Another addition to the deservedly popular Images of War series. This is another IoW book covering the history of the Fallschirmjager, this time in taking their story from 1942 to 1945 – Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, Fallschirmjager: German Paratroopers 1942-1945, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2932 AUTHOR: Francois Cochet PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 120 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, paratroopers, airborne forces, elite forces, light infantry, Italy, France, Eastern Front, Germany, light weapons, elan, Monte Casino, support weapons, specialist weapons, Luftwaffe
IMAGE: B2932.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y3p5jjms LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Another addition to the deservedly popular Images of War series. This is another IoW book covering the history of the Fallschirmjager, this time in taking their story from 1942 to 1945 – Highly Recommended The initial success of the Fallschirmjager in 1940 was to inspire the even more successful Allied airborne forces that played such an important role in the Allied amphibious landings from Operation Torch, through the Sicily/Italy landings, D-Day and the crossing of the Rhine. For the Germans, their paratroopers soon lost their air landing capabilities and became treated as shock troops. This was a logical conclusion to the invasion of Crete when the German airborne troops suffered a mauling and came close to defeat, in the face of determined British resistance. The Germans continued to use gliders through to the end of the war, but as general cargo planes with or without engines added. The addition of engines was an attempt to produce cheap transport planes and to overcome the basic flaw of the assault glider in that once landed it would be unable to make a return flight. However, the halcyon days of the assault gliders and paratroopers in taking critical Belgian forts were over. This left them as light infantry to be used to shore up important positions. They continued to be required to undertake practice jumps and they retained their special weapons, such as the FG42 assault rifle that could be fired from an open or closed bolt, but they also began to use heavier weapons. As long as airborne forces were required to parachute into drop zones, or use assault gliders, they were strictly limited in what weapons they could carry. This did not mean they were unfamiliar with artillery and armoured vehicles, or the tactics required to operate this heavy equipment. It just meant that their airborne role required them to depend on skill and light infantry weapons to take strategic points and hold their positions until relieved by ground troops with a full range of heavy weapons. As the war progressed, and Germany became ever more desperate, the Fallschirmjager were required to man field guns and anti-tank guns, rocket batteries and armoured vehicles. During the Battle of the Bulge, Fallschirmjager were frequently carried on top of SS Panzer tanks in much the same way as the Red Army used its tanks to keep the infantry with the armour. This book has clear and concise text as is now the standard for books in this series, in support of an impressive selection of rare images from wartime archives. An excellent introduction to the subject and a valuable addition to a serious enthusiast's library to support military history books that have few images.