Hook Up!  US Paratroopers...

...From the Vietnam War to the Cold War


Title:  Hook Up!  US Paratroopers...

Author: Alejandro Rodriguez and Antonio Arques

Publisher:  Andrea Press

ISBN:  978-84-96658-55-4

...From the Vietnam War to the Cold War

A large new hardback book from Andrea Press which is a first class reference on the uniforms and equipment used by US Paratroopers during the period of the Vietnam War in particular, and therefore covering a good portion of the Cold War as well.   After a bit of historical background to US Paras in WW2, it gives the details of Operation Junction City, when US forces became directly involved in the Vietnam war during 1966.  It goes on to outline the recruitment of airborne troopers, From Boot Camp to Combat, and details what was involved with the Basic Airborne Course.  This gives the Five Points of Performance required and details of the Jump Procedure, including particular commands.

Then we get to the main body of the book, with chapters 4 through to 8.  These cover Getting Equipped Step by Step; Gear; Parachutists Equipment; Insignias and finally a section on Manual, Pamphlets and Paper Miscellaneous.  Each of these is in turn broken down into sub-sections to split each one down into even deeper levels of detail.  So it includes headgear, uniforms, footwear, combat equipment and of course detailed coverage of the parachutes and their harness and packs themselves.  There are over 700 photos in the book to illustrate things, and while some are archive photos from the period, the highest proportion consists of modern colour images of preserved items, from the personal collections of the two authors, who are long time militaria collectors.  The level of detail included would be very difficult to match thanks to the detailed background text and captions along with the large number of photos showing the original items of equipment in great detail.  It even gets down to how weapons such as the M16 and the M79 Grenade launcher were taped up to protect them and the trooper during the actual jump to get to the ground. 

If you have an interest in the period of the Vietnam War then this will be interesting, but especially so for militaria collectors, for re-enactors who want to get their uniforms and equipment right, for sculptors who are interested in mastering figures of the period, and for model figure painters who want to get the detail right on their models, and a chance to check that the sculptor who mastered the figure has got it right.