AIRBORNE INVASION by John Hetherington


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Too bad this is so late, for the Battle of Crete begins to seem like ancient history. For the record, this book is needed -- and the author has done a good job. But for the general public, it wont be easy to sell the idea of a minutely detailed narrative, complete down to disposition of man power and machine power, tactics, strategy and practically blow by blow parrying of an overwhelming force. Freyberg's army was defeated, but Crete was lost long before May, 1941, ""in the years when Britain's so-called leaders were selling Abyesinia, Spain and Czechoslovakia down the river"". The value of the book at this moment is its close-up picture of parachute troops in action, of airborne infantry and supplies, of the meticulous planning that showed itself in the careful coordination of air and land forces, the complete planning of a campaign that proved not quite so easy as the German leaders expected. Hetherington is an Australian war correspondent (his story closely parallels the fictional record of that campaign, Signed with their Honour, also written by an Australian). But Hetherington is anxious to give all credit due for a grim and courageous fight against odds. Possibly similar action is in the offing; possible Crete will soon again be in the news. If such is the case, this is your book. Its appeal will be largely a matter of timing.

Pub Date: July 23rd, 1943
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce