Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II's Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany

Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II's Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany

by James M. Fenelon
Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II's Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany

Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II's Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany

by James M. Fenelon

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Overview

“Compellingly chronicles one of the least studied great episodes of World War II with power and authority…A riveting read” (Donald L. Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Masters of the Air) about World War II’s largest airborne operation—one that dropped 17,000 Allied paratroopers deep into the heart of Nazi Germany.

On the morning of March 24, 1945, more than two thousand Allied aircraft droned through a cloudless sky toward Germany. Escorted by swarms of darting fighters, the armada of transport planes carried 17,000 troops to be dropped, via parachute and glider, on the far banks of the Rhine River. Four hours later, after what was the war’s largest airdrop, all major objectives had been seized. The invasion smashed Germany’s last line of defense and gutted Hitler’s war machine; the war in Europe ended less than two months later.

Four Hours of Fury follows the 17th Airborne Division as they prepare for Operation Varsity, a campaign that would rival Normandy in scale and become one of the most successful and important of the war. Even as the Third Reich began to implode, it was vital for Allied troops to have direct access into Germany to guarantee victory—the 17th Airborne secured that bridgehead over the River Rhine. And yet their story has until now been relegated to history’s footnotes.

In this viscerally exciting account, paratrooper-turned-historian James Fenelon “details every aspect of the American 17th Airborne Division’s role in Operation Varsity...inspired” (The Wall Street Journal). Reminiscent of A Bridge Too Far and Masters of the Air, Four Hours of Fury does for the 17th Airborne what Band of Brothers did for the 101st. It is a captivating, action-packed tale of heroism and triumph spotlighting one of World War II’s most under-chronicled and dangerous operations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501179396
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/13/2024
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 449
Sales rank: 114,863
File size: 50 MB
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About the Author

James M. Fenelon served for twelve years in the military and is a graduate of the US Army’s Airborne, Jumpmaster, and Pathfinder schools. His next book after Four Hours of Fury is Angels Against the Sun: A WWII Saga of Grunts, Grit, and Brotherhood, which tells the story of the 11th Airborne Division’s campaign through the Pacific and that division’s eventual landing in Japan in the vanguard of the Allied occupation forces. An alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin, Fenelon lives with his wife in Texas. For more information, visit JamesFenelon.com.

Read an Excerpt

Four Hours of Fury

Table of Contents

List of Diagrams and Maps xiii

Parachute Infantry Regiment (December 1944) Table of Organization xiv

Prologue xv

Part I December 1944-March 1945

1 "Where in the hell is everybody at?" 5

2 The Spartan 22

3 Thunder from Heaven 39

4 Deliberate and Disciplined 55

5 "Fifty percent of two is one" 68

6 Every Hour a Gift 86

7 Sequitis Bastatii 100

8 Secret Destinations 123

9 "Satanic plan of annihilation" 146

10 "Two if by sea" 158

Part II March 24, 1945

11 "Good hunting" 179

12 "Let's go!" 197

13 "The Yanks are coming!" 218

14 "Now is when you pray" 238

15 "I shall fear no evil" 260

16 "Are they going to shoot us now?" 268

17 "A very dirty business" 277

18 "We had luck with us" 291

19 "Organized resistance has now ceased" 306

20 "This is a pursuit" 321

Epilogue 339

Acknowledgments 343

Abbreviations 349

Notes 351

Selected Sources 393

Index 405

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