The Last Drop: Operation Varsity March 24-25 1945 - Stephen L. WrightMechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2008, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good+ — in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper.
Includes: Black & white photographs; Maps; Appendices (5);
From the cover: “In March 1945 Allied forces prepared for the final drive into Germany to end World War II. Standing in their way were the Rhine River and, on the opposite bank, desperate German defenders ready to fight to the last man.
Operation Varsity — the last major airborne assault of World War II and the largest airborne assault of all time — began on the morning of March 24 when a fleet of Allied transport planes took off from air bases in France and England. In addition to towing more than 1,300 gliders, the planes carried some 17,000 paratroopers from two Allied divisions — the Red Devils of the British 6th Airborne Division and the Thunder from Heaven of the U.S. 17th Airborne Division. While the 6th had parachuted into battle on D-Day, the 17th had never jumped in combat before. Their mission was to drop behind enemy lines near Wesel, Germany, and gain a foothold for the Allied ground troops who would soon pour across the Rhine.
The Germans had reinforced the area with antiaircraft artillery and greeted the invading armada with a firestorm of flak. Some Allied planes went down before troops could jump; others burned as paratroopers leapt from them. Upon hitting the ground, the soldiers regrouped, defeated sharp German resistance, and secured their objectives in the fields, forests, and villages around Wesel.
Drawing on war diaries, unit histories, after-action reports, and interviews with veterans, The Last Drop captures Operation Varsity as it was experienced by soldiers in the sky and on the ground, from the horrors of parachuting from a C-46 or flying a glider through bursting artillery fire to the mental and physical punishment of infantry combat.”