Mark Urban

Red Devils

Red Devils

The Trailblazers of the Paras in World War Two


In this gripping, authorised account, bestselling historian Mark Urban tells the story of the wartime creation and development of Britain's elite airborne infantry - who ranged from circus performers to solicitors, policemen to gravediggers, Christians and Jews to communists.

Through the fates of six men - including recently widowed Geoffrey Pine-Coffin, who had to leave his little boy at home to head to the front, and Mike Lewis, whose photographs became iconic images of war - Urban vividly shows what it took to succeed in this new regiment. All six men would shed blood for their country in daring actions at D-Day, Arnhem and across the Second World War; two would not survive, and one would face disgrace.

Based on deep archival research, British and German sources and new material from the men's families, Urban's unvarnished history is a compelling and moving depiction of the highs and lows of battle.