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First Look Review
US Airborne vs German Soldier
US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier, Sicily, Normandy, and Operation Market Garden, 1943–44
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Intorductin
US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier, Sicily, Normandy, and Operation Market Garden, 1943–44 is a forthcoming book from Osprey Publishing LTD. The 33rd title of their series Combat, this book is due to be released 28 Jun 2018. Osprey Combat series feature split-screen artwork and strategic and tactical maps to convey the action from both sides. The series compares and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing forces.

Authored by David Campbell and splendidly illustrated by artist Steve Noon, the 80-page book bears Osprey's Short code CBT 33 and ISBN 9781472828569. Currently the book is advertised as a paperback and yet Osprey seems to always release books in PDF and ePub formats as well.

Paratroopers were elite light infantry but not equipped to go head to head with heavier units for extended battles and yet they often remained locked in fights not envisioned, usually giving as good as they got. As Osprey introduces this book;
    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.

US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier is a cousin of another Osprey Combat book, British Paratrooper vs Fallschirmjäger which you can access via Click here for additional images for this review, below.

Content
US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier, Sicily, Normandy, and Operation Market Garden, 1943–44 is brought to us through 10 chapters and subsections in 80 pages:
    Introduction
    The Opposing Sides
      * Origins and doctrine
      * Recruitment and morale
      * Weaponry, training, and tactics
      * Command, control, and communications

    Biazza Ridge, July 11, 1943
    La Fière, June 6-7, 1944
    Nijmegen, September 19-20, 1944
    Analysis
      * Sicily
      * Normandy
      * Nijmegen

    Aftermath
    Unit Organizations
    Bibliography
    Index

The book begins inside the title page with a key to military symbols, and comparative ranks - private to 5-star general - for the US Army, Heer, and Waffen SS.

The text is fortified with first-hand accounts of the fighting from both American and German sources. One excerpt recounts a soldier that killed a German division commander and gleefully reported it to General Ridgeway, who was not amused at the idea of a division commander's death being related so cheerfully.

The Opposing Sides explore the many aspects of the soldiers of the two sides. US paratroopers received relatively standard training and equipping, although the they were shortchanged by traditional higher command, and the US also initially used parachute and glider troops. The Germans in this study ran the gamut of Waffen SS, static and ethnic German units, Luftlande-Division, high quality Panzer divisions, and the survivors of the once-elite Hermann Göring Division. The US 1942 manual for paratroopers, Field manual 31-30, is referenced and quoted, and the TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment) provide detail for the reader. Similar information improves the understanding of the German units, including "Rommel's Asparagus," and the German command and control doctrine of Auftragstaktik ("mission-oriented tactics"). a paragraph is dedicated to German comm equipment, i.e., Feldfernsprecher 33 field telephone, and "back-pack radios", to name a couple items.

Shaded call-out boxes profile two commanders: Captain Benjamin Vandervoort; Generalleutnant Paul Conrath.

That's the first 29 pages of the book.

The next 44 pages revolve around three battles - Sicily, Normandy, and Nijmegen. The accounts are detailed and fascinating.

Analysis and Aftermath deduce the outcomes of the battles, based upon after-action reports, and German and American commander assessments. Unit Organizations review the 82nd Airborne and German formations.

Photographs, Artwork, Graphics
Osprey supports this book with an extensive gallery of photographs, mainly black-and-white images yet with color photos, too. Several amazing photos are reproduced including a shot of the battle between the 1st Infantry Division and German armored forces. Several weapons are presented in color:

* Karabiner 98K rifle
* .30-caliber M1A1 carbine with folding stock
* MG 42

Artwork

Artist Steve Noon produces some of the finest and dynamic artwork available and his works are, in my opinion, reason enough to acquire this book:

a. Paratrooper, 3/505th, Sicily, July 1943: 82nd Airborne paratrooper with a Thompson M1928A1 SMG, illustrated front and back, keyed to 18 items of weapons, dress, and equipment.

b. Panzergrenadier, Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, Sicily, July 1943: HG Panzergrenadier armed with an MP 40 SMG, illustrated front and back, keyed to 138 items of weapons, dress, and equipment.

c. Split-Screen Contesting La Fière, June 6, 1944: A/505 fights to hold a bridge against Luftlande troops backed by French tanks.

d. Battlescene Storming the Hof van Holland: paratroopers storming the fort that killed half of the US force assaulting across the river in broad daylight.

Maps

1. US airborne operations in Europe and the Mediterranean 1943-45: color map covering most of England, to eastern Europe, down to Malta thence Spain. Narrated in a call out box and keyed to 6 airborne operations.

2. Biazza Ridge, July 11, 1943: keyed to 4 events. Included is Battlefield Environment, a description of the battleground, including a photograph of the terrain during the battle, looking across flat terrain between the Americans and the cliffs to advance upon.

3. La Fière, June 6-7, 1944: keyed to 4 events and, again, a description of the battlefield environment, including a photograph of the terrain.

4. Nijmegen, September 19-20, 1944: keyed to 7 events. Included is a description of the battleground, including a photograph of the ruins of the city, looking towards the bridge.

Conclusion
US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier, Sicily, Normandy, and Operation Market Garden, 1943–44 is a splendid exploration of US paratroopers fighting against different German forces in three distinct periods of the war.

Modelers should find a lot of inspiration for modeling these subjects, as well as diorama ideas. Historians of WWII should also be pleased with the book. The excellent text is detailed including several first-hand accounts. It is enhanced with excellent photographs and illustrations.

I have no complains worth mentioning and happily recommend this book.

Please remember to mention to Osprey and retailers that you saw this book here - on Historicus Forma.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent artwork and first-hand accounts of the fighting from both American and German sources. Fascinating battles recounted.
Lows: De minimis.
Verdict: Modelers should find a lot of inspiration for modeling these subjects, as well as diorama ideas. Historians of WWII should also be pleased with the book.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Combat 33
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 15, 2018
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.03%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.22%

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 Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2018 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


   

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