26 JANUARY 1945, Page 22

Parachutist. By "Pegasus." (Jarroid. 10s. 6d.)

THE author of this book, one of the early volunteers for the Para- chute Regiment, has tried to answer most of the questions about the training of parachutists and their use in operation which are normally asked. He has succeeded in writing an admirable account of the training of parachutists and in describing what it feels like to be a parachutist in action. The wider and more difficult ques- tion of the tactical uses of airborne troops is, probably wisely, avoided by him. If we' bear the author's aim in mind, however, this will be found a useful and valuable book. It is valuable not only to those who are interested in airborne tactics, but also to those who are interested in the personality and morale of the present-day soldier. For the most attractive part of the book, which I read through at a single sitting, is its humour, not an individual humour of the author's own, but a broad humour which is obviously the collective product of the Army as a whole. Among many good stories, the one I liked best was that of the psychiatrist who, in order to discover the effect that a nervous Number One had on the rest of the men waiting to jump, went up in an aircraft as a Number One and made a show of being unwilling to jump. He was promptly kicked out of the doorway by Number Two.