Operation Ladbroke 3-D product shot

Operation Ladbroke From Dream to Disaster

Military Gliders
ISBN 1-903953-41-3
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by Alec Waldron
A first hand account of the planning, execution and ultimate failure of the glider assault on Sicily in July 1943.

The abortive gliderborne attack on Sicily in July 1943 is one of the most famous British military failures of the Second World War.

Illustrated by historic photographs, this account by a former member of the Glider Pilot Regiment who was an eyewitness to the planning of this operation and went on to fly one of the gliders involved, contains a wealth of detailed information of significant value to historians, researchers and journalists wanting to know more about this notorious military misadventure, which the author was lucky to survive.

Anybody interested in the history of World War II and in particular in the use of military gliders in airborne assaults will find this a very worthwhile read.

On the night of 9/10 July 1943 a force of 135 Waco gliders, towed by British and US Dakota, Halifax and Albemarle tug aircraft, took off from North Africa to take part in Operation Ladbroke – the first Allied attempt at a mass glider landing in World War II.

The plan was to place a large invasion force on the ground near the town of Syracuse, secure the Ponte Grande Bridge and then take control of the city itself, including its strategically vital docks, as a prelude to the full-scale invasion of Sicily.

Maj-Gen G.F. Hopkinson, GOC 1st Airborne Division and chief architect of the plan, was totally convinced that it would succeed, but his optimism proved unfounded. In practice, the operation went disastrously wrong. Half the gliders ditched into the sea, many lives were lost and only one of the mission’s objectives was accomplished.

The multiplicity of factors which contributed to this military fiasco are discussed here in detail … and author Alec Waldron is uniquely well placed to comment, having not only taken part in the operation as a glider pilot but also having witnessed its planning in his capacity as acting Intelligence Officer of the 1st Battalion Glider Pilot Regiment, his inside knowledge of the planning committee’s activities and first-hand experience of the operation making the contents of this book of great historical interest.

details softback | 140 x 205 mm | 300 pages | b/w photos
genre biography | military history | true war and combat stories | air forces and warfare
keywords World War 2, Glider Pilot Regiment, Sicily