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In this book a distinguished soldier looks back at some of the airborne ops of World War 2, not to examine outdated techniques, but to see what sort of spirit the airborne assault developed in its soldiers and to compare the operations.


Book cover finish Hardcover ( rounded spine binding )
Special features Dust jacket
Condition New
Number of pages 144
Published date 1978
Languages English
Size 21 x 1.5 x 30 cm
Author Napier Crookenden
Editor Ian Allan Publishing


In this book a distinguished airborne soldier looks back at some of the airborne operations of World War 2, not to examine outdated techniques, but to see what sort of spirit the airborne assault developed in its soldiers and airmen and to compare the operations of the three nations who used them most often and effectively — Germany, Great Britain and the United States. D-Day in Normandy and the Battle of Arnhem have been well covered in books and films, so the author has taken five lesser-known operations for Airborne at War — two German, one American and one combined British and American. 


The capture of the fort at Eben Emael by German parachute engineers, landing by glider on top of the fort, startled the world in May 1940 and set the pattern for many subsequent glider assaults by both sides. Some of the same men took part in the German Sturmregiment's attack on Maleme airfield at the western end of Crete — the key to the whole German assault and a gamble so nearly lost, as to make it one of the greatest of the many great dramas in the long, violent and bloodstained history of that island. Then, as the war was ending and on the other side of the world, the United States' recapture of Corregidor showed how the bold and unorthodox use of parachute troops solved a difficult problem and saved many lives. Finally, the use of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the crossing of the Rhine by 21 Army Group produced the largest aerial armada ever seen, as two complete airborne divisions were landed on one lift and within 2,5 hours. The already crumbling German resistance was shattered at a stroke. 


Some historians have questioned the use of this airborne sledgehammer to crack such a battered nut, yet the casualties on the first day are comparable with Arnhem and D-Day and the crossings by the XII and XXX Corps might well have been slower and bloodier without the airborne operation. First published in 1978 and long out of print, Airborne at War is one of the classic volumes in the highly successful `at War' series. This new impression makes available to a new generation of military, aviation enthusiasts and historians a superb tribute to the soldiers of all airborne operations.

Napier Crookenden

Lieutenant General Sir Napier Crookenden KCB DSO OBE DL (31 August 1915 – 31 October 2002) was a British Army General who reached high office in the 1960s.

Educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Crookenden was commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment in 1935.

He served in the Second World War as a Brigade Major in the 6th Airlanding Brigade in 1943 planning and implementing glider assaults to secure bridges over the River Orne on the day of the Normandy Landings. He served as Commanding Officer of 9th (Eastern and Home Counties) Parachute Battalion between 1944 and 1946 leading his Regiment in the Battle of the Bulge and then the crossing of the River Rhine.

He was Director of Operations during the Malayan Emergency between 1952 and 1954 and served as Commander of 16th Parachute Brigade from 1960 to 1961. He was appointed Director of Land/Air Warfare at the Ministry of Defence in 1964 and then Commandant at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham in 1967. He became the last General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Command in 1969 and retired in 1972.

(Sources Wikipedia)

Ian Allan Publishing
Ian Allan Publishing was founded by Ian Allan ( 1922 - 2015 ) in 1942. Working then in the Public Relations Department for the Southern Railway at Waterloo Station ( London Borough of Lambeth, London, England ), he decided he could deal with many of the requests he received about rolling stock by collecting the information into a book. The result was his first book : ABC of Southern Locomotives. This proved to be a success, contributing to the emergence of trainspotting as a popular hobby in the United Kingdom, and leading to the formation of the company. Ian Allan Publishing has grown from a small producer of books for train enthusiasts and spotters to a large transport publisher. Each year it publishes books covering subjects such as military and civil aviation, naval and maritime topics, buses, trams, trolleybuses and steam railways, including history, preservation and modern operations. The headquarters is at the western end of Shepperton Railway Station ( Surrey, England ). At the end of 2016, the company announced that they were withdrawing from railway publishing. Crécy Publishing acquired these titles, including the Oxford and abc imprints, but would no longer publish these under the Ian Allan name. ( source : Wikipedia )
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