Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944 by Stephen E. Ambrose

By Stephen E. Ambrose

Within the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German safeguard forces and cleared the path for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge used to be the 1st engagement of D-Day, the turning aspect of worldwide warfare II. This gripping account of it by means of acclaimed writer Stephen Ambrose brings to lifestyles a bold project so the most important that, had it been unsuccessful, the whole Normandy invasion may need failed. Ambrose strains every one step of the arrangements over many months to the minute-by-minute pleasure of the hand-to-hand confrontations at the bridge. this can be a tale of heroism and cowardice, kindness and brutality -- the stuff of all nice adventures.

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Extra resources for Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944

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If he ran into a tree, or an anti-glider pole, he would be dead, his passengers too injured or stunned to carry out their task. And the parachute worried him, too. It was in the back of the glider, held in place by Corporal Bailey. Wallwork had agreed to add the parachute at the last minute, because his Horsa was so overloaded and Howard refused to remove one more round of ammunition. The idea was that the arrester parachute would provide a safer, quicker stop. Wallwork feared that it would throw him into a nose-dive.

Lieutenant Brotheridge released his safety belt and leaned forward to open the door in front of them. The door slid up into the roof of the glider and Brotheridge accomplished this in one hefty swoop. It was a dicey business because Howard and Sergeant Oilis were hanging on to Brotheridge's equipment, and when the job was done, Brotheridge slumped back into his seat with a sigh of relief. Looking down, once the door was open, the men could see nothing but cloud. Still they grinned at each other, recalling the fifty-franc bet they had made as to who would be the first out of the glider.

These operations ran into heavy German opposition, but they did not put a significant strain on enemy manpower. Nor did they seriously weaken Germany's capacity to make war: indeed, German factories were producing tanks and guns at record rates by the spring of 1944. And their guns and tanks were the best in the world - as well they might be, given the Nazis' ability to draw on the expertise and resources of all Europe. In short, the Allied operations in the Mediterranean during 1942 and 1943 were more important for their political than their military results.

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