This tour covers the Market-Garden Operation in September 1944, which was an attempt to lay an airborne carpet of parachute and glider landings across the last major remaining waterways barring access to the Germany’s industrialized Ruhr.
This tour deals with the human story of D-Day on 6 June 1944 and the Paris insurrection and liberation the following August. It explores what it was like to parachute in the night skies over Normandy, land by glider behind enemy lines, climb the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and wade ashore on the British and American beaches under fire.
The magazine offers a ‘then and now’ historical perspective of three battles fought against superior odds. It includes Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Bighorn in 1876, the heroic defence of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879, and the epic siege of the British paratrooper enclave at Oosterbeek outside Arnhem in 1944. ‘Stands’ are identified at each location where readers can position themselves and read contemporary descriptions of what happened to soldiers at that precise spot during the battle. ‘Battlefield Detective’ articles expose the latest scientific and archaeological findings to debunk myths or offer forensic investigative comment and how accurately Hollywood presented these epic events is examined.
This is the story told from the human perspective how military men adapted Leonardo Da Vinci’s parachute ‘umbrella’ and glider concept as a means of going to battle. Different countries evolved their own personalized approaches to airborne warfare and these are examined through the individual experiences of those that pioneered them. Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were at the forefront of translating this into military reality.
Arnhem was a resounding defeat for the British, but in human endurance terms, the stuff of legend. Press glamorization at the time laid the basis for a ‘legend’ upheld by Allied historians for years. Exhaustive research of the few remaining German post-operational reports corroborated by numerous contemporary eye-witness accounts revealed a new perspective. This was how the battle appeared to the ordinary German soldier, from private to battalion commander level. Kershaw interviewed many veteran participants throughout Germany.