From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, September 2011
“A comprehensive history of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II, from an officer of that famed unit…A tour de force for military historians and WWII buffs, and a lesson on the leadership skills required to effectively conceive and coordinate a mission.”
Booklist Online, 9/27/11
“An established military historian proffers a massive volume on the 82d Airborne Division in WWII…This tome is so massive that it holds material on everything from grand strategy to developments in tactics and equipment to the colorful personalities in which the airborne troops abounded. Military specialists are not the only ones likely to find this book absorbing and valuable.”
Asbury Park Press, 10/23/11
“[A] scholarly and really interesting account…Talk about detailed! The author…seems to know his stuff, and then some.”
Tucson Citizen, 11/6/11
“This book brings into sharp focus the struggles and triumphs of WWII’s most famous fighters.”
A comprehensive history of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II, from an officer of that famed unit.
Wartime Chief of Staff George Marshall viewed airborne troops, at the division level, as a means to transform the battlefield as a whole, and incorporated the idea in his 1941 draft invasion plan for April 1943. He backed the officers like Matthew Ridgway and James Gavin who brought the division into existence and organized its tactics and supplies. However, after the unit's first mission in Sicily, Eisenhower, who was unsure of a deployment based on relatively independent small units acting on their own initiative, wanted the division units disbanded. Marshall prepared a "Plan C" for Eisenhower's consideration for D-Day in 1944, suggesting a proposal to drop two or three divisions of airborne troops into the Orleans Gap 85 miles inland from the Normandy beaches to cut German supply lines and communications. Marshall called this proposal "vertical envelopment." As LoFaro ably shows, this strategic conception was subordinated to both staff caution and inter-allied intrigue, which limited the application of the unit's potential but not the heroism of its troopers in combat against the Germans. They were never deployed in the way Marshall envisioned. LoFaro singles out as exemplary both Ridgway and Gavin, who led their troops from the front.
A tour de force for military historians and WWII buffs, and a lesson on the leadership skills required to effectively conceive and coordinate a mission.