This new history of the British Paratrooper, from 1940 to 1945, details the unique training, weapons and equipment used by these elite troops. Inspired 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.
A wealth of first-hand and until now unpublished materials brings the history of the ordinary Para to life, drawing on the author's position as a curator of the Regimental Museum. 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.
Read an extract of British Paratrooper 1940–45
Table of Contents
Introduction /Chronology /Recruitment and Enlistment /Training /Appearance and Equipment /Belief and Belonging /Conditions of Service /Experience of Battle /After the Battle /Collections and Museums/Glossary