The Fall of Eben Emael - Belgium, 1940

The Fall of Eben Emael - Belgium, 1940

Paperback Raid

By (author) Chris McNab, Illustrated by Peter Dennis, Illustrated by Mark Stacey

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  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 80 pages
  • Dimensions: 182mm x 246mm x 10mm | 280g
  • Publication date: 19 February 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Osprey
  • ISBN 10: 1780962614
  • ISBN 13: 9781780962610
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (chiefly col.)
  • Sales rank: 179,510

Product description

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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Author information

Chris McNab is an author and editor. To date he has published over 25 books, including Twentieth Century Small Arms (2001), Gunfighters -The Outlaws and their weapons (2005, contributing editor), The Personal Security Handbook (2003), The Encyclopedia of Combat Techniques (2002) and The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War (2000). He is the co-author of Tools of Violence (2008) and has recently completed Deadly Force (2009), both for Osprey. Chris has also written extensively for major encyclopedia series, including African-American Biographies (2006), USA 1950s (2006) and Reformation, Exploration and Empire (2005), and has contributed to The Times on the war in Iraq. Mark Stacey was born in Manchester in 1964 and has been a freelance illustrator since 1987. He has a lifelong interest in all periods of history, particularly military history, and has specialised in this area throughout his career. He now lives and works in Cornwall.

Review quote

"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)

Table of contents

Introduction/ Origins/ Initial Strategy/ The Plan/ The Raid/ Analysis/ Conclusion/ Further Reading