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Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  8,562 Ratings  ·  961 Reviews
#1 New York Times bestseller!

Frozen in Time is a gripping true story of survival, bravery, and honor in the vast Arctic wilderness during World War II, from the author of New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La.

On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, the B-17 assigned to the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Harper
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John Ballin I did an internet search after reading it and they are trying to go back again this summer, 2017.

Community Reviews

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Will Byrnes
Winter is coming.

Mitchell Zuckoff seems to be making a habit of looking into the travails of crash victims. His prior book, Lost in Shangri-la , followed three survivors of a WW II era plane crash in New Guinea. They faced the usual sorts of dangers, a step back to the Paleolithic, and a diverse assortment of possible ways to die; cannibals, elements of an enemy army, all sorts of predatory and/or poisonous critters, microscopic invaders that could ruin your day, and help see that it is your la
Thanks to Coach Gordon Bombay and the Mighty Ducks (D2 to be specific), I already knew that "Greenland" was a bit of a misnomer. Greenland , of course, is covered in ice, while Iceland is allegedly quite lush (although their hockey players are jerks). However, during World War II, suddenly everyone wanted in on Greenland's oft-forgotten frozen expanse. Not only did the location make for a nice little fueling spot for B-17s en route to either side of the Atlantic, it also could have served as ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Judy by: Amazon
Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II froze me to my seat. I seriously resented getting up for anything like eating, using the facilities, thirst...Finding out what happened to 9 plane crash victims on the snow and ice covered surfaces of Greenland riveted my attention like permafrost on the wing of a WWII B-17 bomber. The only thawing that took place occurred during the chapters about the locate/recovery expedition that Zuckoff partially fu ...more
A compelling addition to World War II stories, Frozen in Time is a story of endurance, survival and determination. This account of the ill fate of a crashed US cargo plane in Greenland in 1942 and its nine crew members, is a brutal read as the men struggle to survive while others try to rescue them. Not all is successful but for those that do survive their lives are owed not only to their own stamina but to the dedication of those who would not give them up. Zuckoff weaves this rescue mission wi ...more
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, non-fiction
The Planes went down not in the sea, or the woods, and not somewhere that could easily be located by a rescue team or on a land that they could arrive safely on.
The bleakest of environments the remotest of places, Greenland.
Not just one crash, but many, lives lost in the rescue effort.
Greenland will host men that represent bravery, determination and great willpower for survival, all in cause for the greater good of their fellow men, while a war raged with men an even greater war took hold, with
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT......4.5 stars!!!!

I did find the reading (itself), a little more challenging for me (than "Lost In Shangri-La)--yet I was deeply moved at the same time. In my mind THIS book...(this story), had to be more challenging to write than "Lost In Shangri-La" also. The dedication (physical dedication to boot), which the author put himself through is flooring....(it HAD to be dangerous) ---

Really--I would have been petrified if my husband's job involved THIS type of research!

I learned a part of
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookshelf
What an absolutely amazing, riveting and incredible book. Mitch Zuckoff does an amazing job telling two interwoven stories that take place almost seventy years apart. I was so absorbed in this book I almost forgot it is really an historical record of real life and death events. I was so engaged in the book I actually felt cold as I read about the conditions the survivors faced, cried when someone died, cheered (and cried) for every rescue. I physically jumped when Dunlop's plane engine exploded. ...more
Stella Fouts
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mitchell Zuckoff’s Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II is the account of a series of mind-boggling tragedies that occurred in Greenland in the 1940s. Beginning in November 1942, a U.S. cargo plane slams into a Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 searching for the plane becomes lost in a blinding storm and also crashes. A second rescue attempt is launched, and that plane flies into a severe storm and vanishes. Men and dog sled teams ...more
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Before I sat down to write my review of Frozen in Time, I went back to read the review I did of Lost in Shangri-La, the last book I read by Mitchell Zuckoff. Boy, did I like that book. I'm not sure I've given such a glowing review to another nonfiction book since I've started blogging. I droned on and on about how masterfully the author was able to not only bring the events alive, but to humanize the the men and women involved, making them feel three dimensional in ways most authors can't do wit ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a thriller novel where extraordinary and harrowing things happen to the characters but somehow they get through it against all odds? Well, that's what it was like reading Frozen in Time, except that it's not fiction, it's the true-life thrilling story of how a handful of WWII officers crashed into the barren and frozen Ice Cap of Greenland and survived for months. The story also alternates with the present story of a quest to find the lost Grumman Duck plane and the frozen rem ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwi-wwii
The island of Greenland proves that it does not always have to be hot in hell. It is an unforgiving land with a miniscule population of Inuit Eskimos and not much else except ice and snow. Greenland was used as a stopping off point for cargo planes on their way to England while the US was still neutral in WWII and also during the war. The bases were managed by the US Coast Guard and much of their work was rescue as aircraft accidents were not uncommon. In 1942 a cargo plane went down and a B-17 ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

