Glider pilots at Arnhem

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by CAARPS, Jan 18, 2010.

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    I have recently come across this book and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the events of Operation MARKET.

    The Authors are Maj Mike Peters AAC who I believe is still serving and Luuk Buist a Dutch civilian who comes from Arnhem and has spent years researching the battle and interviewing survivors.

    The book tells the story of the operation through the eyes of the pilots (and others) that fought the length and breadth of the battlefield embedded into or fighting alongside every unit represented.

    It also provides an insight to GPR training and ethos and has some good technical detail on establishments and manifests as well as listing the casualties, POW and a list of all members of the Regt who received an award.

    In my opinion a mighty fine read, has anyone else read it, if so thoughts?
  2. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a former glider pilot at a BLESMA lunch in 2005. A truly fascinating gentleman; he had volunteered for the RAF and was drafted to fly bombers. During his training in Canada, his intake was told in mid 1944 that they had enough bomber crews and wanted volunteers to transfer for glider pilot duties. He volunteered, transfered and undertook training. His first and only operation was Op VARSITY: the Rhine crossing. He crash-landed his glider and lost both legs at the knee when the jeep he was carrying broke free on impact and kept going as the glider came to an abrupt stop. That was his war. He joked that his flying logbook was a little thin. He was a truly inspirational gentleman
  3. Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory:

    "the greatest feat of flying of the second world war"

    Not said of a RAF or RN pilot, but a Glider Pilot, Staff Sergeant Jim Wallwark DFM, after his precision flying, at night, on Operation Deadstick, the capture of the bridges over the River Orne and the Caen Canal on D-Day. He went on to fight off repeated German counter-attacks.

    Jim Wallwork flew gliders in every major British airborne operation of the second world war. These also included the Sicily Landings, Arnhem and the Rhine Crossings.

    Just goes to show the calibre of those men
  4. Dame Barbara Cartland of Mills and Boon books was instrumental in getting gliding introduced to the Army. She was the one who pushed for gliders as a troop delivery system.

    Strange what you find out.
  5. That is a very interesting and some what amazing find armadillo! who would have ever thought it! :?
  6. Cartland took an interest in the early gliding movement. Although aerotowing for launching gliders first occurred in Germany, she thought of long distance tows in 1931 and did a 200-mile (360 km) tow in a two-seater glider. The idea led to troop-carrying gliders. In 1984, she was awarded the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award for this contribution

    During the Second World War Barbara Cartland was Chief Lady Welfare Officer in Bedfordshire looking after 20,000 service men and women. She had the idea of gathering as many wedding dresses as she could for hire, so that service brides would have a white dress to wear on their wedding day. She bought 1,000 second hand gowns without coupons for the ATS, the WAAFS and the WRENS and made many brides’ big day, very special. In 1945 Barbara Cartland received the Certificate of Merit from Eastern Command.
  7. What a fantastic story, thank you for that LC. Arrse certaintly does surprise. Eccentric and good hearted lady, we dont see that too often nowadays.

  8. Cartland's brothers were killed in France in 1940. Ronald Cartland joined the Territorial Army in 1937. By August 1939, he was a lieutenant in the Worcestershire and Oxfordshire Yeomanry. When the Germans invaded Holland, Belgium and France in May 1940, the now Major Cartland was serving in the 53rd Anti-Tank Regiment, (The Worcestershire Yeomanry) Royal Artillery. The unit was assigned to defend the town of Cassel, a hilltop site near one of the main roads leading to the Channel port of Dunkirk, France. Cartland and his men held off the Germans for nearly four days, from 27 May to 29 May.

    On the evening of 29 May, Cartland and his unit split up, and joined the retreating British Expeditionary Force heading towards Dunkirk. On 30 May 1940, while reconnoitring his position from a ditch, he was shot and killed during the retreat to Dunkirk