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Fallschirmjäger: German Paratroopers - 1937–1941 (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

Military WWII > German Forces & Weaponry WWII > Photographic Books

By François Cochet
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 111
Illustrations: 160
ISBN: 9781526740663
Published: 4th February 2019



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As elite troops, the German Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) were regularly engaged in front line combat during the Second World War. Their famed actions such as the fighting in Scandinavia, the taking of the Belgian fortress Eden-Emal in May 1940, and the Battle of Crete just a year later, have given them the reputation of being determined, courageous and loyal soldiers.

This book covers the early years of the Fallschirmtruppen (paratroop units) before the beginning of the war, until the height of their successes in 1941 in the Battle of Crete, after which the Fallschirmjäger were more often deployed in a more 'traditional' way, even though high-risk actions (such as at Monte Cassino, the Gran Sasso Raid) allowed them to reconnect once more with their glorious past.

These books are exceptionally interesting, and the text is well written. Their forte is, of course, the photographs and these images will appeal to many who are interested in German paratroopers or airborne forces in general. They are easy to read and one can spend a most enjoyable afternoon reading them. The author has done considerable research and sourcing the imagery has undoubtedly taken a massive amount of man hours. He has done an excellent job and deserves praise accordingly.

Dr Stuart C Blank

As featured by

Toy Soldier & Model Figure magazine issue 247

Èlite units hold a particular interest for ‘students’ of the history of warfare, and the German fallschirmjäger of World War II are no exception. Cochet’s two-volumes in the “Images of War” series are not only an excellent introduction to this force and its combat history in the war, but also much more.

Volume one traces the corps from its formation to the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in September 1941. Packed with photographs, chiefly from Cochet’s own collection, the book shows the fallschirmjäger in training, at play and in action. In addition to the photographs there are reproductions of some drawings made by German war correspondents that were published in Der Adler. Cochet’s at times controversial text expands on the pictorial story provided by the images and demonstrates a clear affinity with the formation and its men.

This book will interest novice and ‘seasoned campaigner’ alike, both of whom will find much to study in the breadth and detail of the photographs and in the text.

Read the full review here

James Fisher, Avon Napoleonic Fellowship

Recommended for those interested in the early history of WW II German Fallschirmjagers.


The majority of the photographs come from the authors own collection and a few private collections of others, so there should be something new for followers of the Fallschirmjager.

IPMS Magazine Nov-Dec 19

... the period imagery, which is arranged chronologically, is the real highlight.

Airfix Model World, January 2020

I found this book excellent in it's description and narrative. It is clearly laid out with many first-class photos of the Fallschirmjäger in action. The training and uniforms of this elite fighting force are well-covered, as are descriptions of the battles fought. For a military historian and model maker, this is a must buy book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and rate it as a good 4½ out of 5.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

As featured by

Fliegerblätter 3 and 4/2019

Click here for the full review.

Wargames Illustrated, May 2019

Very interesting documentation.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

As featured on A Question of Scale

A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

The very popular Images of War series has established a format with a large number of rare photographs in each book and clear concise text supporting the photographic selection. This new addition follows the proven format to provide a graphic history and analysis of German paratroopers in WWII. - Highly Recommended

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It begins with some wonderful photographs of their pre-war training, demonstrating the various stages of their jumping techniques, and throughout provides clear views of uniforms and equipment, including the contents of supply containers. The subsequent chapters describe their minor role in the Polish campaign and spectacular success in Norway and the Low Countries, followed by training for the aborted invasion of Britain. A large part of the book is dedicated to the Greek campaign, including the capture of the bridge over the Corinth Canal and the victorious disaster that was the invasion of Crete, with a superb collection of photographs illustrating the landings and subsequent fighting there. Crete effectively spelt the end of the Fallschirmjager as a raiding force, and the final pages of the book dwell on their involvement in the first year of the Russian campaign and their conversion into a more conventional elite infantry formation.

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Pegasus Archive

Some excellent photos, with informative captions, and illustrating plenty of detail on uniforms and equipment which modellers will like, and combat records that will interest the historian of airborne forces in WW2.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

If you are interested in the prewar Fallschirmjägers and Crete this book may be of interest.

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Amazon Customer, Lars Gyllenhaal

A great starting point to get to know the Fallschirmjäger!

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

A great book.

Watch the full review here

The View From The Turret Vlog

About François Cochet

François Cochet is a Belgian author whose main interest lies in the battles of the Second World War. Over the last 80 years he has met and interviewed many German ex-soldiers of the Wehrmacht and collected various memorabilia and documents. He enjoys helping others research this particular period, and this is his second image-based book. He currently lives in Flanders.

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