Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper

Author: Frank van Lunteren
Publisher: Casemate
ISBN: 1612003141
Size: 41.72 MB
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In December 1944 an enormous German army group crashed through the thin American line in the Ardennes forest. Caught by surprise, the Allies were initially only able to throw two divisions of paratroopers to buttress the collapseÑthe 82nd Airborne, which was rushed to the area of St. Vith, and the 101st, which was trucked to Bastogne. After their successful campaign in Holland, Colonel Reuben TuckerÕs elite 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was resting and refitting in France when news came of the German breakthrough. Most dangerous to the Allies was the German spearhead of the 1st SS Panzer Division led by Jochen Peiper, which aimed to sever the Allied front. The 504th was committed to block the SS advance, and within 48 hours of their arrival Colonel TuckerÕs paratroopers were attacking the SS-Panzergrenadiers of PeiperÕs battlegroup, eventually forcing them to withdraw. More ferocious fighting ensued as follow-up German units forced a U.S. retreat from St. Vith. In adverse weather conditions against the German 9th SS Panzer and 3rd FallschirmjŠger Divisions, the 504th lived up to itÕs regimental motto--Strike and Hold. Although some rifle companies were whittled down to less than 50 paratroopers, the Americans doggedly fought on until victory was achieved. Moving quotations of letters to the next-of-kin provide insight into the impact of their deaths both on the battlefield and homefront.? In this work Van Lunteren provides a fascinating, close-in view of the 504th P.I.R. during the Battle of the Bulge as well as its gallant sacrifice. Using never before published diaries, letters, battle reports and interviews with over 100 veterans, a comprehensive account is painted of a triumphant U.S. regiment in one of the fiercest fought campaigns in the history of the U.S. Army.

Spearhead Of The Fifth Army

Author: Frank Van Lunteren
Publisher: Casemate
ISBN: 1612004288
Size: 48.51 MB
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Upon the completion of the Sicily and Salerno Campaigns in 1943, the paratroopers of Colonel Reuben Tucker’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment were among the first Allied troops to enter Naples. A ghost town at first sight, the residents soon expressed their joy at being liberated. Four weeks later the 504th—upon the special request of General Mark Clark—spearheaded Fifth Army’s drive through the notorious Volturno Valley—the Germans’ next stand. January 1944 seemed to promise a period of rest, but the landing at Anzio meant deployment for the paratroopers again, this time by ship. A bombing raid during their beach landing was a forecast of eight weeks of bitter fighting. Holding the right flank of the beachhead along the Mussolini Canal, the paratroopers earned their nickname “Devils in Baggy Pants” for their frontline incursions into enemy lines, as well as their stubborn defense of the Allied salient. In this work H Company’s attachment to the British 5th Grenadier Guards—and the Victoria Cross action of Major William Sidney—are painted in comprehensive light for the first time. Also the story of Honorary Member of the 504th P.I.R., Italian veteran Antonio Taurelli, is included. Using war diaries, personal journals, letters and interviews with nearly 80 veterans, a close-in view of the 504th P.I.R. in the Fifth Army’s Italy Campaign is here provided in unsurpassed detail. This work is the third by Van Lunteren on the 504th P.I.R. In World War II following The Battle of the Bridges and Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper. As readers will see, however, the Italian theater held second place to none in terms of grueling combat and courage against formidable odds, and an extremely expert enemy.

More Than Courage

Author: Phil Nordyke
Publisher: Zenith Imprint
ISBN: 9780760333136
Size: 32.61 MB
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Drawing on many oral and unpublished written accounts from veterans of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Phil Nordyke brings the history of the regiment to life, conveying with remarkable immediacy and power what it was like to be there. This is history as it was lived by the men of the 504th, from their pre-war coming of age in the regiment, through the end of World War II, when they marched in the Victory Parade down Fifth Avenue in New York. The 504th earned three bronze stars for their parachute wings, one for each of their combat jumps.

