Fallschirmjäger: German Paratroopers 1937-1941

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
by Francois Cochet

Since I have by now quite a collection of the Image of War series of books, I was looking forward to this one, covering a subject and especially a time I am interested in.
Unfortunately, not every book in the series is made to the same standard, this one being a bit of a disappointment to be honest.

Oh, the photos are excellent and interesting, no doubt about that, and in general it serves its purpose to tell us a little bit about the history of the ‘making’ of this elite corps. There are (as always) also quite a few photos I hadn’t seen yet. So don’t worry, it is not a BAD book….. but…..

The information on the corps itself and the various operations up to 1942 are adequate, but not exhaustive, and in some places it is clear that English is not mr. Cochet’s mother tongue. That’s not bad, neither is it mine, but I think it could have done with an English co-editor in places.

What’s more of a disappointment though are the meager captions on many of the photos. I would have much preferred to know WHERE certain pictures were shot than to read what I see in the picture…..

The other problem I have is with the imbalance of the operations covered. Like the last ‘chapter’ has one page of text and only 6 pictures for Operation Barbarossa !? Also very few pictures on the operations in the Benelux and Scandinavia (my father fought them there, so yes I was hoping for more on that region).
It seems that the emphasis is very much on the operations in Crete.

Last but not least I think it is a missed chance to use photos from the archives to explain a little bit more about the special equipment and dress used by the para’s as compared to the regular infantry of the Wehrmacht.

So, not a bad book, but it could have been so much better with a few additions and maybe leaving the last chapter out?

Fallschirmjäger: German Paratroopers 1937-1941 (paperback)
By François Cochet
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 111
ISBN: 9781526740663
Published: 4th February 2019

The book can be purchased directly from the publisher’s website here !

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