101st Books

Lots of the information I have acquire has come from real physical books, not by watching Band(wagon) of Brothers or Shaving Mrs Ryan. Not that I would ever claim to know everything, be an expert or any such shite like that! I simply know more than some and less than others! If I want to broaden my knowledge on any subjuct, I hunt out decent books and add it to my to read pile... I love those books that really target specific subjects, rather than those that try and cover everything; second only to the biographies of those individuals soldiers who stories have been captured for every in script. So this page will be split into two sections and will cover the books that I have in my collection.

Reference

A minute-by-minute and day-by-day account of the elite 101st Airborne’s daring parachute landing behind enemy lines at Normandy is accompanied by firsthand accounts from Airborne veterans and forty incredible, previously unknown (let alone published) color photos of the “Screaming Eagles” at Normandy and in Great Britain prior to the invasion. Accompanying these remarkable D-Day color Kodachromes—which were unearthed in the attic of an Army doctor’s daughter—are more than two hundred black-and-white photographs from 101st survivors and the author’s own private collection. This is an unprecedented look at an elite fighting force during one of the last century’s most crucial moments.

The 101st Airborne Division―the "Screaming Eagles"―is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord―the D-Day landings starting 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France―, Operation Market Garden, the liberation of the Netherlands and action during the Battle of the Bulge around the city of Bastogne, Belgium. The Pathfinders of the 101st Airborne Division led the way on D-Day in the night drop prior to the invasion. They left from RAF North Witham having trained there with the 82nd Airborne Division. The 101st Airborne Division's objectives were to secure the four causeway exits behind Utah Beach, destroy a German coastal artillery battery at Saint-Martin-de-Varreville, capture buildings nearby at Mesieres believed used as barracks and a command post for the artillery battery, capture the Douve River lock at la Barquette (opposite Carentan), capture two footbridges spanning the Douve at la Porte opposite Brevands, destroy the highway bridges over the Douve at Sainte-Come-du-Mont, and secure the Douve River valley. In the process units also disrupted German communications, established roadblocks to hamper the movement of German reinforcements, established a defensive line between the beachhead and Volognes, cleared the area of the drop zones to the unit boundary at Les Forges, and linked up with the 82nd Airborne Division. Mark Bando has dedicated this work to this famous American airborne division engaged in the Normandy and Ardennes battles. He relays in dramatic detail the histories recounted by hundreds of veterans, making this work a necessary addition to the enthusiast's library.

Spearheading D-Day Gawne: American Special Units in Normandy. The months leading up to June 6, 1944 were ones of intense preparation by the Allies. Specially trained USN and USMC amphibious troops cleared obstacles,organized the beachhead, and even set up a field hospital in the first hours of the invasion. Gawne 's detailed text covers every aspect of the organization, training, and active operations of these special D-Day units. Period color photographs and modern reconstructions show every aspect of the uniforms, insignia, weapons, and equipment of these elite troops

American Warriors: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers Prior to Normandy, is the first volume of a series covering the involvement of the American Paratroopers in the invasion of Europe. This series, written in both French and English, is the most complete pictorial coverage ever published, providing a unique illustrated insight into the operations fought by the famous American paratroopers on their way to liberate the fortress Europe. Contained in its 211 pages is the first striking pictorial record covering the paratrooper's preparation for Operation Overlord - including their training, their bases and their staging areas. Those days prior to the jump in history have been extremely well represented with nearly 300 superb, very clear, black& white and a few colour period photographs, most of which have never been seen and/or published. It also includes many full colour close-ups of what is believed to be the largest Airborne memorabilia collection, including many items recovered from the battlefield as well as veterans' uniforms and equipment.

Book is on order to answer some questions for the group

This fully illustrated book details the planning of the airborne element of D-Day, and the execution of the plans until the troops were withdrawn to prepare for the next big airborne operation, Market Garden.

On order

I know the pages says 101st... but as the 82nd was created a and saw combat before the 101st, this book covers their entire history and makes for an interesting if not HUGE read. Its one monster of a book! However it does really cover everything. Almost no photos, and what photos there are are very small. However the contect of the text is excellent and worth battling through. 

