British Paratrooper 1940–45

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Books, World War II

9781472805126Inspired by the exploits of the German Fallschirmjäger in the blitzkrieg campaigns, Winston Churchill called for the formation of a 5,000-strong Airborne Force in June 1940. From these beginnings The Parachute Regiment became one of the foremost units of the British Army both in World War II and up to the present day.

This new history of the British Paratrooper, from 1940 to 1945, details the unique training, weapons and equipment used by these elite troops.  This book is exceptionally well-paced; hitting the ground running and giving you a true crash course in the life and history of the British Paratrooper.  A wealth of material brings the history of the ordinary paratrooper to life – helped by the author’s (Rebecca Skinner) position as a former curator of the Regimental Museum.

Royal_Marine_Commandos_attached_to_3rd_Division_for_the_assault_on_Sword_Beach_move_through_Colleville-sur-Orne_on_their_way_to_relieve_forces_at_Pegasus_BSkinner manages to strike a really nice balance between a historical overview of the subject, and some in-depth personal anecdotes.  This not only covers all bases, but it also makes it a really well-paced read.  The anecdotes and personal stories are especially engaging, and vital for a book like this, where it is the individuals and their action that make up the history.

Illustrations and photographs illuminate the equipment and combat performance of the elite ‘Paras’ in the context of some of the most significant campaigns of World War II, including D-Day and Operation Market-Garden – and they are truly excellent.

British_Paratroops_inside_one_of_the_C-47_transport_aircraftThis is a truly excellent Osprey book, and recommended to WWII gamers and enthusiasts of the period.  Hope to hear more from Rebecca Skinner in the future.

British Paratrooper 1940–45 is available now.


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