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Silent Skies (Hardback)

Aviation World War Two Aviation Arnhem

By Tim Lynch
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781844157365
Published: 21st August 2008
Last Released: 1st September 2008

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On 10 May 1940 warfare changed forever when gliders swooped down to seize the fortress of Eben Emael in Belgium ahead of the German advance. In the following five years of war, the glider evolved into a war-winning weapon capable of landing men, guns and even tanks with pinpoint precision. Across the world it became a vital element in military planning, yet no full history of glider operations has been written. Tim Lynch, in this graphic and highly readable study, gives vivid accounts of glider operations - some famous, some less well known - in every theatre of the war, in northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Far East and the Pacific. He quotes extensively from the memoirs and eyewitness accounts of the glider pilots and the troops they carried, and he traces the evolution glider tactics over the course of the war.

The military glider was a short-lived innovation rendered obsolete by technological advances in the post-war period, yet it was used extensively by both sides throughout the Second World War, typically landing large numbers of infantry, artillery and even light tanks behind enemy lines, but it was also used to carry out small-scale precision raids, resupply operations, and the Germans even pioneered the now commonplace rapid airlift of troops and heavy equipment by developing an immense glider capable of carrying hundreds of passengers. This book summarises most glider operations of the war, amongst which are famous actions such as Eben Emael, Crete, Pegasus Bridge and Arnhem, but also a great many others which are rarely discussed, including Germany's daring rescue of Mussolini, their raid on Tito's Yugoslavian headquarters, British operations to support the Chindits in Burma, and the little known airborne operations carried out on both sides of the Eastern Front. Using first hand accounts of those involved, this is a fascinating story which puts the entire glider experiment into context, exploring its origins, development and increasing ambition as the war progressed.

Pegasus Archive, Mark Hickman

The author clearly understands flying and the technicalities of handling an aircraft with no engines. The chapters on UK glider forces were as you would expect, well written and comprehensive.

The Eagle - Journal of the Parachute Regimental Asscoiation

About Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and the Historical Writers Association, specializing in the social and military history of the twentieth century and currently working with community groups on a variety of commemorative projects linked to the Great War centenary. He has written widely on the Great War, has published eight books and is a regular contributor to magazines in the UK and US.

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