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.
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. Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK. 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. Born in Malaya in 1949, Alan Gilliland studied photography/film and architecture, and has worked as a photojournalist and cartoonist. He also spent 18 years as the graphics editor of The Daily Telegraph, winning 19 awards in that time, including numerous UK Press Awards. He now writes, illustrates and publishes fiction (www.ravensquill.com), as well as illustrating for a variety of publishers (including Osprey, the Penguin Group, Brown Reference Group, Ivy Group and Aurum), architects and developers, such as John McAslan (Olympic Energy Centre) and Kit Martin (Prince Charles' Phoenix Trust advisor on historic buildings). www.alangilliland.com