The very popular Images of War series has established a format with a large number of rare photographs in each book and clear concise text supporting the photographic selection. This new addition follows the proven format to provide a graphic history and analysis of German paratroopers in WWII. – Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, Fallschirmjager: German Paratroops 1939-1941, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2795 AUTHOR: Francois Cochet PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 109 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, paratroops, airborne troops, light infantry, assault troops, vertical insertion
IMAGE: B2795.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y3bw42kp LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The very popular Images of War series has established a f ormat with a large number of rare photographs in each book and clear concise text supporting the photographic selection. This new addition follows the proven format to provide a graphic history and analysis of German paratroopers in WWII. - Highly Recommended The Russians pioneered the use of parachutes to insert highly trained shock troops, although parachutes had been used in war by the Germans and the British in WWI. During WWI the parachute was employed almost exclusively to enable the observation crews of captive balloons to escape when attacked by fighter aircraft. Both sides considered that issuing parachutes to aircraft crews might result in them jumping when they should have been fighting. Strangely, neither side considered using paratroopers to break the deadlock of trench warfare. When the Soviets started building paratroop units, they often dispensed with the parachute, requiring troops riding on the aircraft's wings to jump and rely on the snow beneath the low flying aircraft to break their fall. When Germany began developing a new air force on Soviet soil to get around the prohibitions of the Treaty that followed WWI, they learned from their hosts about the Soviet development of airborne forces. This led to the formation of the Fallschirmjager as part of the new Luftwaffe in 1937 when all pretence of observing the Treaty requirements was abandoned. The Germans decided to develop an airborne force that could be deployed by parachute from transport aircraft, or inserted by glider. This allowed the Germans to assault Belgian fortifications and bridges that would have otherwise been difficult and costly to overcome. These assaults were critical to the success of the German invasion of neutral Belgium as the means to invade France, avoiding the main French Maginot Line fortifications that were strongest East from the Belgian frontier. The Fallschirmjager were again critical to the invasion of the British defended island of Crete. However, the losses sustained in the assault on Crete were to discourage the use of paratroops by Germany on any subsequent airborne operations. As a result, the Fallschirmjager had a very short operational life as an airborne force and were subsequently used as light infantry in land battles as an elite force. Their main contribution to warfare was to encourage the British to make extensive use of paratroopers and glider troops. Initially, the British used small numbers of airborne troops as Commando raiders after the Dunkirk evacuation to maintain a level of direct contact with the Germans in Occupied Europe. Mostly, this involved dropping units of less than company strength by parachute behind their targets. The commandos would then attack their target, being extracted by boat or submarine. Gliders were used occasionally but, as in raids on targets in Norway, with loss of gliders and their cargo. That did not discourage the British and they steadily increased the size of the airborne force in preparation for the invasion of Sicily and Italy where they were deployed in some numbers by glider and parachute. The results were very encouraging and, while the Fallschirmjager fought on foot in Italy, notably in the defence of Monte Cassino, the British continued to expand their airborne forces for the Normandy landings and the strikes into Germany. Having built a considerable level of experience of airborne operations in strength, the British began transferring knowledge to the Americans, resulting in a considerable Anglo-American strength and capability in time for the liberation of Europe. The author, a Belgian, has a main interest in the battles of WWII and this is his first image-based book. Hopefully the first of many.