While the Berlin Airlift has been called the "first battle of the Cold War," it was first and foremost a humanitarian effort. It was an operation designed to feed, heat and keep healthy more than two million civilians cut off from their regular sources of food, fuel, medicine and other goods. This "battle" was not won by guns, tanks and bombs, but by cargo planes carrying milk and children's shoes, by candy bars and chocolate on miniature parachutes, and by the medical evacuation of vulnerable residents. Furthermore, many of those who saved Berlin were not in military uniform at all; they were civilian fliers. I thought they deserved a plot line of their own.
Although, I knew I wanted to feature civilian fliers in this novel, it wasn't until I sat down to write that inspiration struck and I saw an opportunity to step outside the box and do something innovative. Rather than a civilian cargo or tanker company, I decided to feature an air ambulance business. Although there is no specific evidence of such a company, the need to evacuate people from Berlin grew to crisis proportions by the end of 1948, and there is no reason to think that a young man with entrepreneurial spirit and the proper training would not have seen the opportunity right at the start. So "Air Ambulance International Ltd" was launched.
The "Dove's View" or humanitarian plot line uses the device of "Air Ambulance International" (AAI) to expose the reader to the state of Berlin's hospitals, and as the series progresses, will also give the reader insight into the impact of undernourishment and mass rape on children. Furthermore, as a civilian company, AAI can be international not only in its operations but its staff. AAI brings British, Commonwealth, German and eventually American characters together, all working to fulfill the common task of helping the most vulnerable.
At the same time, this plot line exposes the obstacles and difficulties encountered by private companies attempting to operate in such a complex and tense political environment. Below a Wellington painted white like the ambulance aircraft of AAI. Just picture a red cross where the roundels now appear.
Cold Peace is Book I of the Bridge to Tomorrow Series.
Three years after WWII, Europe struggles with rationing, widespread unemployment and a growing Soviet threat. Hitler's former capital lies ruined under the joint control of wartime allies bitterly at odds. With the currency worthless, the population lives on hand-outs or turns to crime and prostitution. Deep inside the Soviet Zone of occupation, Berlin appears to be an ideal target for a communist take-over, putting the defenders of democracy on a collision course with Stalin's merciless aggression.
A Battle of Britain ace, a female air traffic controller, a concentration camp survivor and an ex-ATA woman pilot are just some of those trying to find their place in the post-war world. An air ambulance service offers a shimmer of hope, but when a Soviet fighter brings down a British passenger liner, Berlin becomes a flashpoint. The world stands poised on the brink of World War Three.
Find out more at: https://www.helenapschrader.com/bridge-to-tomorrow.html
View a video teaser at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTuE7m5InZM&t=5s
Previous releases include:
"MORAL FIBRE," which WON THE HEMINGWAY AWARD 2022 FOR 20TH CENTURY WARTIME FICTION and a MAINCREST MEDIA AWARD FOR MILITARY FICTION as well as being A FINALIST FOR THE BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD 2023 IN THE CATEGORY HISTORICAL FICTION.Riding the icy, moonlit sky,
they took the war to Hitler.
Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent.
Their average age was 21.
This is the story of just one bomber pilot, his crew and the woman he loved.
It is intended as a tribute to them all.
or Barnes and Noble.
Winner of a Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime
Fiction, a Maincrest Media Award for Military Fiction and Silver in the Global Book Awards.
Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/where-eagles-never-flew
For more information about all my books visit: https://www.helenapschrader.com
Disfiguring injuries, class prejudice and PTSD are the focus of three tales set in WWII by award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader. Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/grounded-eagles