.
Tyson Edwards
Dec 02, 2016 Tyson Edwards rated it really liked it
Fascinating story about a little-known mission at the end of WW2. Great for history and horse lovers alike.
Nancy Silk
May 04, 2014 Nancy Silk rated it it was amazing
"Authentic Account of the Rescue of the Miracle Horses"

I was really pleased to read this well written, and well researched, short story of the rescue of hundreds of Lipizzaner horses near the end of World War II. I've previously read the account, also saw the movie Disney made in 1963, "Miracle of the White Stallions" with Robert Taylor. This author really is very thorough in taking us back to 1945 in Hostau, Czechoslovakia, 10 miles from Germany's eastern border where the horses were maintained
Jennifer Reis
Sep 13, 2014 Jennifer Reis rated it it was amazing
Great book. Enjoy the knowledge of knowing how all the Lipizzans stallions were imported into the United States.

During World War I, the Lipizzans were almost annihilated. At the end of the war in 1919, the survivors were divided between Italy and Austria. There were only 208 Lipizzans known to be left in existence. Italy received 109 horses for its stud farm and Austria received 98 horses for its stud farm in Piber.

Once again during World War II, the Lipizzans' existence was threatened and the
May 09, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it
An Under-known WW II Story

This is a quick-paced account about an unlikely alliance (who, days before, we're just shooting at each other) responsible for rescuing the now famous Lipizzaner horses. There are so many heroes, I wouldn't know where to begin. Suffice to say, Col. Reed is a most endearing and upstanding man, but it is the incidental irascible Lt. Sullivan who, on more than one occasion, captures my heart. Leave it to an Irish man to save the day!

As in all good stories, there is an ant
Dec 11, 2014 Naomi rated it liked it
3.5/5 Stars

*Talty is one of my favorite new authors. His "standard" quality of writing was present in this book.

On that note:

* Excellent story, but somewhat discombobulated in its writing. I find this frequently with authors who traditionally write full length novels and then switch to a "novella/short story" based format.

* Aspects of the story were almost overwritten with extensive dialog while some aspects were "glossed" over.

* I really wish he would have written a full length novel versus t
Ruth Kyle-devendorf
Apr 28, 2014 Ruth Kyle-devendorf rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Most definitely a thrilling and interesting read, however it was too short and I feel that the author could have gone into greater detail in different areas of the story such as the importance of the Lippizzaner stallions/mares, their origins, their training, and their performances. Also, he could have gone into greater detail in the lives of the heoric men on both sides of the war who struggled to save these priceless equine treasures. Futhermore, i paid too much in the kindle store, 2.99 for a ...more
Gracie Mastic
Apr 28, 2014 Gracie Mastic rated it liked it
Good short read

Good short read

I am a horse person that started loving horses as soon as I could name the animal as a small child. I, like many Americans; knew a little bit about this story. I enjoyed learning the facts about what really happened. l have seen these wonderful animals preform and am grateful to the Americans that saved them and some of the best of other breeds of Europe during WWII.
Powder River Rose
Mar 11, 2015 Powder River Rose rated it it was amazing
The saving of Lippizaner horses in WWII 1945 was a secret mission and one barely known to people-then or now. It's a lovely story for all whether strictly history buffs or lovers of horses/animals.
It's a short story (about 2 hours) and worth every minute of your time. The narrator is pretty perfect in my estimation and the production fine. This should be made into a movie with the quality production of the "monuments men," definitely not the Disney fantasy of years ago.
Nov 05, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2014
I did not know the story of "Operation Cowboy" and the rescue of the magnificent Lippizaners from the Czech/German border at the end of the war. This is a very suspenseful adventure, not for the faint of heart! And the best part is that THIS is the real story, and it really did happen! I'm always thankful to the authors who do the work to make sure these gems of WWII do not disappear from our knowledge. The courage, the tenacity, the many heroes of that time -- Saaaaaa-lute!
Alejandro Pelaez
Dec 21, 2014 Alejandro Pelaez rated it really liked it
Great story for a Sunday. Never heard of it and the meticulous planning of the nazis "the supermen deserved a super horse beneath them" never cease to surprise me. The decision to rescue these wonderful creatures from the savagery of the soviet army is equally amazing given the stakes involved. Collaboration in wartime is rare, as rare are causes like this one.
Apr 30, 2014 K. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: WWII buffs, horse lovers
Borrowed this on kindle...looked interesting. It was. Story of the saving of the aristocratic Lipizzaner horses (and other noble breeds) from Hitler's wily clutches and/or being made into "horse-burgers" by the encroaching Russian army.

