Defiant Courage

By Astrid Karlsen Scott

$ 20.00

In late March of 1943, during World War II, four Norwegian saboteurs arrive in Northern Norway on a fishing cutter and set anchor in peaceful Toftefjord. They are to establish a base for sabotage operations with the eventual goal of liberating occupied Norway.

The saboteurs are betrayed and a German Schnell-boat attacks the cutter, turning the quiet fjord into a battle zone.

Only one man ultimately survives the attack, Jan Baalsrud. He begins the perilous journey to freedom. Wounded, the dauntless soldier swims icy fjord waters, climbs snow-laden granite peaks, endures violent snowstorms and is hurled off a mountain by an avalanche. Fleeing the Gestapo and battling the harsh Arctic cold, Jan suffers snowblindness and frostbite. Though he possesses raw courage and an iron will, they are not enough to deliver him all the way to neutral Sweden and safety.

The people of Norway's Troms District step forward to assist Jan. Selflessly defying Nazi dictates, more than 60 people risk their lives to help the fugitive commando. Readers will never forget this carefully researched action-packed account of the courage of Jan Baalsrud and the people of northern Norway.


My colleagues and I have read Defiant Courage with great interest, and they join me in congratulating you and your co-author Dr. Tore Haug. We have been impressed with the way you make this truly remarkable story come alive, focusing not only on Jan Baalsrud, but showing the quiet courage and determination of his many helpers.

Jan Gerhard Lassen, Deputy Director General, Royal Ministry of Foreign Ministry - Oslo, Norway

For the first time, this book, though devoted to Jan’s incredible story, brings long overdue recognition to the Norwegians who displayed the highest courage in helping Jan, for it was their lives and the lives of their families that they were placing in mortal danger. For myself, I think the strongest impression the book leaves with me is of a unique story told in stark but sympathetic language, extremely well suited to the terrible, incredible events which it unfolds.

James W. Irving, Shetland (UK) Times

A welcome and much appreciated contribution to the growing library of World War II memoirs and eye-witness accounts. Defiant Courage is a compelling story of courage and triumph against incredible odds, and set against the backdrop of the war that was to forever change the world.

James A. Cox, Editor in Chief, The Midwest Book Review

This book is intense and exciting. A better thriller from real life will be hard to find.

Bjorn H. Larssen, Nordlys, Tromso, Norway

This book is one of the most correct books written about WWII in Norway. I have never read such a book about the war in Norway by Norwegian authors.

Kjell Fjortoft, Tromso Newspaper, Norway

I bought your wonderful book “Defiant Courage” and I couldn’t put it down. It is beautifully written. I particularly liked the pictures and maps. They gave a keen perspective of what that courageous good man accomplished.

Leo D. Hymas, Cleveland, Ohio

I read Defiant Courage in the course of two days and literally could not put it down. It went with me to the office where I could read a quick page or two between seeing patients. This is one of the most exciting and engaging narratives I have ever read. Particularly moving was your focus on the courageous people who helped Jan Baalsrud. Baalsrud’s will and stamina during the flight, your sensitive portrayal of his many benefactors reveals the truth of his own assessment that the Norwegian people, not Baalsrud alone are the real heroes. Thank you for producing such a touching yet exciting work. I hope it will become a best seller.

Charles E. Lear, M.D., Denver, Co

Sensational! Jan Baalsrud’s fight against the elements and his tormented and decaying body will, I believe, remain a moving document of heroic resistance against the evils perpetrated during WWII. Showing how he overcame, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

(Hamlet) T.M. Ween, Geneva, Switzerland