Operation Market Garden Paratroopers Vol. 3

Published: March 10th, 2018     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Piotr Witkowski, Color by Andrzej Glinski
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Mushroom Model Publications
ISBN #: 978-8365281753
Other Publication Information: A4, 96 pages (96 in colour)
Price: $26.40
Product / Stock #: 4125

This tome appears to be Piotr Witkowski's third book in English and it's a follow up to Volume 2 of his Operational Market Garden Paratroopers that focused on small arms and specialized equipment used by 1st Independent Parachute Brigade. The positive feedback he received from Volume 1 and 2 encouraged him to get this volume published. You can find my reviews on Volume I and II 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).

This third 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 95 black and white photographs and an additional 67 color pics. You also get 58 color drawings and 9 black and white illustrations. The black and white photos are WWII era pictures while most of the color photos are of re-enactors, their weapons, and museum pieces. Mushroom Model Publications' has provided a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/385.

  • The Table of Contents includes the following sections:
    • Acknowledgements
    • Author's Note
    • Chapter I: Means of Transport of the 1st IPB
    • Unpowered Vehicles of the 1st IPB
      • Trolley and Handcart Airborne Carts
      • Airborne Bicycle [Page 5]
  • Paint Schemes and Markings of Vehicles of the 1st IPB
    • 1st Polish Corps Insignia
    • Vehicle Group Classification Symbols
    • Registration Number [War Department Number]
    • Bridge Classification Numbers
    • Wartime Markings of 1st IPB Subunits
    • Nationality Markings
    • Parachutist Badge - Unit Emblem
    • Air Recognition Markings
    • Personal Markings
  • Motor Vehicles of the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade
    • "Welbike" Folding Motorcycle [Page 19]
    • Royal Enfield WD/RE "Flying Flea" Motorcycle
    • Ariel W/NG Motorcycle
    • Matchless G3L Motorcycle
    • Austin 10 HP [4x2] Light Utility
    • Hillman 10 HP 4x2 Light Utility
    • Willys MB / Ford GPW [Page 36]
    • Trailer 10-CWT. Lightweight, General Service For Jeep
    • Number FWD Heavy Utility
    • Bedford MWD 15-CWT
    • Ford / Chevrolet "Canada" CMP, 15 CWT [4x4]
    • Ford / Fordson WOT2 GS
    • Morris-Commercial C8/AT
    • Morris C8 Quad (FAT) Artillery Tractor
    • Austin K2/Y Ambulance
    • Bedford OYD Lorry GS
    • Ford / Fordson WOT3 30-CT, 4x2, GS
    • Dodge T-110 / D-60 L [4x2]
    • Leyland Retriever [Truck 6x4 3-Ton]
    • Austin K5 GS [4x4]
    • Ford / Fordson WOT 6
    • Studebaker US 6
    • Universal Carrier
    • Field Canteens of the 1st IPB
  • Gliders and Aircraft
    • Airspeed AS.51 Horsa [Page 63]
    • Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
    • Douglas C-47 "Skytrain" [Dakota]
  • Chapter II: Troop Parachute Dropping System
  • Acknowledgements
  • Appendices
  • Annex 1
    • List of Vehicles of the 1st IPB on 16 June 1944
  • Annex 2
    • Complement and Actual Strength of the 1st IPB on 19.09.1944
  • Annex 3
    • List of Equipment Carried from Great Britain to the Continent by the 1st Naval Component of the 1st IPB for Operation Market Garden...
    • List of Equipment Carried from Great Britain to the Continent by the 2nd Naval Component of the 1st IPB for Operation Market Garden
  • Annex 4
    • Glider Component of the 1st IPB During Operation Market Garden
  • Annex 5
    • Pattern of Loadsheet of Material and Personnel for Whitley Aircraft
  • Annex 6
    • Loadout Variants of Polish Gliders Participating in the OMG in September 1944
  • Annex 7
    • Formation of Aircraft of the 1st IPB in Flight to OMG on 21 September 1944 [Page 89]
  • Bibliography

Piotr Witkowski follows up from Volume 2 by addressing in detail any and all transport options utilized by the Polish Paratroopers of the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade in Operation Market Garden. Piotr starts off with non-motorized modes of transportation in the form of bicycle and man-powered trolleys. Up next are standardized vehicle markings and paint schemes. This includes a nice example with a color illustration five-view of a Willys Jeep with all the symbols and badges highlighted. This leads directly into the bulk of this book that covers the motorized vehicles from the Excelsior 98cc Wellbike (a folding motorcycle) to the standard Studebaker 2 1/2 ton 6x6 trucks. Airborne delivery systems are addressed next covering transport aircraft and gliders. Chapter II that addresses the jump training those members of the 1st IPB received. Unlike their British counterparts, the 1st IPB were older, and subsequently perhaps less athletic then their compatriots from the British side. The Polish volunteers also did not get the same standard of jump training and could not afford the washout rate that British paratroopers endured due to injuries. To this point, the 1st IPB devised training methods that reduced the risk of injuries substantially at a cost of prolonging training. I found it quite interesting that the 1st IPB employed jumping from tethered balloons as part of their training prior to actually jumping out of aircraft.

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 of any published to date. I had not been a connoisseur of infantry weapons before this series, 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. 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 5
    Page 5
  • Page 19
    Page 19
  • Page 36
    Page 36
  • Page 63
    Page 63

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