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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 US Airborne force fielded some of the toughest, best-trained and most resourceful troops of World War II – all necessary qualities in a force that was lightly armed and which would in most operational circumstances be surrounded from the moment it landed on the battlefield. The German Wehrmacht grew to rely on a series of defensive measures to combat the airborne threat, including fortifications, localized reserves, and special training to help intercept and disrupt airborne troops both in the air and on the ground. Despite such methods it was cool-headed command and control that would prove to be the real key to blunting the Airborne's edge. Using specially commissioned artwork, this book examines the development of the American airborne forces that spearheaded the Allied effort in Sicily, Normandy and Operation Market Garden, and the German countermeasures that evolved in response to the threat of Allied airborne landings.
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.
Die kurze Episode der "Wehrmacht" hat zu einer ungeheuren militärischen Kraftentfaltung des Deutschen Reiches geführt, zu überwältigenden Siegen und katastrophalen Niederlagen, zugleich zur Mitverantwortung für eine verbrecherische Kriegführung, wie sie in der deutschen Geschichte ohne Beispiel ist. Der Band bietet zunächst einen Überblick über die Wehrmacht im Dritten Reich, ihre Führungsprinzipien, Gliederung, Ausrüstung, Ausbildung und Fronterfahrung. Im zweiten Teil wird erkennbar, wie sich die militarisierte "Volksgemeinschaft" der Deutschen im Zweiten Weltkrieg unter dem Druck der totalen Mobilmachung veränderte. Der dritte Teil analysiert die militärische Kriegführung vom "Blitzkrieg" bis zum Untergang von Reich und Wehrmacht. Der Ausblick auf den Umgang mit diesem schwierigen Erbe in der Bundesrepublik zeigt, wie tief der Bruch in der deutschen Militärgeschichte gewesen ist.
Lists the structure and organization for the U.S. Army in World War II, shows insignia, weaponry, and equipment, and provides a combat narrative for each division

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