British Paratrooper 1940 - 45 Book Review
|Date of Review||February 2015||Title||British Paratrooper 1940 - 45|
|Author||Rebecca Skinner||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||64 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$18.95|
Inspired by German Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) exploits in Blitzkrieg campaigns, PM Winston Churchill ordered the formation of Britain's own 5,000-strong Airborne Force in June 1940.
Drawing on a wealth of first-hand sources and unpublished material, author Rebecca Skinner transports readers into the daily life and campaigns of British paratroopers in Osprey's British Paratrooper 1940 – 45.
Skinner dedicates nearly the first two-thirds to the fledgling unit's formation, training and equipment. Two important decisions impacted the Airborne Force's early creation: 1) all men joining would be volunteers and 2) only experienced soldiers could sign up.
The remaining third details deployment and combat experience. During World War II, British paratroopers earned nearly 30 battle honors – including Maj. Digby Tatham-Warter, who took out an armored vehicle while wearing a bowler hat and carrying an umbrella!
The author concludes with a brief Parachute Regiment collectables, museums and re-enactments. Fifty historical photographs and illustrations by Graham Turner supplement text. A bibliography and index complete the account. One minor gripe: readers might miss – as I nearly did – the small military acronyms key on page 2. Making it an appendix would help.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!