The Day the Devils Dropped In (Pen & Sword 2002) deals with the 9th Parachute Battalion’s epic D-Day assault on the Merville Gun Battery, which had to be silenced before the landings on SWORD Beach commenced. The subsequent week’s ferocious fighting by the Battalion on the Breville Ridge is also described. Their defence of this ridge at the Chateau St Come was crucial in preventing the Germans from capturing the all-important bridges across the Caen Canal (Pegasus Bridge) and River Orne.
‘The Devils’ took five years of research and is therefore a detailed account of the events, but related in the words of the men who were actually there. Every avenue of information has been followed, be it the interviewing of survivors, locating testimony by those who have passed away (both audio and written), walking the battlefields, plus analysis of photographic and film evidence. Consequently, the book goes further into the subject than any other published information and is unique in its ability to put the reader ‘on the ground’ with the men themselves.
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