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Sky Warriors: British Airborne Forces in the Second World War (Hardback)
  • Sky Warriors: British Airborne Forces in the Second World War (Hardback)
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Sky Warriors: British Airborne Forces in the Second World War (Hardback)

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? RRP £25.00
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Hardback 576 Pages
Published: 25/04/2024
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Waterstones Says

The renowned author of Crucible of Hell delivers a powerful and deeply researched tour de force about Britain's airborne forces’ recruitment, training and exploits in the Second World War.

From bestselling historian Saul David, a riveting new history of the British airborne experience across the Second World War.

The legendary ‘Red Devils’ were among the finest combat troops of the Second World War. Created at Churchill’s instigation in June 1940, they began as a single parachute battalion of 500 men and grew into three 10,000-strong airborne divisions: the 1st, 6th and 44th Indian, each composed of parachutists and glider-borne troops.

Wearing their distinctive maroon berets, steel helmets and Dennison smocks, they served with distinction in every major theatre of the conflict – including North Africa, Sicily, mainland Europe and the Far East. They played a starring role in some most iconic airborne operations in history: the Bruneval Raid of February 1942; the capture of the Primasole, Pegasus and Arnhem Bridges in July 1943, June 1944 and September 1944 respectively; and Operation Varsity, the biggest parachute drop in history, near Wesel in Germany in March 1945.

Sky Warriors is an accomplished act of storytelling; authoritative, far-reaching and deeply moving. Building the narrative from the ground-up, Saul David draws on multiple archives, published memoirs, unpublished diaries and letters, and interviews with participants. The end result is a dramatic narrative of the airborne forces’ recruitment, training and wartime exploits.

This is the first time the complete wartime story of the British airborne forces has been told.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008522162
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 720 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 55 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

EARLY PRAISE FOR SKY WARRIORS 'Fascinating and absorbing… On every occasion the men battled heroically and often achieved far more than could have been expected given the mayhem and handicaps around them… What emerges from this compelling tale of organic evolution and frequent recklessness is the indomitable and pioneering spirit of those involved and how often their courage and daring was badly squandered by those further up the chain. It is very much the men’s characters that form the beating heart of this book – eccentrics, mavericks, ridiculously brave but also very human too…. The Red Devils were mostly young men, as vulnerable as any other soldier. Yet what they achieved, as David makes clear in this hugely entertaining book, was remarkable' Daily Telegraph, James Holland () ‘In the past the story of paratroopers has been told as an adjunct to wider campaign histories, which diminishes their extraordinary contribution. David, a gifted military historian, instead knits all those stories together into a single continuous narrative, told in the words of those who were there. He starts with the birth of the airborne force in bleak 1940 and ends with the last glorious days of the war. Along the way there are thrilling victories and ghastly tragedies… David recounts battles with enthralling detail, never from a detached distance. He specialises in a worm’s-eye view of the war' The Times

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