In the midst of the Second World War, the Germans introduced a new kind of warfare that had never been seen before, featuring a new kind of soldier: the paratrooper. The public and military alike were astonished by the feats of daring and martial prowess displayed by the intrepid troops, who soon became the epitome of the modern combat soldier.
The Allies countered by setting up their own airborne forces. In Canada, 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion was established to serve as the "tip of the spear" of Allied attacks. In fact, it was this battalion that was first into Normandy for the D-Day invasion.
Tip of the Spear tells in stunning black-and-white pictures the story of the Battalion from its inception in 1942 to its disbandment in 1945. Without question, the Battalion - or more accurately, its members - laid the foundation and established the airborne legacy that other Canadian airborne establishments could proudly follow and build on.
Lieutenant-Colonel Bernd Horn is the Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. He is the honorary historian for both the Canadian Airborne Forces Museum and the Airborne Regiment Association of Canada.
Michel Wyczynski has worked in the National Archives of Canada for the past 23 years, primarily in political and military archives. He is the honorary archivist for the Canadian Airborne Forces Museum, Airborne Regiment Association of Canada, as well as the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association.
"thumbing through this pictorial chronicle feels like looking at someone's personal photo album." - The Examiner (Peterborough, ON)
"stunning photographs give this book a broad appeal." - Comox Valley Record
"For an insight into a war-raised battalion, and as a model of how to publish historic photographs, this book has few equals. For students of airborne forces uniform and equipment, it is a must." - Society for Army Historical Research Journal, Vol. lXXX1, No. 328
"offers a good mix of both training and "in action" photos, casual snaps and formal portraits." - Daily News (Halifax, NS)
"I think of Tip of the Spear as a sort of reverse Father's Day present. As a childless man, it is the only Father's Day gift I've ever been given." - Vancouver Sun
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