Another gripping tale of inspiring fortitude and courage from the author of Lost in Shangri-La, one of my all time favorite books.

This true life saga revolves around the efforts to rescue WWII American military personnel stranded in the unforgiving terrain of Greenland. That story alternates with the present day efforts to retrieve the remains of the soldiers who didn't make it.

I'm the last person in the world to be enthralled by technical descriptions of airplanes, a
♥ Marlene♥
So good. So excellent so great!
This is why I love reading non fiction.
It does not happen often. That you start a nonfiction book about a subject you do not know much about.
In my case Greenland and what happened there during WW2 and that the author makes you really understand how it was and makes you interested in the subject and you wanting to learn more. For me that is why I love to read non fiction and Mitchell Zukoff managed all of the above.

Now I also love survival stories and if you like to
David V.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Received as an ARC via my employer Barnes & Noble. Wowee! What an adventure story, and it's all true. This book is so real in its description of the weather on Greenland that it would probably be perfect to read on a 95 degree day in July for cooling off. But the dangers are frightening!!!! It's the story of crashed aircraft during WWII, and the failed and successful missions to rescue the crews. And the modern story of a mission to recover one of the planes and the buried crew under 200' of ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was truly an amazing story of courage, determination, and the willingness of some to risk their lives to save another. In 1943, a cargo plan on a regular flight slammed into a Greenland ice cap. In an attempt to mount a recuse, a B-17 became lost because of a phenomena called "flying in milk" and this plane crashed. All survived the crash, all nine of them miraculously Another plane called the Grumman duck mounted a rescue but it faced a storm and vanished. It also was a story told of the e ...more
Dave Hoff
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If there was a higher rating than 5 Stars, this would be a 6. The author did a terrific job of transitioning between 1942 and 2012. Between the crashes on the Greenland Icecap and the search for remains, from the life of survivors waiting for rescue, the rescue after months & the raising of funds to find and bring the Coast Guard plane & the Coasty bodies home in 2012. The awful Greenland weather has prevented the later.

I rated the book high for another reason, Bernt Balchen's part in th
Mikey B.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an exhilarating epic this is! Of rescue attempts that boomerang and of more rescue attempts to rescue the would-be rescuers! And it is so sad of the loss of life of these altruistic individuals (and they were truly individualistic personalities) who gave the ultimate sacrifice to help those whom they had never met. It really does give one a wonderful sense of humanity.

It all takes place in Greenland – a foreboding and harsh environment – where literally every step is laden with danger. Gree
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING! Once again, as I get older, I find myself drawn to World War II accounts. In this engaging narrative, Zuckoff bounces between 1942/1943 and 2012 to retell what happened in Greenland during World War II and in Greenland in 2012. Never have I read about Greenland in World War II nor would I ever have guessed at the significance of the country until I real this book. Greenland's natural resources, political ties, and location actually made it an important base of operations. Unfortunately, ...more
Sean Peters
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Just ordered recently from America and I have just finished reading this incredible book.

It is called Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff.

I can not recommend this book enough, it is a biography and really autobiography as the author is very much involved in the 2012 part of the book, but the main story is in 1942/1943.

A story that touches your heart with the bravery of so many people and how the body and mind fights for life.

