United States Airborne Divisions 1942-2018...

 

...from Pen & Sword

 

Title: United States Airborne Divisions 1942-2018

Author: Michael Green

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52673-467-9

 

A recent addition to the Images of War series, and another from author Michael Green. This one looks at the development of the US airborne forces, from their formation in 1942 up to 2018. As with British airborne forces, they were prompted by the success of the German airborne invasion of Crete, which oddly had the opposite effect on the German military, as casualty levels led them to stop major airborne operations.

Each of the four chapters is started with a few pages of informative text, sub-divided onto a mixture of sub-topics. The first chapter is 'Getting it Together', as they worked to find the appropriate organisation and equipment establishment  The photos with this chapter show US airborne troops in initial training, and their early equipment. A mix of archive photos plus some with modern re-enactors and preserved vehicles and aircraft. The second section looks at the later war period, including Normandy, Operation Market Garden and Bastogne. More archive photos add to the text. Chapter 3 moves on to the Cold War period, including Vietnam of course. The equipment illustrated include larger aircraft, such as the C130 Hercules and the C141 Starlifter, and of course the large scale introduction of the helicopter. That leaves chapter 4 to bring us up to 2018, with new equipment and experimentation, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These later sections are largely colour photos, a contrast to the older black & white images from WW2.

Another well written and presented book from Michael Green, which also holds a lot of useful references for modellers as well as historians interested in the story of US airborne forces.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin