Although it is known that Allied airborne forces landed into a German buzzsaw on D-Day, far less is known about the troops they encountered in the dark night of June 6, 1944. One of the formations they encountered was a similarly elite group of paratroopers, who instead of dropping from the skies fought on the defensive, giving their Allied counterparts a tremendous challenge in achieving their objectives.This is the complete wartime history of one of the largest German paratrooper regiments, 6th Fallschirmjager, from its initial formation in the spring of 1943 to its last day at the end of the war. With numerous firsthand accounts from key members, reporting on their experiences, they describe the events of 1943-45 vividly and without compromise. These accounts reveal previously unknown details about important operations in Italy, Russia, on the Normandy Front, Belgium, Holland, the last German Parachute drop in the Ardennes, and the final battle to the end in Germany.With over 220 original photographs, many from private collections and never before published, this book fully illustrates the men, their uniforms, equipment and weapons. Also included is an appendix with maps, battle calendar, staffing plans, a list of field and post-MOB-numbers, and the Knight's Cross recipients of the regiment. Having earned the respect of the Allied forces who fought against it during World War II, this work will inform current readers of the full record of Fallschirmjager Regiment 6, and why the Allied advance into German-held Europe was so painstaking to achieve.
"...a compelling history... Recommended for soldiers (particularly paratroopers), historians, and students of World War II ad airborne operations."Les Grau, PhD, Foreign Military Studies OfficeIt is said that it is the victors who write the histories of the wars, so it is especially revealing to discover a book that was written from the viewpoint of those on the losing side. The great value of Griesser's superb, richly detailed, and fabulously illustrated work is that it fills in a very wide gap in our knowledge about one of Nazi Germany's elite branches of service. And the voices of the men who fought provide a valuable insight into the German military thinking of that time. The Lions of Carentan represents a treasure trove for anyone interested in German airborne forces.Flint WhitlockAuthor, If Chaos Reigns, and Editor, WWII Quarterly"...wonderfully documented book...Within each chapter are numerous detailed and insightful personal accounts of combat, troop movements and war experiences... provides an excellent account of what it was like fighting in WWII from the German soldier's perspective. It was an enjoyable and informative read. The many photographs complimented the text nicely, but were also interesting to view as a photo album."IPMS"... very unique book, one of only a handful of German unit histories translated into English. Written in the typical style of German unit histories, it is well translated, and replete with personal accounts and photographs. This fascinating book is highly recommended and a must read for those who are interested in the Normandy, Market Garden, and Ardennes Operations. It gives the view of those actions from "the other side of the hill." Henrik Lunde, Author of Hitler's Preemptive War and Finland's War of Choice"...an interesting insight into the combat history of this group of elite troops who earned much respect from their enemies as well for their actions."Military Modeling"prose is simple and efficient...cleverly synchronizes the memories and fragments of past events with his own academic narrative of military history... On the surface the work can simply be enjoyed as a resource book of the regiment or as a lively but academic history... I read it as a contemplative book which explores the human cost of war.Military Modelcraft International "...tells an exciting and action packed story very well, from the regiment's first combat deployment as part of the German actions to disarm Italian forces when Italy surrendered to the Allies through to the final days of the remnants in Germany 1945."Wargamer, 5/2012