A unique point of view on the experience of WWII, the author chose to tell the story about the campaign against Russia in Stalingrad and ending in the siege on the Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy by the American Marines from the perspective of a young doctor, a surgeon on a hospital train and the locomotive engineers who stay with the hospital train and are in his medical care. Returning from an escort assignment on a medevac train home to the front in Russia with medical resupplies, he finds his hospital train and the entire medical team with all the patients missing.
Lacking a superior officer to reassign him, he is now a deserter subject to being shot on sight by all sides, friend or foe. He must go underground and make his way back to his home unit in Germany. His engagement as a doctor puts him in the presence of life and death, passion and grief. It forces him to break his Oath of Hippocrates not to do harm and to save lives whenever he can without asking questions about the patient’s national origin, race or religion. Having to take lives brings him into conflict with his moral core as a doctor and as a son of a minister (even though he is acting in self-defense) with his religious beliefs, while he is struggling to cross many national borders undetected in the midst of a war that cannot be won.
Will he make it home?