German Paratroops: The Fallschirmjäger of World War II
Beginning with an examination of the origins of airborne forces in Germany and Europe during and after World war I, this book goes on to look at how the concept of airborne assault was deeveloped by the Nazis during the 1930s, leading to the creation of the 7th Flieger Division. The first two years of World War II illustrated the effectiveness of the Fallschirmjäger, as German airborne forces won a string of victories in Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, mainland Greece, and Crete.
Though the Invasion of Crete was to be the last major German airborne operation of the war, the Fallschirmjäger would continue to see heavy fighting as élite infantry. From the scorching sands of North Africa to the frozen steppe of western Russia, paratrooper units fought with courage and skill, but it was in Italy where their exploits passed into military legend as the ‘Green Devils of Monte Cassino’. This book covers that battle, and the long fighting withdrawal that followed, in scrupulous detail.