Biography

Writing with clarity and simplicity, Burgett takes his readers into the battlefields with him and his closest companions during the entire division’s campaign to keep Bastogne, Belgium out of Nazi Germany’s hands. From the time the 101st Airborne Division was called back into action on December 17, 1944 until they completed their mission one month later, they were thrown into one horrifically close and bloody battle after another. One sees clearly in microcosm what happened—in all its gruesome detail—to thousands of soldiers as they fought against staggering odds.

On D-Day, Winters assumed leadership of the Band of Brothers when its commander was killed and led them through the Battle of the Bulge and into Germany—by which time each member had been wounded. Based on Winters’s wartime diary, Beyond Band of Brothers also includes his comrades’ untold stories. Virtually none of this material appeared in Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. Neither a protest against nor a glamorization of war, this is a moving memoir by the man who earned the love and respect of the men of Easy Company.

“Womer reveals his own inside account of fighting as a spearhead of the Screaming Eagles in Normandy, Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge” (Tucson Citizen).
 
In 2004, the world was first introduced to The Filthy Thirteen, a book describing the most notorious squad of fighting men in the 101st Airborne Division—and the inspiration for the movie The Dirty Dozen. Now, Jack Womer—one of the squad’s integral members and probably its best soldier—delivers his long-awaited memoir.
 
Originally a member of the 29th Rangers, which was suddenly dissolved, Womer asked for transfer to another elite unit, the Screaming Eagles, where room was found for him among the division’s most miscreant squad of brawlers, drunkards, and goof-offs.
 
Beginning on June 6, 1944, however, the Filthy Thirteen began proving themselves more a menace to the German Army than they had been to their own officers and the good people of England, embarking on a year of ferocious combat at the very tip of the Allied advance in Europe.
 
In this work, with the help of Stephen DeVito, Jack provides an amazingly frank look at close-quarters combat in Europe, as well as the almost surreal experience of Dust-Bowl–era GI’s entering country after country in their grapple with the Wehrmacht, finally ending up in Hitler’s mountaintop lair in Germany itself.
 
“Jack Womer’s story is entertaining, honest and forthright, just like the man. He does not shrink from describing what actually happened although occasionally one suspects just a hint of artistic license. However, there is nothing which is unbelievable given the chaotic and random nature of war.” —Army Rumour Service

William “Wild Bill” Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron were among the first paratroopers of the U.S. Army—members of an elite unit of the 101st Airborne Division called Easy Company. The crack unit was called upon for every high-risk operation of the war, including D-Day, Operation Market Garden in Holland, the Battle of the Bulge, and the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden.

In his own words, Guarnere gives a gripping account of D-Day from the paratrooper’s perspective. Both men vividly re-create dropping into Holland to capture the roads and bridges between Eindhoven and Arnhem, known as Hell’s Highway. Through much of 1944 both friends fought side by side—until Guarnere lost his right leg in the Battle of the Bulge and was sent home. Heffron went on to liberate slave labor and concentration camps and capture Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest hideout.

United by their experience, the two reconnected at the war’s end and were inseparable up until their deaths. Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends is a tribute to the lasting bond forged between comrades in arms under fire and to all the brave men who fought fearlessly for freedom.

This is the riveting story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero. After he enlisted in the army’s arduous new Airborne division, Winters’s natural combat leadership helped him rise through the ranks, but he was never far from his men. Decades later, Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers made him famous around the world.

Full of never-before-published photographs, interviews, and Winters’s candid insights, Biggest Brother is the fascinating, inspirational story of a man who became a soldier, a leader, and a living testament to the valor of the human spirit—and of America.

David Kenyon Webster’s memoir is a clear-eyed, emotionally charged chronicle of youth, camaraderie, and the chaos of war. Relying on his own letters home and recollections he penned just after his discharge, Webster gives a first hand account of life in E Company, 101st Airborne Division, crafting a memoir that resonates with the immediacy of a gripping novel. From the beaches of Normandy to the blood-dimmed battlefields of Holland, here are acts of courage and cowardice, moments of irritating boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror, and pitched urban warfare. Offering a remarkable snapshot of what it was like to enter Germany in the last days of World War II, Webster presents a vivid, varied cast of young paratroopers from all walks of life, and unforgettable glimpses of enemy soldiers and hapless civilians caught up in the melee. Parachute Infantry is at once harsh and moving, boisterous and tragic, and stands today as an unsurpassed chronicle of war—how men fight it, survive it, and remember it.