Not well written but quick and easy and definitely different than my usual literary fare. I'd recommend to WWII buffs or horse lovers.
Aug 01, 2014 Kristin marked it as to-read
Fascinating! My father in law was part of the 13th Armored Divison. It was part of his Unit that were sent to save the horses. I only recently found this out because like many WWII Vets he doesn't talk about it. The great irony is my mom was reading this book about the time I found this out from my father in law. Once again proving why they are truly the Greatest Generation. A remarkable story!
Sep 14, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this account. I had no idea American and Nazi soldiers had cooperated together to save valuable horses from destruction at the end of WWII. This was worth a read, evoking a lot of emotions- heartbreak, touching, sad and thought-provoking.
Roxanne Mayville
Jul 19, 2014 Roxanne Mayville rated it it was amazing
Compassion between enemies!

Neat short novel about the joint efforts of the Allies, mostly American 2nd Cavalry and the Nazis to save the famous Austrian White horses..the Lipizzaner from the approaching Russian Army during the late days of World War II. Enjoy!
Jun 22, 2014 Jodi rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about history that we don't learn about in school. It would be a great book for history and english classes to read. It's small part of history that has a great ending to it.And it's not just for horse lovers.
Julia Pumilia
Jun 25, 2014 Julia Pumilia rated it liked it
This is an interesting, lovely story, but I can't help but wish for a more colorful telling of it. The best horse I ever owned was a Lipizzaner cross, though, and I'm glad to know the identities of some of the men I have to thank for his existence.
Wayne Bishop
Jul 09, 2014 Wayne Bishop rated it did not like it
Operation Cowboy

Operation Cowboy

Linda M. Davis
May 08, 2014 Linda M. Davis rated it liked it
Interesting Account of a WWII Mission

This kindle single enlightened me about a WWII mission I had never heard of. I really wanted to like it more but couldn't. The writer's style reminded me of cliff notes. It wasn't fluid and never really drew me in.
Pat Smith
Jun 11, 2015 Pat Smith rated it it was amazing
Great history

Enjoyed the book very much. Well written. Appreciate being given the opportunity to learn something wonderful about that miserable war. So many lives lost, but the wonderful horses were saved!
May 25, 2014 Dani rated it it was amazing
Quick Read,worth it

If you have any shred of interest in the dancing white horses or WWII then you will enjoy this book!
Salvador Ortega
Jan 21, 2015 Salvador Ortega rated it really liked it
Good book

Great book, kind of long. I lost interest half way through. I went through it a second time found it more interesting.
Marian Casse
Dec 01, 2014 Marian Casse rated it it was amazing
Interesting history

I enjoyed the quick read. The historical aspect was very interesting. I wish I was able to see these horses in person.
Jeanne Kent
Apr 29, 2014 Jeanne Kent rated it it was amazing
The True Story of the Lipizzaner Rescue

I chose a 5-star rating because this book told the true story of the Lipizzaner rescue. Short and to the point, an easy read
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Stephan Talty is the New York Times bestselling author of six acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction, as well as the Abbie Kearney crime novels. Originally from Buffalo, he now lives outside New York City.

Talty began as a widely-published journalist who has contributed to the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, Time Out New York, Details, and many other publications. He is the author of t
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“The Cossacks were led by their prince, Amazov, a legendary horseman and, Reed was relieved to find, “a most pleasant and helpful person.” 0 likes
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