Air War Varsity

The author has established an impressive portfolio of aviation histories and established a loyal following of readers. This new book is a worthy addition to the portfolio and covers the story of the use of airborne troops in very large numbers during the closing stages of war in Europe – most highly recommended.


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NAME: Air War Varsity
FILE: R2639
AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  256
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, 
airborne troops, transport aircraft, drop zone, DZ, C-46, C-47, 
C-54, paratroops, light infantry, Rhine Crossing, closing stages 
of WWII, air support

ISBN: 1-47386-310-4

IMAGE: B2639.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ya9cr6u9
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author has established an impressive portfolio of 
aviation histories and established a loyal following of readers. 
This new book is a worthy addition to the portfolio and covers the 
story of the use of airborne troops in very large numbers during 
the closing stages of war in Europe  – most highly recommended.

There has always been some animated debate as to which country 
invented airborne forces. Certainly, the Soviets were early 
pioneers, although many of their airborne troops were required to 
slide off the wings of their transport aircraft without the benefit 
of a parachute. The Germans were also early pioneers but they took 
a different line, equipping all paratroops with parachutes and 
developing glider transports that could serve as assault gliders 
to deliver groups of soldiers directly into a target area, equipping 
gliders with machine guns and constructing larger machines that 
could carry heavy equipment including artillery and half-tracks. As 
the war progressed, the Germans then started adding engines to their 
gliders to allow reuse of the airframes and take some of the burden 
off the hard pressed metal transport planes, Ju-52 tri-motors and 
converted bombers.

However, the Soviets made little use of paratroops and the Germans 
suffered such high casualties in the battle for Crete that their 
paratroops were thereafter used as elite ground troops. It was the 
Allies, Americans and British, who developed airborne forces into 
large formations that were deployed to support land forces  in major 
assaults from the air.

Operation Varsity-Plunder was to see the combined use of large 
airborne forces combined with amphibious forces to undertake a major 
frontal assault on the German ground troops fighting for their home 
soil. This was an ambitious airborne attack that was not without its 
challenges, one being to maintain the flow of supplies after the 
initial drop. The failure at Arnheim, during Operation Market Garden, 
had taught some costly but valuable lessons that contributed to the 
successful bridging of the last barrier before the German heart lands.

The author has as usual written well from careful research and 
provided a detailed account of Varsity. There are two first rate 
photo plate sections to support the very descriptive text, including 
many rare images