50 Operation Tonga: The British Airborne on D-Day

In this episode I’m looking at Operation Tonga, the British airborne element that led the way during the D-Day landings in 1944.

I’m joined by Stephen Wright.

Stephen is keenly interested in the operation, an operation his uncle was killed taking part in. For the last twenty years he’s been researching the airborne, and particularly the use of Gliders during the closing years of the war.

Operation Tonga: The Glider Assault: 6 June 1944
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** This e-book edition contains 32 black-and-white photographs **Operation Tonga - The Glider Assault: 6 June 1944 is an account of the Glider Pilot Regiment's role in Operation Tonga, the first stage of the airborne assault in the Normandy landings in June 1944. The story is told through the eyes oh the eyes of those who were there - glider pilots, paratroopers, pathfinders, tug crews and passengers - and covers the operation from training through to evacuations after D-Day. Operation Tonga was vital to the success of D-Day and included the now famous attacks on the Merville Battery and the bridges over the Orne River and Caen Canal. The equally important, though less well known, part of the operation was to provide an anti-tank screen to protect the southern and eastern flanks of the invasion beaches from German counter attacks. The account includes stories of crew who evaded capture by the Germans and pays tribute to the help they received from local resistance fighters. The contribution of the nine gliders which took part in the 'Coup de Main' landings has been well-documented, but of the other eighty-nine gliders which took part, little has been written. Operation Tonga - The Glider Assault: 6 June 1944 tells the full story.

** This e-book edition contains 32 black-and-white photographs **

His book, co-authored with Bill Shannon, Operation Tonga brings to the reader first hand accounts of that night. Stephen is also involved with a new feature film True Valour, you can follow its progress here on Facebook and for more information the website is truevalourmovie.com.