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Operation Varsity - The British & Canadian Airborne Assault
In Spring 1945 the outcome of the war was ritually certain but the mighty River Rhine still stood in the way of the Allies. Eisenhower's strategy was to guarantee a crossing in the Ruhr area by allocating the main effort to Montgomery's 21st Army Group. Monty's task was to envelope and take out the last German war production and open the way onto the North German Plain. On the morning of 24 March 1945 the Normandy veterans of 6th British Airborne Division were to land just three to six miles in front of XII Corps, within supporting distance of their artillery, with the aim of linking up with the ground forces on day one. First in were the two parachute brigades, who benefited from the numbing effect of the Allied bombardment but by the time 6th Airlanding Brigade came in aboard their gliders, the German anti-aircraft gunners were recovering and, on the DZs, resisting and even counter-attacking the British and Canadian paratroopers. Casualties were heavy, not least because the Airlanding Brigade were gliding in amidst an armoured kampfgruppe. Despite their presence, the glider infantry of the Ox and Bucks and the Ulster Rifles took their bridges and the Devons fought a desperate battle for the key village of Hammelkeln. By evening, despite heavy losses, General Bols's 6th Airborne Division had linked-up with XII Corps, the airborne objectives had been taken and the gateway onto the North German Plain and final victory was open.

Operation Varsity - The British & Canadian Airborne Assault
In Spring 1945 the outcome of the war was ritually certain but the mighty River Rhine still stood in the way of the Allies. Eisenhower's strategy was to guarantee a crossing in the Ruhr area by allocating the main effort to Montgomery's 21st Army Group. Monty's task was to envelope and take out the last German war production and open the way onto the North German Plain. On the morning of 24 March 1945 the Normandy veterans of 6th British Airborne Division were to land just three to six miles in front of XII Corps, within supporting distance of their artillery, with the aim of linking up with the ground forces on day one. First in were the two parachute brigades, who benefited from the numbing effect of the Allied bombardment but by the time 6th Airlanding Brigade came in aboard their gliders, the German anti-aircraft gunners were recovering and, on the DZs, resisting and even counter-attacking the British and Canadian paratroopers. Casualties were heavy, not least because the Airlanding Brigade were gliding in amidst an armoured kampfgruppe. Despite their presence, the glider infantry of the Ox and Bucks and the Ulster Rifles took their bridges and the Devons fought a desperate battle for the key village of Hammelkeln. By evening, despite heavy losses, General Bols's 6th Airborne Division had linked-up with XII Corps, the airborne objectives had been taken and the gateway onto the North German Plain and final victory was open.

Crete - The Airborne Invasion 1941
The invasion was launched to round off Hitler's Balkan Campaign against Crete in May 1941. The Island was important to Britain's control of the Eastern Mediterranean and Churchill was determined that the Island would be held. The British garrison was largely made up of New Zealand and Australian troops who had been evacuated from Greece, with little more that what they stood up in. On the other hand the German Commander, Kurt Student, had overwhelming air superiority, which negated the Allied naval superiority. But the Germans had almost fatally underestimated the number of Allied troops. While British, New Zealand and Australian soldiers, however, showed what they were capable of, the battle for Crete was eventually won through sheer nerve, the confidence of the German soldier in his superiority and the power of the Luftwaffe. That said, the cost in killed and wounded was such that Hitler would never again contemplate another large airborne operation.

Crete - The Airborne Invasion 1941
The invasion was launched to round off Hitler's Balkan Campaign against Crete in May 1941. The Island was important to Britain's control of the Eastern Mediterranean and Churchill was determined that the Island would be held. The British garrison was largely made up of New Zealand and Australian troops who had been evacuated from Greece, with little more that what they stood up in. On the other hand the German Commander, Kurt Student, had overwhelming air superiority, which negated the Allied naval superiority. But the Germans had almost fatally underestimated the number of Allied troops. While British, New Zealand and Australian soldiers, however, showed what they were capable of, the battle for Crete was eventually won through sheer nerve, the confidence of the German soldier in his superiority and the power of the Luftwaffe. That said, the cost in killed and wounded was such that Hitler would never again contemplate another large airborne operation.

