Hell, In A Very Small Place

SECOND WORLD WAR OPERATION VARSITY

AS ALLIED GROUND FORCES CROSSED THE RHINE, THEIR ASSAULT WAS COVERED BY THE LARGEST SINGLE AIRBORNE OPERATION IN HISTORY. AMONG THOSE DROPPING, A SINGLE CANADIAN AIRBORNE BATTALION. DR BERND HORN DETAILS THEIR BLOODY BATTLE.

Early days. Calling the manifest at Fort Benning during parachute training. (COURTESY OF THE 1 CDN PARA BN ASSOCIATION ARCHIVES)

The over-crowded briefing hut seemed unnaturally quiet. The assembled British and Canadian paratroop commanders waited anxiously for the briefing on their next operation. They would not be disappointed. “Gentlemen,”bellowed Brigadier James Hill, the wellrespected commander of 3rd Parachute Brigade, “the artillery support is fantastic! And if you are worried about the kind of reception you’ll get, just put yourself in the place of the enemy.”

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