Britain's Airborne Forces of WWII (Hardback)
Uniforms and Equipment
The Second World War saw huge advancements in military tactics and technology occurring at an unprecedented pace. One such development was the employment of forces able to deploy at short notice by parachute across the globe, utilising the opportunities created by the advancements in aeronautical technology. These forces were created to deliver an in-depth shock effect, and few have attracted more attention than Britain’s famed Parachute Regiment. This formation was born from the humble beginnings of a fledgling unit drawn together from the British Army and Royal Air Force after Winston Churchill called for a new capability to be created following German airborne successes in the opening stages of the Second World War.
Despite being initially poorly equipped, operating outdated aircraft and wearing clothing copied from captured German examples, the Parachute Regiment rapidly grew into what would become two complete airborne divisions – formations which played a key role in the destruction of the Axis forces. The equipment needed by these men rapidly changed as the war evolved and this is clearly illustrated in the author’s fine and unique collection of rare airborne items from that period, several of them being the sole surviving items known to exist.
The chronological historical information on Britain’s paratroopers’ role and development during the Second World War in this highly illustrated book is not only supported by a comprehensive and rare collection of items displaying the development and expansion of their equipment for each operation, but also by hundreds of original pictures which embrace the entire period. Additionally, the book also briefly covers the Polish Parachute Brigade and the Canadian parachute formations embedded into the British order of battle.
This book provides a comprehensive pictorial display of Britain airborne forces which will prove to be a ‘must have’ tool for military history enthusiasts, airborne collectors, re-enactors and modellers, as well as current serving soldiers linked by service to this truly special military formation.
They were volunteers to a man. These were the airborne troops who dropped into enemy territory ahead of any others, pinpointing the Drop Zone by means of a radio marker. They would then prepare the ground for the main forces that would follow. Once they had marked out the Drop Zones, they then had to defend them, whatever the odds. The volunteers had to pass exacting physical and psychological tests before they could join this elite force. These were the men of the 21st Independent Parachute Company, which was part of the Parachute Regiment, and this is their story, told by one of that unique…By Ron Kent
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