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A detailed account of the now legendary Operation Colossus, the first British airborne raid of the Second World War, which took place in Basilicata, Italy on 10 February 1941. Britain was one of the last major powers of the Second World War to establish an airborne arm of service. Formed by a collection of free-thinking army and air force officers, the fledgling British paratrooper unit, known as the SAS', deployed trial and error in terms of tactics and equipment, costing the lives of several volunteers before an elite few were selected to make the first British parachute raid of the war.