The story is a true story, of one plane crashing in the freezing wild
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it

Who knew there were so many—and so deadly—airplane crashes in Greenland during a one month period in the early 1940s? Five, at least, I think; if my count is close to accurate. So many crashes, with so many people involved, it got awfully confusing to follow the who, when and where of this audio book. Compound this confusion with a whole new (humongous) cast of characters for a recovery attempt (of one of the five planes from the original story) some seven
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The time is 1942 . The U.S. has bases on Greenland from which they can forecast the weather for Europe ( vital to the war effort ) and from which they can ferry planes and supplies to England. This is no easy endeavor for Greenland has one of the most forbidding and hostile climates and topography on the planet ! It is covered by a glacial sheet of ice concealing countless crevasses and spawning blinding snow storms. This book is the story of an American plane going down in such an environment a ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
The survival story is compelling-a harrowing account of soldiers stranded in Greenland's brutal arctic weather. The modern quest was less engaging, but became more interesting in the time press to make a discovery. There are a lot of people to keep track of, so the index comes in handy along with the glossary of names.
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"Greenland makes no sense.

First there's the name, which as most schoolchildren know should be Iceland, but that was already taken. Almost nothing green grows in Greenland, where more than eighty percent of the land is buried under deep ice. Deep, as in, up to ten thousand feet, or two solid miles. If all of Greenland's ice melted - a worst-case scenario of climate change - the world's oceans would rise by twenty feet or more.

Greenland's strangeness is compounded by it's great politically incons
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
There was a moment when reading Mitchell Zuckoff's latest book, Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II, that I crossed over from a mildly interested reader to a rabid page turner. I'm pretty sure it was in the first chapter.

Frozen in Time is, as its title only slightly exaggerates, an epic tale. Spanning from World War Two until the present, it is a work of non-fiction, to be sure, but no less gripping and exciting. Set in Greenland (and not
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-history
Zuckoff puts together a tremondous effort in compiling the historical fact with the modern day attempt to salvage a U.S. Coast Guard Grumman Duck (model J2F-4) that went down in Koge Bay Greenland on its return to the USCG Northland after a second attempt of rescuing the would be rescuers of a C-53 Skytrooper. The would be rescuers in question were those aboard a B-17 (PN9E)that was diverted from ferrying the plane to the ETO in order to provide a rescue attempt of the C-53 that went down in Gre ...more
Nancy Kennedy
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mitchell Zuckoff is making a name for himself as a chronicler of downed airplanes. I loved his book Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II, and I loved this book just as much.

Well, I should say I loved half this book just as much. The book is actually two different, though related, stories. The first is the story of a military plane that crashed during WWII over icy Greenland while on a mission to rescue a cargo plane that
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheri by: Will Byrnes
I will never look at snow, at ice, the same way again.

Being the daughter of a pilot, there was a lot of this that really hooked me in perhaps a slightly different way than others may have felt. While my father was a pilot for commercial airlines for most of his life, he started out at a very young age flying local routes - mostly mail routes, and later on trained the Air Force pilots when the pilots at Glenn L. Martin were "requested" to do so. Stories, I've heard plenty and pictures to go with
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A gripping story of survival against the odds, Frozen in Time is the true story of a rescue mission gone wrong, and a modern quest for lost heroes of World War II.
On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane crashed on the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, a B-17 fighter plane, assigned to the search-and-rescue mission, became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. By some miracle of fate, all nine men on board survived. Another rescue operation was launched, but after picking up just one man, th
Barbara Skalberg
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
These survival stories always amaze me. What the human spirit is capable of withstanding! The modern half of the story line about the hunt for the lost plane and men was interesting, but the story from 1942 was what kept my attention. I love that the US military was willing to outlay the resources (during a war) to try and bring our men home. The tragic loss of life trying to save lives is a hard one to come to grips with, but how do you not try? The men who died trying to get the others home ar ...more
Brianna Audrey Wright
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love a good book about some forgotten piece of history and this book did not disappoint! This book follows the horrific and frightening experience of a downed B-17 in the vast emptiness of the frozen Greenland tundra, and the amazing rescue efforts, and the brave men who risked, and some who lost their lives in the multiple rescue attempts.
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Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. His previous books are: Robert Altman: The Oral Biography, one of's "Best Books of 2009"; Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, a New York Times Editors' Choice book; and Ch ...more
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“When Norway fell to the Germans the following year, he established the Norwegian Air Force training base known as Little Norway in Canada, to train pilots who’d escaped the Nazis. After handing that task to others, Balchen ferried bombers for the British.” 1 likes
“Snow contains oxygen, which scatters light across the visible spectrum, making it appear white. Compacting squeezes out the oxygen, and the compacted ice crystals that remain absorb long light waves and reflect short waves. The shortest light waves are violet and blue. And so, the ice at the cold heart of Greenland is blue.” 1 likes
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