Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge My gaming group is planning on doing some D-Day scenarios with Flames of War, and one of the situations we are planning to game is the British Airborne glider landings at Pegasus Bridge. To that end, I read Stephen Ambrose's excellent book, Pegasus Bridge.

Like his other books, the most famous of which is probably Band of Brothers, Pegasus Bridge is full of personal anecdotes that Mr. Ambrose got directly from participants (on both sides) during numerous interviews. It is one thing to study a historical event, and read that so-and-so did such and that. But to hear the individual tell what he did, in his own words, and from his own point of view, really brings the events in the book to life.

I knew the basic story behind the British mission to take the bridge from prior books, but the details in this book really gave the story an added dimension. From reading about Maj. Howard's fixation with physical fitness, to the way in which Howard trained his soldiers for night operations, to the training regimen followed by the glider pilots to prepare for that epic night, the book is full of information that, if anything, make the events of June 6, 1944, much more real.

In summary, I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in World War II history, and certainly it is a must-read for anyone planning on recreating this mission in miniature.

Now, back to carving some more Horsas - since due to this book I know I need a total of five, since the sixth landed far off at the wrong bridge and did not play a part in this mission.
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