Top positive review
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A brilliant book, meticulously researched and well-written
on 19 August 2009
This is a superb book that brilliantly chronicles the massive British Airborne attack which secured the eastern flank of the Normandy invasion area in the early hours of D-Day.
It tells in unprecedented detail the story of Major John Howard's famous glider-borne coup de main force, which shortly after midnight on June 6, 1944, seized Pegasus Bridge and Horsa Bridge - the vital crossings over the Caen Canal and River Orne that had to be captured to prevent the later seaborne invasion being jeopardised.
But the book's greatest achievement is to piece together the wider story of the huge force of British paratroopers who dropped shortly after the coup de main force and whose main task was to secure the villages of Benouville and Ranville, creating a bridgehead which would deny the Germans access to the invasion beaches.
The operation was complicated, confused and sometimes chaotic. But, through meticulous research and using extensive interviews with veterans, the author has produced a compelling narrative which is as easy to follow as it is thrilling to read.
For anyone with an interest in this aspect of the Normandy operation, such as myself, this book is a must-have and I am sure it will become the definitive account of the Airborne operations in the Orne bridgehead.
But it is also an excellent read in its own right and a fitting tribute to those brave young men who for a few fateful hours in the darkness of D-Day held the future of Europe in their hands.