The Battle Of The Bridges

Author: Frank van Lunteren
Publisher: Casemate
ISBN: 1612002323
Size: 38.94 MB
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Operation Market Garden has been recorded as a complete Allied failure in World War II, an overreach that resulted in an entire airborne division being destroyed at its apex. However, within that operation were episodes of heroism that still remain unsung. On September, 17, 1944, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, floated down across the Dutch countryside, in the midst of German forces, and proceeded to fight their way to vital bridges to enable the Allied offensive to go forward. The 101st Airborne was behind them; the British 1st Airbourne was far advanced. In the 82ndÕs sector the crucial conduits needed to be seized. The Germans knew the importance of the bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen as well as James Gavin and his 82nd troopers did. Thus began a desperate fight for the Americans to seize it, no matter what the cost. The Germans would not give, however, and fought tenaciously in the town and fortified the bridge. On September 20 Gavin turned his paratroopers into sailors and conducted a deadly daylight amphibious assault in small plywood and canvas craft across the Waal River to secure the north end of the highway bridge in Nijmegen. German machine guns and mortars boiled the water on the crossing, but somehow a number of paratroopers made it to the far bank. Their ferocity thence rolled up the German defenses, and by the end of day the bridge had fallen. This book draws on a plethora of previously unpublished sources to shed new light on the exploits of the ÒDevils in Baggy PantsÓ by Dutch author and historian Frank van Lunteren. A native of ArnhemÑthe site of ÒThe Bridge too FarÓÑthe author draws on nearly 130 interviews he personally conducted with veterans of the 504th, plus Dutch civilians and British and German soldiers, who here tell their story for the first time.

Jump Commander

Author: MARK Alexander
Publisher: Casemate
ISBN: 1935149512
Size: 53.25 MB
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A selection of the Military Book Club Col. Mark James Alexander was the only airborne officer to lead three different battalions into combat in World War II, successively commanding the 2d and 1st Battalions, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion, 508 PIR, of the 82nd Airborne Division. A legend in his own time, he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France, and even after being seriously wounded in Normandy, insisted on playing a role in the Battle of the Bulge. Airborne Generals Gavin and Ridgway recognized Alexander’s superior battle skills and were more than happy to use him to plug holes in the ranks. His reputation excelled among the rank and file, right down to the lowest private. He led from the front, pressing the attack while simultaneously looking out for his men. In Sicily, Alexander’s battalion landed 25 miles from its drop zone, into a network of Italian pillboxes, upon which the Colonel personally directed fire, thence captured hundreds of prisoners. Dropped into the desperate inferno at Salerno, he refused to give ground against German counterattacks, forming his paratroopers against enemy efforts to push Allied forces back into the sea. At Normandy one seasoned lieutenant, John “Red Dog” Dolan, 505 PIR, called him “the finest battalion commander I ever served under,” after Alexander had led the 1/505 for ten days through the bloody battle for La Fière Bridge and Causeway. Alexander’s passion and truest talent was leading men in the field, and he insisted on sharing their risks. On one occasion in Normandy he and his runner (he went through several) were caught behind German lines and encountered a platoon of SS. Opening fire, the Colonel killed or wounded several and brought the rest in as prisoners. An 88mm shell finally got the best of him, shrapnel tearing through his lungs, and while the 82nd was engaged in the Bulge, Alexander was only allowed to run its base camps in France— despite his protests—as General Gavin noted that he was still coughing up blood. This memoir is based on the transcription of hundreds of hours of recorded interviews made by Alexander’s grandson, John Sparry, over a period of years late in his life. Providing valuable insight into the beloved commander who led three of the most storied battalions in the US Army, Jump Commander also contains a wealth of new detail on 82nd Airborne operations, and casts insight on some of the most crucial battles in the ETO. This highly readable and action-packed narrative may well be the last remaining memoir to be written in the voice of a major airborne officer of the Greatest Generation.

Our Salvation

Author: Tyler Fox
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780692781678
Size: 19.62 MB
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"DESTINATION PAESTUM SALERNO" a young parachute officer scrawled across the bottom of his plane's manifest just before boarding the aircraft, beginning what remains one of the greatest emergency airborne deployments in modern military history. Drawing on personal interviews, primary-source records, and dispatches from the foxholes, Tyler Fox shares the hair-raising tale of paratroopers in action during the critical days of the Invasion of Italy, Operation AVALANCHE. The 1st & 2nd Battalions of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, with eight hours notice, jumped into the beachhead and three days later attacked to turn the tide of battle above Altavilla in a last-ditch effort that has largely been forgotten.