In June 1944, the Allies launched a massive amphibious invasion against Nazi-held France. But under the cover of darkness, a new breed of fighting man leapt from airplanes through a bullet-stitched, tracer-lit sky to go behind German lines. These were the Screaming Eagles of the newly formed 101st Airborne Division. Their job was to strike terror into the Nazi defenders, delay reinforcements, and kill any enemy soldiers they met. In the next seven days, the men of the 101st fought some of the most ferocious close-quarter combat in all of World War II.

Now Donald R. Burgett looks back at the nonstop, nightmarish fighting across body-strewn fields, over enemy-held hedgerows, through blown-out towns and devastated forests. This harrowing you-are-there chronicle captures a baptism by fire of a young Private Burgett, his comrades, and a new air-mobile fighting force that would become a legend of war.

What a dispointing book. sorry to say it, but just don't bother adding it to the library.

Amazon doesn't even bother to give any information about the book! Simply saying "A 101st Airborne Division Machine Gunner at Bastogne". The book is filled with fluff. The actualy wartime content finishes almost as quickly as it starts. 2 fifths are pre war life, a fifth is in the army and another 2 fifths after the war. Rather a disapointing purchase if I'm honest.

Robert Bowen found himself drafted into Company C, 401st Glider Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, as World War II broke out, and had his first experience of war as he stormed ashore on to the Normandy beaches. He was wounded during the Normandy campaign but went on to fight in Holland and the Ardennes before being captured v and mistreated v and finishing the war as a POW. Written shortly after the war, Bowen's narrative is immediate, direct and compelling. His account, one of the few by a member of a glider regiment, is a brutal insight into the battlefields of World War II and a vivid recreation of just what life was like in an elite unit. From the horror of D-Day and the despair of captivity, to the taste of C Rations and the fear of soldiers under fire, this memoir tells the full story of one man's total war.

'Buck's book is still waiting in my to read pile, eventually I will get around to it.

This is the true story of a real-life hero. From his years as a two-sport UCLA star who played baseball with Jackie Robinson and football in the 1943 Rose Bowl, through his legendary post-World War II legal career as a prosecutor, in which he helped convict Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy, Buck Compton's story truly embodies the American Dream: college sports star, esteemed combat veteran, detective, attorney, judge.

As a boy, Darrell “Shifty” Powers’s goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to “see” without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his finely-tuned skills would one day save his life—and the lives of his fellow paratroopers.

As one of the original men who trained at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, Shifty was one out of only two soldiers in Easy Company to initially earn the coveted expert marksman designation. He parachuted into France on D-day and fought for a month in Normandy; eighty days in Holland; thirty-nine in the harshly cold winter of Bastogne; and for nearly thirty more near Haguenau, France, and the Ruhr pocket in Germany.

Shifty’s War is a tale of heroism and adventure, of a soldier’s blood-filled days fighting his way fromthe shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man’s skills as a sharpshooter and engagingly unassuming personality propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined. 

One of my all time favourite 101st books, this made me cry and is a fantastic read.

With an incredible World War II combat record that includes parachuting into Normandy on D-Day and service during Operation Market Garden, at Bastogne and in Germany itself, Ed Shames was involved in some of the most important battles of the war. A member of the legendary Band of Brothers, Shames offers his own words and recollections that fuel a searing account, giving a soldier's glimpse into the ferocity of the fighting on the ground and the close fellowship that developed between the men in Easy Company. The first member of the 101st to enter Dachau concentration camp just days after its liberation, Shames ended the war in the bombed-out shell of Hitler's Eagle's Nest, surrounded by his comrades in arms.
 

In this paperback edition by the author of Tonight We Die As Men is the phenomenal story of a remarkable young lieutenant during World War II, from the grueling training at Toccoa right through to the eventual collapse of the Third Reich.

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