Adolf Hitler fought in the First World War and in June 1940 he went on a whistle-stop tour of his WW1 battlefields. There is no written record of the itinerary but by analysing the uncaptioned rolls of film taken during each day, Jean Paul Pallud has painstakingly established the routes Hitler followed, producing a fascinating "After the Battle" feature which opens this 30th bound volume of our magazine. The ten-man Royal Marine operation against German shipping in Bordeaux harbour in December 1942 - which has become known as the "Cockleshell Heroes Raid" - is detailed in an extensive feature retracing the 75-mile route taken by the canoes up the River Gironde. Now, a 100-mile walking trail, based on the escape route of the two survivors, has been established as a memorial to those who never returned. In August 1944, the River Seine, with all 24 bridges between Paris and the sea having been destroyed, was a major obstacle which had to be crossed by Allied forces. Jean Paul Pallud outlines the problems facing American, Canadian and British forces, and traces the various river crossing sites used to continue the advance.
The Special Air Service - the famed SAS - has an enviable reputation for daring operations but it all went wrong at Sennecey-le-Grand in September 1944. Jean Pierre Garnier tells the story of the plan to drop French paratroops behind enemy lines to establish forward bases in eastern France, and the battle which followed. And in September 2002 a further 96 names were added to the SAS memorial in the town. Other features in this volume include two examples of deaths by friendly fire, one resulting in the loss of the top-scoring American fighter ace George Preddy on Christmas Day 1944. We also cover the low-level Focke-Wulf raid on the RAF rehabilitation hospital in Torquay in 1942 and the crash of a Halifax in the centre of Amsterdam in 1943.
The preservation of the control tower at Twinwood Farm has at last been achieved as a memorial to Glenn Miller who departed from the Bedfordshire airfield on his last flight; a crucial battle by the 51st (Highland) Division is described in Holland; the Allied Prison is visited in the British zone of occupation in Germany; a Kriegsmarine radio interception post covered in Belgium, and we trace the last footsteps of a missing American paratrooper in the Netherlands. Plus a round-up by the Editor of interesting follow-ups to previous issues.