Those Devils In Baggy Pants

Author: Ross S. Carter
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
ISBN: 1786257467
Size: 54.78 MB
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“THE GLORY AND SHAME OF WAR, VIVIDLY PORTRAYED IN A BOOK THAT IS ‘ONE OF THE VERY BEST’”—F. Van Wyck Mason Suicide Squad Ross Carter was one of three men who survived the suicide stands of his platoon of paratroopers. They had a three-way destiny—to be wounded, killed, or captured. But bound together by deep comradeship and extraordinary daring, the twelve men in his unit set incredible records of heroism. Here are the unvarnished stories of ordinary men faced with the reality of death at any moment. They beef, get drunk, quarrel violently, take their women where they find them, and yet achieve an epic grandeur in their deeds. “Every level of society had its representation among us. Senators’ sons rubbed shoulders with ex-cowboys. Steel workers chummed up with tough guys from city slums. Farm boys, millionaires’ spoiled brats, white-collar men, factory workers, ex-convicts, jailbirds, and hoboes joined for the thrill and adventure of parachute jumping. And so the army’s largest collection of adventurous men congregated in the parachute troops.” From their first jumps in Africa through the Battle of the Bulge, this is their story—a story filled with breathtaking suspense and inspiring gallantry.

Survivors Of Stalingrad

Author: Reinhold Busch
Publisher: Frontline Books
ISBN: 1473842298
Size: 37.77 MB
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In November 1942 _ in a devastating counter-attack from outside the city _ Soviet forces smashed the German siege and encircled Stalingrad, trapping some 290,000 soldiers of the 6th Army inside. For almost three months, during the harshest part of the Russian winter, the German troops endured atrocious conditions. Freezing cold and reliant on dwindling food supplies from Luftwaffe air drops, thousands died from starvation, frostbite or infection if not from the fighting itself. ??This important work reconstructs the grim fate of the 6th Army in full for the first time by examining the little-known story of the field hospitals and central dressing stations. The author has trawled through hundreds of previously unpublished reports, interviews, diaries and newspaper accounts to reveal the experiences of soldiers of all ranks, from simple soldiers to generals. ??The book includes first-hand accounts of soldiers who were wounded or fell ill and were flown out of the encirclement; as well as those who fought to the bitter end and were taken prisoner by the Soviets. They reflect on the severity of the fighting, and reveal the slowly ebbing hopes for survival. Together they provide an illuminating and tragic portrait of the appalling events at Stalingrad.

A Handful Of Hard Men

Author: Hannes Wessels
Publisher: Casemate
ISBN: 1612003451
Size: 76.62 MB
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During the WestÕs great transition into the post-Colonial age, the country of Rhodesia refused to succumb quietly, and throughout the 1970s fought back almost alone against Communist-supported elements that it did not believe would deliver proper governance. During this long war many heroes emerged, but none more skillful and courageous than Captain Darrell Watt of the Rhodesian SAS, who placed himself at the tip of the spear in the deadly battle to resist the forces of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo. It is difficult to find another soldierÕs story to equal WattÕs in terms of time spent on the field of battle and challenges faced. Even by the lofty standards of the SAS and Special Forces, one has to look far to find anyone who can match his record of resilience and valor in the face of such daunting odds and with resources so paltry. In the fight he showed himself to be a military maestro. A bush-lore genius, blessed with uncanny instincts and an unbridled determination to close with the enemy, he had no peers as a combat-tracker (and there was plenty of competition). But the Rhodesian theater was a fluid and volatile one in which he performed in almost every imaginable fighting role; as an airborne shock-trooper leading camp attacks, long range reconnaissance operator, covert urban operator, sniper, saboteur, seek-and-strike expert, and in the final stages as a key figure in mobilizing an allied army in neighboring Mozambique. After 12 years in the cauldron of war his cause slipped from beneath him, however, and Rhodesia gave way to Zimbabwe. When the guns went quiet Watt had won all his battles but lost the war. In this fascinating biography we learn that in his twilight years he is now concerned with saving wildlife on a continent where they are in continued danger, devoting himself to both the fauna and African people he has cared so deeply about.

Screaming Eagle Gliders

Author: G. J. Dettore
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0811764877
Size: 47.24 MB
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As part of the famous 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles), the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion saw nearly constant action during World War II, from assisting the infantry by landing supplies and providing combat support to fighting on the front lines.