A new book in the popular Images of War series, taking a look at German airborne forces. This new book provides a comprehensive look at German airborne forces in their glory days as paratroopers and glider troops to their use as elite light infantry serving on the ground – Much Recommended.
NAME: Images of War, Hitler's Sky Warriors, German Paratroopers in Action 1939-1945, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2663 AUTHOR: Christopher Ailsby PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 248 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, light infantry, assault gliders, paratroops, vertical insertion, airborne forces, special forces, elite troops ISBN: 1-47388-668-6 IMAGE: B2663.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ya3vaolk LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A new book in the popular Images of War series, taking a look at German airborne forces. This new book provides a comprehensive look at German airborne forces in their glory days as paratroopers and glider troops to their use as elite light infantry serving on the ground – Much Recommended. The Soviets can claim to be the original pioneers of airborne forces and the only country to drop soldiers without parachutes. The British and Americans can claim to have lifted vertical insertion to new levels, moving on to the use of helicopters after WWII, but the Germans were the real pioneers of airborne assault troops and tactics that formed a part of the revolutionary tactics of Blitzkrieg. In 1939, the Luftwaffe had built up a highly trained force of soldiers who would be launched into battle by glider or parachute. They were equipped to attack high value targets, such as forts, and prevent them from holding up the advance of armoured ground troops. In 1940, they reached the height of their achievements as airborne forces, but their use to take the island of Crete saw them suffer such heavy casualties that they were never again used as an airborne force in strength, serving through the rest of WWII as an elite ground force of light infantry. The British and Americans learned quickly and established their own airborne forces in very large numbers using them very successfully to aid amphibious landings in Normandy, the Market Garden operation to open a road into Germany and then to provide mass insertions during the Rhine crossing. Market Garden was to be claimed a failure because the British paratroops failed to hold the bridge at Arnheim to complete the roadway into Germany, but the operation overall was highly successful against heavy opposition. At Normandy and the Rhine crossing the landings were a major success. The author has followed the German airborne troops' story from the start of the war and included the Luftwaffe/SS major success in the daring raid to free Mussolini from prison. However, the inability to achieve air superiority over all battlefields was to ground the paratroopers and use their gliders as transports to take supplies and ammunition to beleaguered German ground troops who had suffered the loss of their ground supply routes. On the ground, the surviving force was used to provide elite light infantry to strengthen conventional ground troops and they performed with great courage and determination, often holding out against a superior enemy equipped with larger forces and heavy weapons, including bombers and ground attack aircraft, as at the battle for Monte Casino. The images provide a powerful picture of the men and their specialist equipment and weapons. A very nicely achieved review with strong text in addition to the images.