Robert K. Wright Jr. and John T. Greenwood. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007. 214 pp. Illus. Maps. Bib. Index. $39.95.
Experienced military historians provide readers with a comprehensive view of U.S. Army airborne forces from their birth to ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Retired Army General Frederick Kroesen cited this book as "excellent factual history."
The authors open with a description of how Germany's blitzkrieg in 1940 shocked U.S. leaders into urgent plans for airborne units. Thus, only days after the fall of France, the Parachute Test Platoon was formed at Fort Benning, Georgia. Parachute schooling and rigorous physical conditioning led to the platoon's first unit jump on 29 August 1940. Soon thereafter, the 501st Parachute Battalion was activated.