At All Costs: How a Crippled Ship and Two American Merchant Marines Turned the Tide of World War II

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Sam Moses

Narrated By: Michael Prichard

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: November 2006

Duration: 11 hours 14 minutes


In this astonishing untold account of heroism and history, two American Merchant Mariners board a burning and sinking ship in the Mediterranean and change the course of World War II.

In 1942, the small Mediterranean island of Malta was the most heavily bombed place on earth. Its submarine and air attacks on Axis supply convoys were all that kept Rommel from marching across North Africa to take the oil in Iran and Iraq for Hitler. But Malta was out of fuel, down to its final days. Operation Pedestal was Malta's last hope, a giant convoy with more that 50 warships escorting thirteen freighters and one life-or-death tanker, the SS Ohio, carrying 103,000 barrels of oil from Texas. It was bombed, torpedoed, and abandoned. Two American Merchant Mariners, Frederick Larsen and Francis Dales---their own freighters sunk in towering flames along with eight others---boarded the Ohio, repaired the guns, and fought the Axis dive-bombers for two days as the sinking tanker was towed by destroyers. Malta was saved, Rommel was turned back, and the Allies started to turn the tide of war.

At All Costs is a gripping story reported in grand historic fashion. It is a tale of unimaginable personal courage and indomitable determination.


  • tom

    Having read and watched various accounts of WWII over the years I had never heard about this particular venture. It is flat amazing what our navy and merchant marine did to preserve our freedom. Story is well paced and well written.

  • BJS

    I am a history lover & an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, Nurse Corps. Listening to this book, I was so enthralled I had to go find the paperback version to see the map, photos, read along. What an amazing, little known story! The commitment of these men, the perserverance of the Maltese, the fearsome obstacles to reach the island are sobering & awesome. There is also a website (Google for it) that shows more photos. Thanks to the author for capturing this powerful story from our history & telling it with such verve & eye for detail!

  • David Goodrich

    I found the book very enlightening. The ordeal was alive as you listened and the importance of the convoy is so clear to the reader.

  • Adam

    Not every WWII story is interesting but this one goes beyond dull. The book is billed as gripping-I did let go of the grip on my steering wheel to turn this tedious book off.