The 101st Airborne in Normandy, June 1944

Published: March 31st, 2018     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Yves Buffetaut
Reviewed by: 
Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: Casemate Publishers
ISBN #: 9781612005232
Other Publication Information: Soft cover, 128 pages, 10”x7”, B&W and color photos, color maps, color illustrations
Price: $24.95
Product / Stock #: Casemate Illustrated CIS0001

Summary

This book is a photo essay of the 101st Airborne in Normandy from D-Day through early July 1944. The first of Casemate's Illustrated series, the book has many black-and-white and color photographs, colored vehicle profiles, color photos of key participants, and colored maps. Written descriptions of the 101st units and movements accompany the many photos. The text is fairly brief, and is not meant to be a complete written description of the activities of the 101st. Most of the information is contained in photographs, captions, and more detailed "In profile" articles.

The Book's Chapters:

  • Timeline of Events: June 1944
  • Background and Formation of the 101st Airborne Division
  • Planning and Preparation
  • Airborne Invasion
  • "E" is for Easy
  • The 101st in Carentan
  • Afterword
  • Further Reading
  • Index

Each of the chapters is broken down into smaller sections that provide concise descriptions of participants, operations, vehicles, etc. Side bars are also provided as additional descriptions of topics. There are also profiles of key figures and or vehicles to give a more detailed description.

A timeline describes events in June 1944 from the June 5 take-off of the 101st to the June 27 withdrawal from the front lines.

Background and Formation of the 101st Airborne Division 3 pages

This section discusses the formation of the 101st and includes a sidebar description of General William C. Lee, the 'Father' of the 101st.

Planning and preparation 25 pages

This chapter discusses the controversy about how to use airborne forces, training for the 101st airborne in England, coordination of the airborne with the airborne transport force, airborne Pathfinders, and military exercises in preparation for D-Day.

Profiles are provided for:

  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • General George C. Marshall
  • Materiel Used by the 101st Airborne
  • Waco CG-4 Glider.

Airborne Invasion 23 pages

This chapter describes the operations on June 6th and 7th. Albany and Boston were the two main operations that transported American paratroopers to Normandy as part of operation Overlord. The difficulties with many of the drop sites are described as well as efforts to resupply the initial wave of paratroopers. Initial battles of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and Saint-Come-du-Mont are briefly described.

Additional detail is provided with In Profile sections:

  • Captured French Tanks in German Use.
  • General Maxwell D. Taylor.
  • Operation Chicago - Serial 27.
  • Lt. Colonel Robert F. Sink.
  • C-47's Used by 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.

"E" is for Easy 19 pages 

Easy company of the 101st airborne is one of the more famous American units of World War II. Made famous by Stephen Ambrose's book, Band of Brothers, and the subsequent movie that highlighted the achievements of Easy Company. The Casemate book includes several references to people and events from the Ambrose book and Band of Brothers movie.

This chapter discusses the formation of the 101st airborne at Camp Toccoa, Georgia and in England in preparation for D-Day. 

Despite their scattered parachute drops, Easy Company made significant contributions to the D-Day invasion and battles in Normandy. The book includes brief descriptions of Easy Company's actions taking a German artillery battery at Brecourt Manor despite being greatly outnumbered. The book also describes the role of the 101st in taking the city of Carentan.

This chapter includes In Profile sections:

  • Sergeant William 'Wild Bill' Guarnere
  • Lieutenant Richard Winters.

Color maps of the D-Day drop zones and the movements for the attack on Carentan are included, plus many black-and-white photos of the 101st airborne preparations in England and activities in Normandy after D-Day.

The 101st in Carentan 40 pages

This chapter describes the units and movements of the 101st airborne in the battle for Carentan, which was important to unify the troops landing at Utah beach with those from Omaha beach, and the subsequent plans to capture the city of Cherbourg. The battle is described both from the American and German perspectives.

In addition to many black and white photos, this section includes In Profile descriptions:

  • M4 Shermans from Utah Beach.
  • Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe.
  • German Material Used Against the 101st Airborne.
  • Oberstleutnant Freidrich Freiherr von der Heydte.
  • German Armored Vehicles.
  • American Armored Vehicles.

Several color maps of the Carentan area and troop movements are also provided.

The 101st airborne fought in other clashes in Normandy before being relieved on July 8, 1944 for return to England. The 101st suffered nearly 50% casualties during their fight in Normandy.

This book is an easy read and includes lots of fascinating photos of the 101st during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. It provides an overview on the men, battles, and equipment used on both sides of the battles. The descriptions of Easy Company men and events are familiar references from the recent Band of Brothers book and movie. This book is a highly recommended illustrated guide to the 101st, and would be a good read for those interested in the 101st Airborne or the D-Day invasion.

Thanks to Casemate Publishing for providing the review copy and supporting the IPMS review program!

  • Eisenhower Profile
    Eisenhower Profile
  • US Equipment Profile
    US Equipment Profile
  • Von der Heydte Profile
    Von der Heydte Profile
  • German Equipment Profile
    German Equipment Profile
  • Sample Map
    Sample Map
  • Sample Page 1
    Sample Page 1
  • Sample Page 2
    Sample Page 2

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