By Stephen E. Ambrose
Within the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German security forces and lead the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge used to be the 1st engagement of D-Day, the turning aspect of worldwide struggle II. This gripping account of it via acclaimed writer Stephen Ambrose brings to existence a bold venture so an important that, had it been unsuccessful, the complete Normandy invasion may need failed. Ambrose strains each one step of the arrangements over many months to the minute-by-minute pleasure of the hand-to-hand confrontations at the bridge. it is 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
They were back in Oxford, living near a factory, and he hoped there were no bombing raids that night. Beside Howard sat Lieutenant Den Brotheridge, whose wife was pregnant and due to deliver any day (five other men in the company had pregnant wives back in England). Howard had talked Brotheridge into joining the Ox and Bucks, and had selected his platoon for the no. 1 glider because he thought Brotheridge and his platoon about the best in his company. Another reason was that they were mostly Londoners like himself.
The pilot, twenty-four-year-old Staff Sergeant Jim Wall-work, of the Glider Pilot Regiment, anticipated casting off any second now that he had seen the surf breaking over the Norman coast. Beside him his co-pilot, Staff Sergeant John Ainsworth, was concentrating intensely on his stop watch. ' Howard suffered from air sickness and had vomited on every training flight. This flight, however, was an exception. Like his men, he had not been in combat before, but the prospect seemed to calm him more than it shook him.
Gale decided to drop his division east of the Orne River, about five to seven miles inland, in the low ground between the Orne and the River Dives. The main body would gather in and around the village of Ranville, and would guard the bridges over the Orne Canal and River. Specially-trained companies would capture and destroy the four bridges over the River Dives, then fall back on Ranville; others would destroy the German battery at Merville. Central to Gale's plan was taking and holding the bridges over the Orne waterways, without which the 6th Airborne would be unable to receive tanks, trucks, and other equipment from the beaches.