From the Publisher
THE seminal study of the Allied large scale airdrops of the Second World War in the European Theater.
“The first combat airborne missions in history were flown by the Germans in 1940. Recognizing the possibilities of such operations, the British and Americans followed suit. The first British mission was flown in February 1941, and the first American mission was flown from England to Oran, Algeria, on 8 November 1942 as part of the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa. Other, later missions, principally in the Mediterranean region, provided the American troop carriers with an apprenticeship in airborne warfare. However, until the summer of 1944 no force larger than a reinforced regimental combat team was flown into action in any Allied mission. In World War II the only Allied airborne operations employing more than one division took place in the invasion of Normandy, the unsuccessful attempt to win a bridgehead across the Rhine at Arnhem, and the successful crossing of the Rhine at Wesel. Consequently the study of airborne missions in the European Theater of Operations is of particular importance for the light it throws on the planning and performance of large-scale airborne assaults.”