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Book Review
US Airborne Divisions in the ETO
Airborne Divisions in the ETO 1944-45
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by: Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]

Originally published on:

WWII saw the birth of a new type of soldier. Having just got used to being taken to the battle by truck, and being supported by Armoured Tanks for close support in battle, the new soldier was to jump out of a perfectly servicable aeroplane, behind enemy lines, where he would have to fight with what little he could take with him, untill the main Army relieved his position. Contrary to what any person of sound mind might think, there was no shortage of volunteers.

US Airborne Divisions in the ETO 1944-45 is the latest volume in the 'Battle Orders' series from Osprey Publishing, and gives a detailed account of the Birth, Development and Tactical Doctrine of the US Airborne Divisions. Steven J zaloga is a well known expert on the US Army in the European Theatre of Operations during WWII, and this, coupled with his easy and engaging writing style, makes this book both very informative and readable.

The first half of the book goes into detail about the development and organisation of the Airborne Divisions, with detailed listings of equipment issue and unit make-up during the first years.

  • Introduction
  • Combat mission
  • Preparation for war: doctrine and training
  • Unit organization
  • Airborne weapons and Equipment

The second half of the book looks in some detail at tactics and command structure of the various operations that the US Airborne Divisions took part in in North West Europe, during 1944-45.

  • Command and control
  • Tactics
  • Assessing the combat record
  • Unit Status
  • Further reading
  • Glossary
  • Index

The book is illustrated throughout with good quality black&white photographs, and whilst they accompany the text well, the lack of 'action photographs' limits the use and appeal for the majority of modelers. Most of the photos have been published before.
The Operation chapters are accompanied by stylised maps with the usual drop zone and objective markings, but will not reveal anything new to those who have studied these Operations before.

  • Paperback
  • 96 pages
  • 58 B&W and 2 color photographs
  • 5 color maps

This is a good book that is let down by it's title. The title suggest that the book is all about the US Airborne Operations in North Western Europe, and whilst this in essence the case, it is not clear on the outside that half the book is taken up by statistics and the like. if you buy the book to read about the operations, you will probably feel 'short changed'. If however you have a deeper interest in the US Airborne Divisions, this is a very good title to add to your reference library, as all the information is clear and ready accessible.

My thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample, and please mention Armorama when contacting Vendors.
Verdict: One for those who like to know the nuts and bolts of the US Airborne Divisions.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: 978-1-84603-118-2
  Suggested Retail: $23.95 19.95
  Related Link: Osprey website
  PUBLISHED: May 01, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Henk Meerdink (Henk)

Copyright 2020 text by Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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