Operation Market Garden Paratroopers Vol. 2

Published: September 14th, 2017     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Author: Piotr Witkowski - Color Plates: Andrzej Glinski
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Mushroom Model Publications
ISBN #: 978-83-65281-38-8
Other Publication Information: A4, 136 pages (136 in colour)
Price: $34.00
Product / Stock #: 4124

This tome appears to be Piotr Witkowski's second book in English and it's a follow up to Volume one of his Operational Market Garden Paratroopers that focused on uniforms, equipment and personal use items. The positive feedback he received from Volume 1 encouraged him to move fast on this volume to get it published. You can find the review on Volume I at the IPMS USA Review website. I've found two prior books in Polish: Polskie jednostki powietrzno-desantowe na zachodzie (Bellona, 2009) and a second edition of this book titled: Spadochroniarze Sosabowskiego : Dzieje polskich jednostekpowietrznodesantowych 1939-1945 (Bellona, 2012). Volume 3 is in preparation by Piotr Witkowski and will focus on Transports used in Operation Market Garden.

This second volume focuses on the small arms and specialized equipment used by 1st Independent Parachute Brigade. Created in September 1941 under the command of Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski, their original mission was to parachute into Poland to liberate their home country. The British had other ideas and persuaded them to be a unit under Allied (British) command. After many military snafus, they were finally sent into action as part of Operation Market Garden in September of 1944. Casualties in the first few days were high, but their presence helped divert some 2,500 German troops from annihilating the British 1st Airborne Division.

I counted 84 black and white photographs and an additional 341 color pics. You also get 3 color drawings and 11 color maps. The black and white photos are WWII era pictures while most of the color photos are of re-enactors, their weapons, and museum pieces. Interestingly, the product details on many of the online sites selling this book list 160 pages. Mushroom Model Publications' has provided a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/364.

The Table of Contents includes the following sections:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Author's Note
  • Chapter I: Timeline of Operations of the 1st Independent Parachute Bridgade during Operation "Market Garden" [Page 11]
  • Chapter II: Small Arms [Page 29, 43]
  • Chapter III: Artillery and Mortars [Page 67, 75]
  • Chapter IV: Airdropping Equipment [Page 91]
  • Chapter V: Specialized Equipment of Subunits and Services: Airborne Engineer Company [Page 107]
  • Chapter VI: Specialized Equipment of Subunits and Services: Airborne Signals Company
  • Chapter VII: Specialized Equipment of Subunits and Services: Airborne Medical Company [Page 123]
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

Piotr Witkowski provides a detailed timeline (in some cases down to the hour) and maps for Operation Market Garden the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade and then dives into the details. We are talking small arms and specialized equipment and any variations in their totality. Piotr also spends significant time on the development and usage of these weapons. This includes knives, revolvers, rifles, mortars, all the way up to the 75mm howitzer. The section on the Sten submachine gun was quite interesting. Basically not an ideal gun, but if was forced into combat anyway. The fourth chapter begins coverage of parachutes and other specialized containers and equipment that would be airdropped into the landing zone. You can see below on page 91, even the proper method of landing is depicted.

Piotr Witkowski notes that the research in this area is still not complete and is apparently hotly contested on internet forums much like a newly released kit is debated on the modeling forums. Still, the information presented here surely stands pistols and mortars ahead of any published to date. I had not been a connoisseur of infantry weapons before, although I am aware of this area being a passion for many. Still I was quite impressed with the detail and descriptions presented by Piotr Witkowski and I do look forward to Volume 3. If you are into infantry weapons and associated equipment and need color references to Operation Market Garden, this is an excellent book.

My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Back Cover
    Back Cover
  • Page 11
    Page 11
  • Page 29
    Page 29
  • Page 43
    Page 43
  • Page 67
    Page 67
  • Page 75
    Page 75
  • Page 91
    Page 91
  • Page 107
    Page 107
  • Page 123
    Page 123