The Silent Attack

The Fallschirmjäger capture the bridges of Veldwezelt, Vroenhoven and Kanne 1940

Óscar González, Thomas Steinke, Ian Tannahill

 
Date Published :
June 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
Illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781781593851
Pages : 368
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$39.95

Overview
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Much has been written about the capture of Fort Eben Emael Belgium by German paratroopers, on May 10, 1940. This operation marked the first use of gliders and shaped charges, while proved possible drop paratroopers behind enemy lines. The training, secret, accuracy and speed, in addition to the element of surprise, these men became lethal, causing chaos among Belgian soldiers.

However, it should be stressed that these paratroopers were part of a larger group: The Sturmablteilung Koch (Koch Assault Group), the elite of the Luftwaffe in 1940, whose mission was not only to take Eben Emael, but also the three bridges over the Alberto canal near: Veldwezelt, Vroenhoven and Kanne. The success of the attack on Belgium and France would depend on the rapid conquest of those bridges.

The aim of this book is to show how it was planned and carried out the assault on the Albert Canal bridges. All this not only through a supported text documents, records and evidence, but also by many photos never published until now. Every detail, from the creation of the Koch Assault Group, until the final attack, has been closely scrutinized by reference to the best sources, as well as testimonies of Belgian and German soldiers.

About the authors: Óscar González López has a degree in Philosophy and teaches History and Philosophy. As a military historian his research has focused on the Fallschirmjäger as well as the Spanish volunteers in the German Army during the Second World War, through close contact with many former veterans. Amongst other books, he has published Fallschirmjäger at the Gran Sasso and German Paratroops in Scandinavia. He lives in Spain.

Thomas Steinke studied at the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany. He takes part in the 'Volksbund Dr. Kriegsgräberfürsorge', being involved in the search and care of German War graves of the Second World War, as well as in educational activities whose main goal is to improve the mutual and peaceful understanding amongst the European people. The focus of his studies has long been German paratroopers, in particular the members of the Sturmabteilung Koch and the LL-Sturmregiment.

Ian Tannahill holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Queensland, Australia, and is a registered patent and trade mark attorney. His interest in the Fallschirmjäger was sparked by an article he read as a teenager on the fall of the fortress of Eben Emael. His contact with former German paratroopers ignited a desire within Ian to tell the world about the capture of the Albert Kanal bridges by the Fallschirmjäger and glider pilots of Sturmabteilung Koch.

About The Author
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Óscar González López was born in 1969 and is a professor of History and Philosophy. He alternates teaching with historical research, collecting the oral memory of Second World War veterans. He has published several books and articles on German and Allied paratroopers, as well as on Spanish volunteers in the Wehrmacht (Blue Division). Several of his works have been translated into English, German and Norwegian.

REVIEWS
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"The spectacular capture of the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael by a small group of German paratroopers in May 1940 is a story which has been told many times, but often to the detriment of the simultaneous attacks on the neighbouring bridges over the Albert Canal at Velowezelt, Vroenhoven and Kanne. This book reverses that trend, and ignores the fort completely to focus entirely on the planning, capture and defence of these bridges; an operation which, in a matter of hours, swept aside a defensive position which had been intended to delay an entire army for weeks. It is an impressive and beautifully presented book, with a meticulously researched, clear and readable narrative which is generously supported by innumerable photographs, first-hand accounts and a complete list of all those who took part. This must be considered an important addition to the library of airborne literature."

- Pegasus Archive

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