As elite troops, the German Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) were regularly engaged in front line combat during the Second World War. Their famed actions such as the fighting in Scandinavia, the taking of the Belgian fortress Eden-Emal in May 1940, and the Battle for Crete just a year later, have given them the reputation of being determined, courageous and loyal soldiers.
This book covers the early years of the Fallschirmstruppen (paratroop units) before the beginning of the war, until the height of their successes in 1941, after which the Fallschirmjäger were more often deployed in a more 'traditional' way, even though high-risk actions (such as at Monte Cassino, the Gran Sasso Raid) allowed them to reconnect once more with their glorious past.
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About the Author
François Cochet is a Belgian author whose main interest lies in the battles of the Second World War. Over the last 80 years he has met and interviewed many German ex-soldiers of the Wehmacht and collected various memorabilia and documents. He enjoys helping others research this particular period, and this is his first image-based book. He currently lives in Flanders.
Table of Contents
Mini Glossary 8
Chapter 1 The Origins of the Fallschirmtruppen 12
Chapter 2 The Beginnings of the Second World War (Poland and Scandinavia) 31
Chapter 3 July 1940-April 1941: Reorganization and Resumption of Fighting 56
Chapter 4 May 1941: The Battle of Crete (Operation Merkur) 62
Chapter 5 September 1941: The USSR (Operation Barbarossa) 105