The Lions of Carentan - Fallschirmjager Regiment 6, 1943-1945

Published: November 22nd, 2011     
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Author: Volker Griesser
Reviewed by: Perry Downen - IPMS# 44000
ISBN #: 978-1-61200-006-0
Other Publication Information: Hardbound, 288 pages, 6”x9”, 220+ historical photos, campaign maps
Price: $32.95
Product provided by: Casemate Publishing

This wonderfully documented book covers the history of one of Germany's largest paratrooper regiments - the Fallschirmjager Regiment 6, FJ.Rgt.6. Originally published in German in 2007, the book has been translated into English by Mara Taylor and released in the United States by Casemate Publishing in 2011.

Following a short Preface, Chapter 1, The Initial Organization, begins with the unit's formation on February 13, 1943 under the command of Major Egon Liebach, an experienced paratrooper and troop leader. The focus of Major Liebach's training was field exercises and close combat. In addition, advanced training was provided in combat parachute and glider deployment. As it turned out, they acted more as ground troops than as a parachute assault unit. In fact, their nickname, The Lions of Carentan, came about as a result of the strong defense they put up around Carentan during the Normandy invasion.

The book follows chronological order with chapters 2 through 9 covering the unit's various deployments. They are:

  1. Deployment in Italy, 1943
  2. Deployment in Russia, 1943/44
  3. The Reorganization in Cologne-wahn, 1944
  4. Deployment in Normandy, 1944
  5. Deployment in Holland, 1944
  6. Deployment in the Eifel Region, 1944
  7. Parachute Mission in the Ardennes, 1944
  8. The Final Battle in the Homeland, 1945
  9. Peace

Within each chapter are numerous detailed and insightful personal accounts of combat, troop movements and war experiences. It's interesting that the author's grandfather, a FJ.Rgt.6 veteran, is quoted. These passages are like reading someone's diary.

The reader will also find over 220 photographs. One of the photographs is of the author's grandfather, Eugen Griesser. Nearly all have a block of text explaining the photograph. The photographs illustrate FJ.Rgt.6 personnel, various uniforms, equipment and weapons. Scattered throughout are a number of maps showing troop concentrations and movements. The book ends with Appendices and a photographic Appendix.

The book 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.

The Lions of Carentan is a book I can easily recommend to the modeler and historian alike. The modeler will find the many photographs helpful in detailing models and dioramas. The historian will find this book provides a different perspective on the battles with which we are all familiar.

I'd like to thank Casemate Publishers for graciously submitting this book to IPMS/USA for review and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

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