Fallschirmjäger: German Paratroopers 1937-1941

Published on
February 3, 2020
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Francois Cochet
Other Publication Information
7½ x 9¾ inches, 111 pages, 160 B&W photos & illustrations
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site

This is a pictorial book that uses photos to illustrate the history of the Fallschirmjäger during the pre-war and early war years. Each chapter includes brief text that chronicles the history of the Fallschirmjäger campaigns, but the story is mostly told in photos and their captions. Black & white photos illustrate the exploits of the paratroopers, and the publisher says many of the photos are rare or not previously published. The photos are low contrast and not too sharp, consistent with wartime photos. Illustrations are provided to illustrate events that don’t have photos.

German Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) were considered elite troops and regularly engaged in front line combat during the Second World War. Their campaigns such as the fighting in Scandinavia, the taking of the Belgian fortress Eden-Emal in May 1940, and the Battle for Crete just a year later, proved them to be determined, courageous, and loyal soldiers.

This book covers the early years of the Fallschirmstruppen (paratroop units) before the beginning of World War Two until the height of their successes in 1941, after which the Fallschirmjäger were more often deployed in more traditional combat roles.


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 Wehmacht and collected various memorabilia and documents. He enjoys helping others research this particular period, and this is his first image-based book. He currently lives in Flanders


  • Introduction
  • Mini Glossary
  • Useful Dates for this Volume
  • Chapter 1 The Origins of the Fallschirmstruppen
  • Chapter 2 The Beginnings of the Second World War (Poland and Scandinavia)
  • Chapter 3 July 1940-April 1941: Reorganization and Resumption of Fighting
  • Chapter 4 May 1941: The Battle of Crete (Operation Merkur)
  • Chapter 5 September 1941: The USSR (Operation Barbarossa)


The book is an interesting visual history of the Fallschirmjäger during the pre-war and early war years of 1937-1941. The photos illustrate the story well and give a good sense for the life of the paratroopers during combat and also non-combat periods. The book will certainly be interesting to German history buffs, and the photos provide some good ideas for figure & diorama modelers.

Thanks to Pen & Sword for publishing this book, and to Casemate Publishers for providing a review sample to IPMS.


Add new comment

All comments are moderated to prevent spam

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.