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Without Tradition: 2 Para - 1941-1945 [Paperback]

Robert Peatling
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £10.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Jan 2004
2 Para's performance during Operation MARKET GARDEN is legendary but, as this book amply demonstrates, it was the culmination of three year's battle experience. A major factor behind the Battalion's successes was the leadership of its Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel John D Frost who never failed to inspire those under him by his example and character. Without Tradition is a superb record of, and a fitting tribute to, one of the most successful fighting units in the long and glorious history of the British Army.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leo Cooper Ltd; paperback / softback edition (16 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844151115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844151110
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 931,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent account. 9 Jun 2006
Traditions commence with the standards set by those who come first. In this book, we have an account of a brand new Battalion of a brand new Regiment - namely, Second Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, which soon came to be known as "2 Para." Formed at time of war, this new Battalion was manned by men from all walks of life drawn from many different Regiments and Corps within the British Army. The only common denominator was that they were all volunteers. Of course, each of those other Regiments and Corps had their own well-established traditions but the Parachute Regiment had none of it's own. It is, however, because those men "were who they were" and "did what they did," that the Parachute Regiment went on to possess some of the finest Traditions now found within the entire British Army.

I had the great fortune to serve with 2 Para on two occasions during my own former military service - firstly as a corporal and much later as a captain. I have, therefore, looked at this book with a little more objectivity than I would normally employ. In short, this account is as good as they get.

Without Tradition is the story of the formation of 2 Para and what their officers and men achieved during the war years of 1941-1945. In an easy-to-read style of writing, the author takes us through those beginnings and into action as we visit each of the 5 airborne operations behind enemy lines completed by this single Battalion.

It was 2 Para which won the Regiment's first two Battle Honours (Bruneval and Oudna) and it was 2 Para which won 5 of the 11 Battle Honours which form part of the Regiment's colours.

They may be the Second Battalion but, as this book so richly describes, they have always been Second to none.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One for the Airborne Forces Enthusiasts 8 Feb 2007
The superb book tells the remarkable story, of the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, which was formed in September 1941, when men from various units of the British Army volunteered for parachute duties. The attraction of an extra 2 shillings a day (.10p in today's money) attracted hundreds of potential recruits for this new Regiment, however as experience was to prove, only one man in three actually possessed the necessary mental attitude and physical fitness to complete the demanding training and earn the right to wear the coveted maroon beret and distinguishing qualified parachutist wings.

Within the first three years of its formation, 2 Para had already taken part in five daring airborne operations behind enemy lines and as a result, earned five out of the eleven Battle Honours emblazoned on the Regiment's Standard, along with many honours, decorations and awards, which included one officer of the Battalion being awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his supreme courage, leadership and devotion to duty during the now legendary battle for Arnhem!

The author has successfully produced a brilliant volume, that is Packed full of fascinating facts and information relating to the daring actions of the brave men of this, one of the most elite units of the British Army. Eyewitness accounts of veterans have been included, along with excerpts from the Battalion War Diaries too. The comprehensive appendix includes a list of officers who served with the battalion throughout the war, along with a detailed roll of honour and an honours and awards list and therefore this publication will be invaluable to the military historian, battlefield guide and researcher alike.
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