Tag: Operation Biting

Pioneering Allied Airborne Operations Recounted

 

The Germans were the first nation to airborne troops in combat, using them decisively in 1939 and 1940.  The British were not far behind, developing their own airborne forces in 1940. They initially used their airborne troops as raiders.

“Churchill’s Shadow Raiders:  The Race to Develop Radar, WWII’s Invisible Secret Weapon,” by Damien Lewis examines the first two combat operations by British paratroopers, Operations Colossus and Biting. It combines these stories with a look at the “Wizard War” – the battle between Britain and Germany for electronics superiority.

Colossus and Biting were intended to smash vital targets unapproachable to soldiers, except by air. Operation Colossus was a February 1941 landing by paratroopers to destroy an aqueduct delivering water to Southern Italy. Operation Biting, in February 1942, was supposed to appear to be a British attempt to destroy a German radar station. In reality, it was to carry off the radar for intelligence analysis.

In this episode, British author and filmmaker Damien Lewis sits down with Dave to discuss his new book, Churchill’s Shadow Raiders: The Race To Develop Radar, WWII’s Secret Invisible Weapon. The discussion (and the book) centers on a Top Secret mission to “snatch and grab,” Adolph Hitler’s prize possession; a rather highly advanced radar that enabled German anti-aircraft guns to decimate British bombers and otherwise run roughshod over anything and anyone that stood between the Third Reich and Hitler’s dreams of conquest. The daring courage and relentless tenacity of fledgling airborne commandos, spurred on by Winston Churchill over the objections of senior government officials, literally saved the war effort and became the genesis of the SAS. It’s a fascinating book, and a riveting conversation that you don’t want to miss.

Dave also welcomes Ricochet Member and Moderator Randy Weivoda onto the program to talk about various happenings with Ricochet Members, including plans for a large Ricochet Member Meet Up, next year in Louisiville, Kentucky.  Interested? Listen for details!