Churchill's Letter

Following Churchill's wishes for "a corps of at least 5,000 parachute troops, suitably organised and equipped" a Parachute Training School was established at Ringway Airport near Manchester, and No 2 Commando was chosen for the first training in parachute duties; the regiment quickly growing into the 11th Special Air Service Battalion and ultimately, on the 1st August 1942, the Parachute Regiment. By the end of World War Two, the Regiment comprised 17 battalions.

Churchill’s letter to General Ismay dated June 22nd 1940:

We ought to have a corps of at least 5,000 parachute troops, including a proportion of Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians, together with some trustworthy people from Norway and France. I see more difficulty in selecting and employing Danes, Dutch and Belgians. I hear something is being done already to form such a corps but only I believe on a very small scale. Advantage must be taken of the summer to train three forces, who can, none the less, play their part meanwhile as shock troops in home defences. Prey let me have a note from the War Office on the subject.

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