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Airborne warfare reached its peak during World War II--the only war in which the potential gains of using airborne tactics ever justified the great costs, both material and human. The revolutionary developments in tactics and equipment meant that whole divisions could now be inserted behind enemy lines to initiate surprise attacks. However, the risks taken by these brave soldiers, both Allied and Axis, cannot be overstated, with horrific losses suffered by both sides.
This book gives an overview of airborne warfare during World War II, looking not only at the German, American and British paratroopers involved in the war, covering their recruitment, training, tactics and battle conduct, but also taking an in-depth look at the battles they fought. Covering Operation Mercury--the German assault on the island of Crete in 1941 and the first strategic use of airborne forces in history--the tragic British attack on Arnhem in 1944 and the American airborne assault near Utah Beach on D-Day, this book traces the evolution of airborne warfare throughout the war and gives an insight into the experiences of the brave men who dropped into battle.