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Jump: Into The Valley Of The Shadow (Paperback)

The WWII Memories of a Paratrooper in the 508th P.I.R, 82nd Airborne Division


By Dwayne Burns
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 16pp photo section
ISBN: 9781935149835
Published: 1st April 2011



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“ A true member of the Greatest Generation, Burns’ fascinating story is well worth reading.” - Flight JournalJump: Into the Valley of the Shadow tells of the wartime experiences of Dwayne Burns as a paratrooper in the 508th Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. The author recounts the action of his first mission, which took place in the early hours of D-Day. Having been dropped behind enemy lines, the paratroopers fought in a desperate running battle with German soldiers. Burns and his men held their ground until they were relieved by infantry advancing from the beaches. The 82nd Airborne Division were then sent to Holland as part of Montgomery’s plan to create a bridgehead across the Rhine. This daytime jump was less confused than the previous night-time one, but there were more German troops than expected and fewer Allied forces in support. The combat that followed was chaotic, and although the 82nd achieved their objectives, there were many casualties. Possibly the author's greatest challenge came in December 1944 , when Germany undertook their infamous Ardennes Offensive. With the Allies caught unprepared, the 82nd had to try to slow the lightening advance of the German panzers. Burns and his comrades held their own and with quickly assembled defence perimeters, they allowed other units to escape. On 3 January the 82nd were able to counter-attack, and in sealing off the Bulge, they were able to continue their pursuit of the Germans back into the Reich.Dwayne Burns relates not only the chaos of combat, but the intimate thinking of a young soldier thrust into the centre stage of several of World War II’s greatest battles. His memories are also able to provide a fascinating insight into the reality of close-quarter combat.

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