- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Jan. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1472802748
- ISBN-13: 978-1472802743
- Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.7 x 25.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Fall Gelb 1940 (2): Airborne assault on the Low Countries (Campaign) Paperback – 20 Jan 2015
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More About the Author
The daring German assault by Heersgruppe A through Holland and Belgium in May 1940.
About the Author
Doug Dildy is a USAF Academy graduate with a degree in history. He attended the US Armed Forces Staff College and USAF Air War College and holds a Masters Degree in Political Science. Doug has authored several campaign studies as well as several articles covering the Dutch, Danish and Norwegian air arms' defence against the German invasions of 1940 for notable US aviation history magazines. He is a regular contributor to the amateur modelling magazine Small Air Forces Observer. Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles.
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"Fall Gelb 1940" follows the standard Osprey format, with an introduction, a comparison of the opposing forces, and a fairly detailed account of how the campaign in the Low Countries unfolded. The author explains how close the airborne assault into the Netherlands came to failing, and how, conversely, the Allies seemingly walked into a trap in Belgium. The narrative is much enhanced by a terrific selection of photographs, maps, diagrams and illustrations. This book is best read in sequence with the earlier volume on the Panzer breakthrough in the Ardennes, which provides the necessary context for the operation into the Low Countries. The two volumes are a very good introduction to the campaign in the West. Strongly recommended to the general reader; the student of the conflict will find much of value.
Fall Gelb (2) begins with an excellent synopsis of Allied, Neutral and German planning. The Dutch belief in “Fortress Holland” was based on the anachronistic assumption that the Germans would have great difficulty in crossing water barriers, but lacked the forces necessary to adequately defend these barriers. While the French Dyle Plan has been discussed in many books, including Fall Gelb (1), the inherent weakness in the plan is most evident here when the lack of Dutch and Belgian preparations is exposed. The German Heeresgruppe A was essentially a supporting attack, with a novel use of Kurt Student’s 7. Fliegerdivision to conduct large-scale airborne operations in Holland. The section on Opposing Forces, which is 13 pages long, is also excellent and includes a detailed Order of Battle.
The campaign narrative begins with excellent overview of initial Luftwaffe air strikes in Holland and Belgium, including a superb map that depicts Luftwaffe bases, units and their targets. Student’s airborne drops are depicted in some detail, including a 3-D BEV map and a table listing drop times/units/number of aircraft and results. Although very interesting, these German airborne operations were far too dispersed and failed miserably. The AOK 18’s invasion of Holland and AOK 6’s invasion of Belgium is depicted in a number of maps, including a 3-D BEV map that shows the tank battle at Hannut on 12-13 May 1940. This volume concludes with the Belgian surrender and the Allied retreat to Dunkirk. Overall, a very attractive and well-written campaign history.
Written by Douglas C. Dildy, Illustrated by Peter Dennis. Co. 2015, Osprey Publishing. 96 pages, widely illustrated in black and white with color prints.
Scope – A single Campaign
Completeness – High
Appeal - Low
Accuracy - *
Osprey has released a pair of books describing how the Nazis over ran the democracies of western Europe in 1940. This book, the second of two volumes, tells more of the story. Previously, I wrote a review of the first volume. Basically what I wrote was that although a target audience for the book existed, and that target audience would be quite pleased with the volume, I thought, I was not part of that target audience and had difficulty judging the quality of the work. I found the scope too large and the text too detailed and too fact filled to easily follow the events that were described. I did, however, feel that to a reader with a better background in the campaign and the history, the book would be easier to follow and more useful. In short, it was not a beginner’s book and I was a beginner in understanding the period and the conflict.
But what about volume two? Good news. For whatever reason I found this one easier to understand. Therefore, I enjoyed it more.
Of course, it has the same great illustrations as its predecessor, the sorts of illustrations that Osprey is well known for. These include paintings, color photographs of modern battle sites, monuments, and museum displays, many black and white period photographs, as well as maps.
In conclusion, this is a good book for those seeking information on this campaign.
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