Crete - The Airborne Invasion 1941
The invasion was launched to round off Hitler's Balkan Campaign against Crete in May 1941. The Island was important to Britain's control of the Eastern Mediterranean and Churchill was determined that the Island would be held. The British garrison was largely made up of New Zealand and Australian troops who had been evacuated from Greece, with little more that what they stood up in. On the other hand the German Commander, Kurt Student, had overwhelming air superiority, which negated the Allied naval superiority. But the Germans had almost fatally underestimated the number of Allied troops. While British, New Zealand and Australian soldiers, however, showed what they were capable of, the battle for Crete was eventually won through sheer nerve, the confidence of the German soldier in his superiority and the power of the Luftwaffe. That said, the cost in killed and wounded was such that Hitler would never again contemplate another large airborne operation.

Pegasus Bridge And Merville Battery
On D Day, 6th June 1944 the greatest seaborne assault ever was launched against Hitler's Fortress Europe onto the beaches of Normandy. This battlefield guide tells in detail, how these objectives were achieved and relates the battles to the area as it is today. The book contains details of museums, memorials, cemeteries, tours and associated organisations all of which will unravel the history of the area to the visitor and armchair traveller alike.

Calais - Fight to the Finish - May 1940
This is the story of the Battle of Calais, a short but bloody struggle to delay the German advance in May 1940. It is a story of uncertainty, of taut nerves, of heat, dust, raging thirst and hand-to-hand fighting in the narrow streets of the channel port now known to millions of Britons as a gateway to the Continent. The guide will take the visitor beyond the ferry terminal and hypermarkets to reveal the hidden Calais and the actions of individuals and units.

Boulogne - 20 Guards Bridage's Fighting Defence - May 1940
Boulogne ? 23 May, 1940. A town under siege. A rampant German panzer division hammers at its gates. Panic in the street and chaos on the docks. Air Raids. Frightened refugees and dispirited Allied soldiers scramble to escape. Churchill sends battalions of the Irish and the Welsh Guards, to help the French garrison stem the German tide.

Dunkirk: From Disaster to Deliverance - Channel Ports
The miracle of Dunkirk. The defeat that was a triumph. Overwhelmed by the German blitzkreig the British Expeditionary Force somehow extricated itself, less gigantic quantities of equipment and over 300,000 troops, to our island fortress to fight another day. That much is well known. But, as the author fascinatingly reveals, many myths surround the momentous days and hours when Britain's future hung in the balance. There was much more to the Dunkirk story than evacuating the beaches in the little ships and boats. The book also describes the heroic delaying actions at strongpoints such as Cassel, the tragic massacre of Wormhoult/Eschelbeck, the perimeter battles, the role of the RAF and the importance of the Dunkirk Mole, from whence the majority embarked. Patrick Wilson describes the overall strategy that was hastily adopted as well as graphically detailing individual actions. In true Battleground Europe style, this splendid little book is both an essential companion to the visitor to these thoroughly accessible battlefields as well as a rattling good read in the comfort of your home.

Utah Beach - St. Mere Eglise - VII Corps, 32nd & 101st Airbourne Divisions
This major addition to our Battleground WW2 Series covers the U.S airborne and seaborne landings on the Cotentin Peninsula on D-Day 6 June 1944. It tells a dramatic story of near disastrous drops by the U.S 101st (The Screaming Eagles) and 82nd (The All American) Airborne Divisions and how they gallantly regrouped and gained their objectives at St Mere Eglise and Carentan. Meanwhile the 4th U.S Infantry Division were the first American seaborne troops to land (at Utah) followed closely by the 90th Infantry Division.This book graphically describes how these divisions eventually linkedup and succeeded in cutting off the vital port of Cherbourge.The book also describes the 'big picture' leading up to D-Day and is particularly interesting in its revelations about the notorious 'Operation Tiger' when over 700 American troops died during training.


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