Saturday, 3 August 2013

pegasus bridge

In March I finished Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E Ambrose. I read Band of Brothers after watching the tv series, and have picked up most of his other WWII ones since then, but this was the first of all those others which I've read, which is ridiculous, since I thought Band of Brothers was excellent, and this was excellent too. Covers the planning, recruitment, training for and execution of the first operation on D-Day, the capture of a bridge by glider-borne paratroopers, a lot based on interviews with people involved. It was excellent for showing the detail - the minor incidents and decisions on which much bigger events turn, the ordinariness of the people involved, how there was no telling how people would perform in combat from what they were like in training (or civilian life). They were whittled down, even in the closing weeks having a small number of men removed so that each glider could carry more equipment, and yet when they were boarding the gliders one man deserted at that last moment, running away into the night, and others were paralysed by fear once there. I won't leave it so long till I read another one. (I've noted other things from the book, and might get around to noting them here.)