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Hitler's Paratrooper: The Life and Battles of Rudolf Witzig

Overview

Rudolf Witzig was the quintessential first-generation Fallschirmjäger. He was an elite soldier within an elite, extremely tight-knit brotherhood. Witzig participated in two of the greatest airborne operations in military history - Eben Emael and Crete - and became a legendary figure. He experienced the conflict from its first triumphant days, as the Wehrmacht swept across Poland, France, the Soviet Union, and North Africa, through to its last agonising weeks, as some 200 Allied divisions converged on the ...

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Overview

Rudolf Witzig was the quintessential first-generation Fallschirmjäger. He was an elite soldier within an elite, extremely tight-knit brotherhood. Witzig participated in two of the greatest airborne operations in military history - Eben Emael and Crete - and became a legendary figure. He experienced the conflict from its first triumphant days, as the Wehrmacht swept across Poland, France, the Soviet Union, and North Africa, through to its last agonising weeks, as some 200 Allied divisions converged on the shattered remnants of Hitler's Third Reich. He marched and fought across the breadth and depth of the war, from Poland to Crete and from North Africa to Lithuania and witnessed the decimation or complete destruction of three of his much-loved battalions. And yet he never broke faith with his oath to Hitler and Third Reich - though he was never a member of the Nazi Party - defending tenaciously and counterattacking fiercely until the very last days of the war.

Remarkably, very little has been written about him as an individual. This biography, completed with the support of Witzig's widow and son, is a comprehensive history of the man and also provides important new detail on the German parachute arm that he served.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848325593
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
  • Publication date: 12/30/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 728,503
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

List of Illustrations and Maps ix

Maps xii

Introduction xvii

Prologue: Glory or Death xxi

Chapter 1 A Child of War 1

Chapter 2 Fallschirmjäger 14

Chapter 3 Eben Emael 34

Chapter 4 Crete 74

Chapter 5 The Spearhead Shattered 98

Chapter 6 North Africa: First Battles 115

Chapter 7 North Africa: To the Last Man 137

Chapter 8 From Partisans to the Red Army 161

Chapter 9 Holland: 'No Longer War' 177

Chapter 10 Holland: Last Battles 202

Chapter 11 The New German Army and Retirement 220

Notes 238

Bibliography 253

Index 262

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