by: Darren Baker [ ]
This book covering Fallschirmjäger German Paratroopers - 1942–1945 is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a cornucopia when it comes to visual information.
This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering Fallschirmjäger German Paratroopers - 1942–1945 has been authored by Francois Cochet. The contents of this title are provided over 120 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.
The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – 1942, The USSR
Chapter 2 – Reinforcements and Various Projects
Chapter 3 – Kampfgruppe Burckhardt and Fallschirm-Brigade Ramke
Chapter 4 – Fallschirm-Brigade Ramcke
Chapter 5 – The Fallschirmjäger in Tunisia
Chapter 6 – Italy 1943
Chapter 7 – The Aegean Sea 1943
Chapter 8 – Fighting in the East 1943-44
Chapter 9 – Italy 1944
Chapter 10 – The Normandy Invasion
Chapter 11 – The Netherlands and the Ardennes
Chapter 12 – Until the Bitter End
The dedicated text in this offering is minimal as that is not the purpose of these books as they are not designed to be read in the truest sense of the word. The introduction written by Francois Cochet lays out clearly what the aim of this book is and so provides the reader.
Once you move on from the introduction you reach the photographic chapters; these all have a written introduction by the author and do a reasonable job of setting the scene as regards where the images are going to guide the reader. I did find the introductions a little on the light side and felt that they could have been a tad more informative. As a modeller it is not these introductions that really hold my attention it is the glorious images that fill the rest of the book that grab my attention and take me through each and every page and sometimes making me linger over a particularly interesting image.
The photographs in this offering are a mix as regards quality due to the fact that they represent family photographs and pictures of friends, and it is the natural way people behave when being photographed by family and friends that really draw me to this offering. Life, death, training and comradeship is very well covered in these images, photographs taken of burials in the field and in cemeteries bring into stark relief that these men felt the loss of their comrades and make the Fallschirmjäger’s more human in how you consider them. It is this aspect that draws me more than any other to this offering. The captions that accompany each and every photograph provide a mixed level of information due to the nature of the photographs.
This title as part of the Images at War series is an exceptional addition to the range because it the most human of the titles I have looked at thus far. The visual reference provided is good in what it offers as regards the Fallschirmjäger in training and the field, but for me it represents how people interact when thrown into alien environments and instructed to do things against natural inclinations.