Silent Invaders

Combat Gliders of the Second World War

Gary Best

Combat gliders were called by some as
‘Death Crates', ‘Purple Heart Boxes',
‘Flying Coffins' and ‘Tow Targets.' They
were not pretty and had no graceful
lines. Viewed from the front, they had
a pug nose and a sloping Neanderthal
forehead. Their wings looked like the
heavily starched ears of a jackrabbit
placed at right angles on a canvascovered
fra
Date Published :
June 2022
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Language:
English
Illustration :
64 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781558539
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.15 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$34.95

Overview
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Combat gliders were called by some as ‘Death Crates’, ‘Purple Heart Boxes’, ‘Flying Coffins’ and ‘Tow Targets’. They were not pretty and had no graceful lines. Viewed from the front, they had a pug nose and a sloping Neanderthal forehead. Their wings looked like the heavily starched ears of a jackrabbit placed at right angles on a canvas-covered frame. Twice the length of the body, these wings were eighty-four feet in length, 70 per cent as long as the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight at Kitty Hawk. They could not become airborne, let alone fly, unless assisted by an engine-powered tow plane. And for those riding in the back, it was like flying ‘through the gates of hell’. The men who were trained and assigned to guide gliders into battle were said to be the only pilots who had no motors, armament, parachutes and no second chances. Like the aircraft they commanded, they were called inglorious names such as The Bastards Nobody Wanted, Glider Gladiators in Wooden Chariots; Hybrid Jackasses and Glory Boys. Beautifully written, profoundly illustrated and researched, Silent Invaders: Combat Gliders of the Second World War is a work that is dedicated to those brave men under impossible odds from the British and American servicemen on D-Day, the doomed Operation Market Garden in Holland and Hitler’s radical commando raid to rescue Mussolini.

About The Author
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Gary A. Best earned a PhD from the University of Minnesota and holds rank as Professor Emeritus at California State University, Los Angeles. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan, is the recipient of the Outstanding Professor award of his university and has been named a distinguished alumnus from two colleges. His first book of the Second World War, Belle of the Brawl; Letters Home from a B-17 Bombardier, was a medalist of the Military Writers Society of America.

REVIEWS
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"Best has ensured that the legacy of these little-known and little-understood aircraft has finally been made available to a large audience. The substantial collection of black-and-white photos included adds greatly to the excellent text. Read this one."

- Air & Space Power History

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