Out in May is Eight Seconds – a new war story written and illustrated by British author Glenn B Fleming which will surely appeal to fans of Commando comics.
In the early hours of 6 June 1944, the British 6th Airborne Division left England in their C-47 aircraft and headed for the French coast. They were the spearhead of the coming invasion of France, a seaborne operation that still ranks as the greatest amphibious assault in history; in the first 24 hours of D-Day, the Allies placed over 150,000 men ashore on the Normandy beaches and the British 6th Airborne were among the first Allied troops to touch French soil that morning.
Eight Seconds is a dramatised account of “Operation Tonga“, the 6th Airborne assault of the Merville Gun Battery on D-Day 6 June 1944, during World War Two. It tells the story of author/artist Glenn B Fleming’s late father, Frank Fleming, then a 19-year-old paratrooper serving in the 3rd Brigade, 9th Battalion as he and his colleagues head out into almost certain capture, if not certain death. Their mission was vital; if the guns were not silenced, they would kill and maim hundreds, if not thousands, of British and Canadian troops wading ashore later in the day.
Due to heavy anti-aircraft fire from the German defenders, the 6th Airborne troops were scattered over a large area and only 150 out of a force of 650 gathered at the rendezvous point in time for the assault. They had no heavy equipment or jeeps, and many were injured following their perilous jump into the French morning. Still, commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Terence Otway told his men they had to carry on with their mission.
“I’ve written and drawn the tale in a unique way, merging prose and illustrations to convey the story, Based on real events and anecdotes from his late father, ” sals Glenn.
“Eight Seconds conveys the fear, anticipation, and excitement experienced by my father, and his comrades in the 9th battalion,” he continues. “Whilst we’ll never know exactly what was said on the ground during those fraught hours, the dialogue in the book is surmised from Frank’s anecdotes and my research.”
“Glenn’s skill as an author makes it feel real, he manages to convey the spirit of the characters that make up this story,” says Mark Otway, grandson on Lieutenant Colonel Terence Otway, DSO, commanding officer of the Merville battery assault. “In particular, as I read the words he has attributed to my grandfather, the resemblance is uncanny, both with what Terence said and the way he said it.
“Glenn’s beautiful hand-drawn illustrations add to the atmosphere and further enhance the
story, bringing the characters and their tale alive for the reader,” he continues. “Extensive research went into these drawings, to convey accurate details and to truly enhance this story. All of this combines to produce a gripping, exciting, and all-encompassing tale, which would not be out of place in a child’s action comic.
“The fact that it is based on actual events makes this story all the more thrilling.
“This book will appeal to a wide audience,” mark feels. “Whether you have a personal or general interest in the military history of the Normandy campaign, you’re looking for a ripping tale with action and excitement, or you’re looking to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day with a cracking read, this book is for you.
“Eight Seconds is a wonderful testament to the bravery of those who fought to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.”
• Eight Seconds is published on 1st May 2019 on Amazon KDP in paperback and will retail at £19.99. Signed copies can be obtained from the author (£19.99, please add £5 for p&p in the UK. For overseas postage charges please contact email@example.com for full details)
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