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Formed at the personal insistence of Winston Churchill after the Nazi Blitzkrieg of Western Europe, the Parachute Regiment quickly acquired a formidable reputation as tough, fearless soldiers; it was the Germans themselves who christened then the 'Red Devils'. More than 10,000 men of the Parachute Regiment took part in some of the most desperate actions of the Second World War. In the 'savage wars of peace' following 1934, the Paras have never been out of action.
John Parker is the author of several internationally successful books on military history, including SBS: The Inside Story of the Special Boat Service, The Gurkhas and Death of a Hero: Captain Robert Nairac GC and the Undercover War in Northern Ireland (Metro) which Frederick Forsyth called an extraordinary story of the death of a very brave young man and a tragedy of our times.