British Paratrooper 1940-45 by Rebecca Skinner

By Rebecca Skinner

This new historical past of the British Paratrooper, from 1940 to 1945, information the original education, guns and gear utilized by those elite troops. encouraged by way of the exploits of the German Fallschirmjäger within the blitzkrieg campaigns, Winston Churchill known as for the formation of a 5,000-strong Airborne strength in June 1940. From those beginnings the Parachute Regiment grew to become one of many most advantageous devices of the British military either in global warfare II and as much as the current day.

A wealth of first-hand and beforehand unpublished fabrics brings the background of the standard Para to lifestyles, drawing at the author's place as a curator of the Regimental Museum. Illustrations and images remove darkness from the gear and strive against functionality of the elite 'paras' within the context of a few of the main major campaigns of global warfare II, together with D-Day and Operation market-garden.

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Sample text

In the early stages it had become apparent that medical personnel would need to be able to parachute in order to provide medical treatment for the injured men on the ground. Traditionally, casualties were evacuated to the rear through a series of staging points where their injuries could be assessed and treated accordingly. This method, however, was A casualty is attended to on the drop zone at Megara Airfield in Greece, 1944. The drop zone had been chosen from the air, due to the quick planning required for the operation.

On 3 January 1945, the 13th Parachute Battalion began the attack on the village of Bure where heavy fighting raged for three days in bitter winter conditions. The Germans were beaten back and the 6th Airborne Division returned to the United Kingdom. Their next operation would see them making the jump across the Rhine into Germany itself. On 25 March 1945, the 6th Airborne Division took part in the largest ever airborne drop of British Forces, with some 540 aircraft towing 1,300 gliders. Despite heavy casualties, within five-and-a-half hours the objectives had been taken.

The following night B Coy pushed through to take the second crest; the Germans counterattacked but were seen off by a bayonet charge. B Company was then counter-attacked again, this time by a larger group of 180 Fallschirmjäger. Running low on ammunition, the decision was made by Maj. David Dobie, OC B Coy, to withdraw down the hill. The following day they were relieved and rejoined the rest of the 1st Parachute Brigade at Algiers. At the beginning of February 1943, the 1st Parachute Battalion fought the battle of Djebel Alliliga supported by the French Foreign Legion and 3rd Battalion the Grenadier Guards.

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