Search This Blog

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle For France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermos...

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa




Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy

The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle For France,1944

by

Gilberto Villahermosa





 To Hitler, the day of the Fallschirmjäger ended with the invasion of Crete. They had suffered so many casualties during their successful attack that it was almost a Pyrrhic victory. At the siege of Stalingrad the Luftwaffe's airlift capacity was bled dry of pilots and planes. So even had Hitler changed his mind about the Fallschirmjäger, it wouldn't have mattered. Their wings were clipped. However, the Fallschirmjäger's usefulness was not over. They were some of the most highly trained soldiers in the Third Reich. They would continue to win laurels all over Europe as Fire Brigade soldiers, closing holes in the lines and stopping various Allied offensives in their tracks. When you think of the Fallschirmjäger in the infantry role, you usually think of their defense of Monte Cassino. This book shows how they were deeply involved with the defense of Normandy.

 The story of the Fallschirmjäger in Normandy is a story of dedicated soldiers who belonged to very different units as far as their training and abilities are concerned. The 3rd Parachute Division was the cream of the crop as far as both Fallschirmjäger and Infantry Divisions. It was one of the very few infantry Divisions that the German General Staff listed as well equipped and strong enough for offensive operations; let that sink in. According to Allied interrogation they believed their commander Generalleutnant Schimpf 'a god'. The division had its complete complement of soldiers and was the fourth strongest division in Normandy, behind three SS Panzer Divisions. The 5th Parachute Division was another story. It was made up of recruits, most who didn't have jump training, and not anywhere near its established amount of weaponry. The 6th Parachute Regiment of the 2nd Paratroop Division also was well thought of and fought in Normandy. Elements of the 6th Parachute Division also fought in Normandy.

 All of these units were part of the II Parachute Corps. The book tells the story of the II Parachute Corps, and its battles in Normandy to stem the Allied tide. The author goes through the Corps conception and birth. Not only is this a book about the Normandy battles, but it is also a reference book on the training and composition of not only the II Parachute Corps, but also the disparate units under its command.

 The 2nd Parachute Division, or some of it, was tasked with defending Brest under Generalleutnant Hermann Bernhard Ramcke. Ramcke was one of only twenty-seven men in the armed forces who were awarded The Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. The defense of Brest was considered of the highest importance, because the Allies desperately needed a port to use in Northern France. The only problem for the 2nd Parachute Division was after its mauling in Russia, the division was badly in need of men and supplies. An American assessment of its strength put it at 35% of its full complement. Ironically, for the Allies, the fight to conquer Brest so totally destroyed the city that it was unusable as a port. In fact, after the war, French authorities were even considering not bothering to rebuild the city where it was. The author shows us all of this desperate fighting.

 For the author's ability to help you visualize the Normandy battles the book is worth its weight. When you add in the incredible amount of detail that you will learn about the Fallschirmjäger the book is a steal. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thank you Casemate Publishers and Pen andSword for allowing me to review this wonderful book.

Robert

Publisher: Pen & Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

1 comment :