World War II introduced a new chapter to the history of elite troops - the parachute and glider-borne soldiers of Germany and the Allies, whose story is told in this book. Despite their experimental nature, there is no doubting the successes achieved by both sides. The story of the German airborne corps is traced from its inception - the policemen co-opted into becoming Goering's paras, their army rivals, the revelations of the German disasters, and triumph in Norway, Holland and Belgium before their ultimate test of May 1941. The crucial Battle of Crete is described through the experiences of men who were there, the struggle that broke the back of Hitler's airborne army. Late starters, the British Red Berets came to achieve worldwide fame as crack troops, and the book includes the tales of men who volunteered at the start and saw it through to the end; the triumphs and tragedies of the ordinary soldier, proud to serve in these distinguished regiments. Readers will find not only authentic detail and personal stories, but insights into airborne operations.