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The delivery of entire divisions to battlefields behind enemy lines by parachute and glider was a unique feature of World War II, and by the end of the war the US Army deployed the largest airborne force in the world, created in only three years, and boasting such impressive units as the 82nd "All American" and 101st "Screaming Eagles." This book details the organization and operation history of these units throughout the war in Northwest Europe from 1944 to 1945, covering the desperate night drops over Normandy in support of the D-Day invasions, through the capture of Nijmegen during Operation Market-Garden to Operation Varsity, the last great airborne operation of the war to secure the crossing of the Rhine.
The delivery of entire divisions to battlefields behind enemy lines by parachute and glider was a unique feature of World War II, and by the end of the war the US Army deployed the largest airborne force in the world, created in only three years, and boasting such impressive units as the 82nd "All American" and 101st "Screaming Eagles." This book details the organization and operation history of these units throughout the war in Northwest Europe from 1944 to 1945, covering the desperate night drops over Normandy in support of the D-Day invasions, through the capture of Nijmegen during Operation Market-Garden to Operation Varsity, the last great airborne operation of the war to secure the crossing of the Rhine.
A complete overview of the evolving organization, tactics, doctrine, weapons and equipment of the US Infantry in the Pacific, Mediterranean and European theatres, from 1944 to the war's end. This follow-up to Battle Orders 17: US Army Infantry Divisions 1942-43, covers the critical period 1944-45 when changes instituted by Lieutenant General Leslie J McNair, the head of the Army Ground Forces and an organizational genius, were imposed on an army reluctant to change. The book includes a table outlining all 66 US Infantry Army divisions that served during World War II, and analyzes the organization of manpower and resources that turned these divisions into a war-winning army.
Overshadowed by the United States Army's armored divisions, the separate tank and tank destroyer battalions had the difficult mission of providing armored support for US infantry divisions in the 1944–45 campaigns. This book details the organizational structures and deployment of these units: the standard tank battalions, tank battalions (light), tank battalions (mine exploder) and tank battalions (special), self-propelled and towed tank destroyer battalions. It also covers the tactics used by these units in their attempts to assist the infantry, as well as providing a listing of all the battalions that took part in the Northwest Europe campaign.
This book is the first of three to examine the genesis, organization and operational deployment of the US airborne divisions in World War II. It discusses early airborne units, detailing how and why they were formed. Task organization for combat, details of attached units, tactics, and weapons and equipment are examined, together with command relationships. The units discussed in this book include the 82d Airborne Division, 1st Special Service Force, 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team and 1st Airborne Task Force, and the operations in North Africa, Sicily, the Italian mainland, and in southern France are covered.
In the summer of 1944, plans began for a complex operation to seize a Rhine river bridge at Arnhem in the Netherlands. The American portion of the airborne mission was to employ two divisions of the US XVIII Airborne Corps to seize key terrain features that otherwise might delay the advance of British tanks towards the bridge. The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions succeeded in their tasks of capturing the vital bridges at Eindhoven at Nijmegen in the face of fierce German resistance. However, the delays caused to the British armored advance, combined with stronger than expected fighting at Arnhem led to the withdrawal of the remnants of the British 1st Airborne Division in one of the Western Allies' most costly defeats of World War II. Contemporary photographs, maps and detailed color artwork complement extensive archival research that reveals the successes of those American airborne missions, largely overshadowed by the failure of the operation as a whole.
The parachute infantry regiments were among the most highly decorated US Army units of World War II, and between them they saw action right across the world. The elite nature of these units led to them being committed to action not only in the way that had been intended; their quality tempted commanders to keep them in the line longer than their light armament justified, and they were tested to the limit. This engaging study traces the story of each of the 17 regiments, from their creation and training in the USA, through their deployments overseas, to their combat jumps and all their battles. The book is illustrated with wartime photographs, many previously unpublished, and eight full-colour plates detailing the specifics of their uniforms, insignia, and equipment practices, which often differed from unit to unit.
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