German Airborne Troops, 1936-45

Garden City, NY: Doubleday & company, Inc., 1974. Hardcover. 160 p. (illustrations (some with color). Maps (some with color). This is one of the Macdonald Illustrated War Studies. Foreword by Generaloberst Kurt Student, the former Commander of German Airborne Forces. Much of the photographi material in the book was taken from German war archives and hitherto unpublished. From Wikipedia: "Kurt Student (12 May 1890 1 July 1978) was a German Luftwaffe general who fought as a fighter pilot during the First World War and as the commander of German Fallschirmjager (paratroopers) during the Second World War. He is also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves were awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership....Student entered the Imperial German Army as an officer candidate in 1910 and was commissioned a lieutenant in March 1911. After serving initially with a light infantry (Jager) battalion, he underwent pilot training in 1913. He served from the beginning of World War I until February 1916 with Feldflieger-Abteilung 17 on the Galician front, rising to command of the unit on 1 June 1916. On 5 July, he became a charter member of the Fokker Scourge when he scored his first confirmed victory, forcing Nieuport 11 no. 1324 to land behind German lines. Student re-equipped the French plane with a Spandau machine gun, and seems to have flown it in combat. He then switched to the Western Front in aerial units of the Third Army, including Jagdstaffel 9 (Jasta 9), which he commanded from October 1916 May 1917. He scored six air-to-air victories over French aircraft between 1916 1917 before being wounded. During the interwar period, Student tried to keep German military aviation from becoming technologically obsolete, since under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was forbidden to maintain an air force. In the immediate post-war years, he was assigned to military research and development. He became involved in military gliders, since gliding was not forbidden by the treaty. He also attended the Red Army Air Forces maneuvres, where he first came in contact with the idea of airborne operations. After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, the Luftwaffe was secretly reestablished. Student transferred from the Army to the Luftwaffe and was appointed by Hermann Goring to be the head of its training schools, a position which became official when the Treaty of Versailles was renounced in 1935. In July 1938, he was named commander of airborne and air-landing troops, and in September commanding general of the 7. Flieger-Division, Germany's first Fallschirmjager division. The division played no part in the invasion of Poland. In their first action, his troops failed to achieve even the least of their objectives in the Battle for The Hague on May 10, 1940, taking and losing three airfields on the first day of the battle (an operation in which the German air force also incurred enormous losses). Student was almost taken prisoner there, and was shot in the head that was later determined to be the result of a stray German round in Rotterdam following the Battle of Rotterdam. His capture was halted only when Rotterdam was bombed on the 14th of May. However, in another operation during the Blitzkrieg, capture of the Belgian fortress of Eben-Emael, Student's troops proved their value by defeating the 1, 200 defenders with less than 100 men. He was decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his leadership and bravery in these operations. Nonetheless it took the Fallschirmjager a full year to recover from these operations, as a result of which they were not available for the planned invasion of England. In January 1941, Student was named commanding general of the XI. Fliegerkorps, the newly formed command for the expanding German airborne forces. In this capacity, Student directed Operation Mercury (Unternehmen Merkur), the airborne invasion of the island of Crete in May 1941. In. Condition: Very good in good dust jacket. DJ has slight wear, soiling, and edge tears.

Keywords: Airborne Troops, Paratroops, Weapons, Military Equipment, Military Uniforms, Military Operations, Air Transport, Military Training, Military Unit Histories, Military Organization

ISBN: 9780385042468

[Book #67310]

Price: $35.00

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