Twelve Desperate Miles

ISBN: 1620642700
Review Date:

Full Title: Twelve Desperate Miles: The Epic World War II Voyage of the SS Contessa

We often study WW2 as an armchair general, studying how the various commanders moved corps and fleets across the face the globe. We often forget that wars were fought by the individual soldiers, sailors, and airmen. What we think of even less were those outside the military, like the crew of the cargo ship SS Contessa. Tim Brady's Twelve Desperate Miles told the story of this civilian vessel manned by a wide variety of hands, everything ranging from the undisciplined from the Norfolk County jail to a French resistance fighter, that sailed alone across the Atlantic Ocean and up the Sebou River to deliver fuel and ammunition for the Allies in North Africa. While some might argue whether the journey of this cargo ship was truly "epic", Brady's telling of her tale of without a doubt entertaining and most enjoyable. As I closed this book, however, I thought that the author had spent far too many pages on George Patton's preparations for the Operation Torch and Erwin Rommel surrounding Tobruk; although those events gave SS Contessa's journey a background story, I thought they probably should had faded into the background a bit more, rather than taking away entire chapters from SS Contessa's suspenseful tale.

I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Joe Barrett did a fine job reading, though his pace was a bit slow, with somewhat long pauses between sections which made me look at my player to make sure that I had not accidentally turned it off. His reading was clear and his volume was ample, however, both of which were much appreciated.

Twelve Desperate Miles had told the voyage of SS Contessa well, though at times I had to dig around the verbose background stories to get to the main part of the tale. It might not be a keeper, but those interested in the merchant marine might find it interesting enough to check out from the local library.

Back to Main | Back to Book Reviews Index

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Twelve Desperate Miles

Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!