Sky Warriors

Sky Warriors: British Airborne Forces in the Second World War

Military History , Second World War
Hardback Published on: 25/04/2024
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Drawing on archives, unpublished diaries and interviews, historian Saul David tells the story of the legendary Red Devils. Beginning as a single parachute battalion, they grew into three 10,000 strong airborne divisions and, wearing their distinctive maroon berets, would fight in every theatre of war. A riveting narrative taking us from Sicily to the Far East.


From bestselling historian Saul David, a riveting new history of the British airborne experience across the Second World War.

The legendary ‘Red Devils’ were among the finest combat troops of the Second World War. Created at Churchill’s instigation in June 1940, they began as a single parachute battalion of 500 men and grew into three 10,000-strong airborne divisions: the 1st, 6th and 44th Indian, each composed of parachutists and glider-borne troops.

Wearing their distinctive maroon berets, steel helmets and Dennison smocks, they served with distinction in every major theatre of the conflict – including North Africa, Sicily, mainland Europe and the Far East. They played a starring role in some most iconic airborne operations in history: the Bruneval Raid of February 1942; the capture of the Primasole, Pegasus and Arnhem Bridges in July 1943, June 1944 and September 1944 respectively; and Operation Varsity, the biggest parachute drop in history, near Wesel in Germany in March 1945.

Sky Warriors is an accomplished act of storytelling; authoritative, far-reaching and deeply moving. Building the narrative from the ground-up, Saul David draws on multiple archives, published memoirs, unpublished diaries and letters, and interviews with participants. The end result is a dramatic narrative of the airborne forces’ recruitment, training and wartime exploits.

This is the first time the complete wartime story of the British airborne forces has been told.

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ISBN: 9780008522162
  • Number of pages: 576
  • Weight: 720g
  • Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 55 mm

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