Operation Market Garden Paratroopers Vol 1 and 2...

... from MMP Books

Title:  Operation Market Garden Paratroopers, Vol 2

Author: Piotr Witkowski

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65281-16-6

Volume 1 in a set of books taking a very detailed look at the Uniforms, Equipment and personal items of the 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade 1941-1945.  I have already learnt a lot from this one, as it tells us of both similarities and equally the differences between the British Airborne forces and that of the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade during WW2.  Famously of course, they landed at Arnhem to try and support the British paras who had landed first.  I for one hadn't realised the variety of differences between their equipment.

This volume starts with a basic timeline of events from the creation of the unit to disbandment in 1947.  Chapter 2 details Other Ranks Uniforms such as jackets, trousers, shirts, ties, underwear, gaiters, berets, badges and more.  All are illustrated with good clear modern photos of preserved items.  Then it moves on to deal with Basic Equipment of a Paratrooper.  This means webbing, ammunition pouches, medical packs, small packs, gas masks, torches and even body armour. Chapter 4  provides equivalent coverage for Officers, and additional items such as watches, compasses and map cases among them.  Chapter 5 gives information on Signs, Badges and Insignia.  All sorts in here, with pennants, Arm of Service badges, Polish Rank insignia, ID Tags and even documents, such as a driving licence for example.  The last chapter looks at the Evolution of combat uniforms, such as different styles of helmet, jump smocks and more.

This is aimed at the re-enactor and militaria collector in particular, while figure modellers will also find lots in here that will be useful.

Robin

Title:  Operation Market Garden Paratroopers, Vol 2

Author: Piotr Witkowski

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65281-38-8

Volume 2 in this set from MMP, and this moves on from vol 1 to deal with the Weapons and Equipment used by the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade.  This one starts off with more detail on the Timeline of the unit, including more detail and maps of their involvement at Arnhem.

Chapter 2 looks at the variety of Small Arms in use with pistols, rifles and sub-machine guns, bayonets, light and medium machine guns plus Boyes Anti-tank rifle, PIAT, and grenades.  For chapter 3 we get to Artillery and Mortars, from the small 2in mortar to the towed 75mm Pack howitzer.

In chapter 4 we get to Airdropping Equipment, which as well as the parachutes themselves (including landing technique) there are wicker hampers and air-drop supply containers.  Chapter 5 looks at the Airborne Engineer with explosive, fuses, mines and mine detectors.  Six then tackles the Airborne Signals Company with handy detail pictures of the various radios they used, an ideal painting guide for modellers.  It is all rounded off with chapter 7, looking at the equipment of the Medical teams, with medical packs, instruments, foot powder containers and even their stretchers.

There is a lot of different bits of Airborne Forces equipment available in model form thanks to the likes of Resicast and Bronco Models in particular so these books will be a perfect reference for modellers interested in Operation Market Garden in particular.  These two are good though I understand there is a volume 3 coming, dealing with their Transport equipment.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copies.

Robin