Overview

In early May 1940, the fortress of Eben Emael was a potent sentinel over the Belgian–Dutch borderlands. The fortress covered 75 hectares on the surface, had 5km of tunnels underground and was studded with bunkers, gun turrets and casemates. Add a garrison of 1,200 men and the natural protection of 60m-high canal walls, and Eben Emael gave the impression of near-impregnability. Yet on 10 May just 78 elite airborne soldiers managed to defeat this fortress in an operation of unprecedented tactical skill. Deployed by...
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The Fall of Eben Emael - Belgium 1940

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Overview

In early May 1940, the fortress of Eben Emael was a potent sentinel over the Belgian–Dutch borderlands. The fortress covered 75 hectares on the surface, had 5km of tunnels underground and was studded with bunkers, gun turrets and casemates. Add a garrison of 1,200 men and the natural protection of 60m-high canal walls, and Eben Emael gave the impression of near-impregnability. Yet on 10 May just 78 elite airborne soldiers managed to defeat this fortress in an operation of unprecedented tactical skill. Deployed by glider onto the very top of the fortifications, they utilized elite training, fast movement and specialist explosives to destroy many of the gun positions and trap much of the garrison within the fortress. Simultaneously, three other assault detachments conducted high-risk glider operations to capture critical bridges over the Albert Canal. By the end of 11 May, following the arrival of German infantry reinforcements, Eben Emael was in German hands. This Eben Emael RAID title tells the complete, fascinating story of this unique action.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Blow-by-blow discussions of tactics and the operation's movements make this a solid addition to any military strategy holding."
- The Midwest Book Review (May 2013)

"Chris McNab is an impressive author, who demonstrates a clear mastery of the subject. In addition, the book is very well-written, maintaining its cohesion despite the shifting scenes of action. It is a rousing story of "fortune favors the bold," and is highly recommended."
- Coast Defense Journal (Vol 27, Issue 2)

"The book is a super story of [the fall of Eben Emael], including what lead up to it and the results of the experience. It gave the German paratroop corps a feeling of near invincibility, a feeling that faded after the near debacle at Crete, but not completely as these men, while never doing a large scale drop again, were quite successful in other smaller actions during the war. It makes for a riveting story of an event for which we all know the outcome, but is told here in the sort of detail we have not often had. A great read and one that I can most highly recommend."
- Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (March 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780962634
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Series: Raid, #38
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 424,382
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Chris McNab is an author and editor specializing in military history and military technology. To date he has published more than 40 books, including A History of the World in 100 Weapons (2011), Deadly Force (2009) and Tools of Violence (2008). He is the contributing editor of Hitler’s Armies: A History of the German War Machine 1939–45 (2011) and Armies of the Napoleonic Wars (2009). Chris has also written extensively for major encyclopedia series, magazines and newspapers, and he lives in South Wales, UK.
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