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African American Troops in World War II (Elite) Paperback – 10 Nov 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (10 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846030722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846030727
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.5 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,403,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Author Bielakowski tells the story of these men service by service and covers some of the greatest successes as well as some of the failures. This is all enhanced by quality period photos and the illustrations of R. Ruggeri. In all, a superb book on a part of WWII that gets very little press. A book I can justifiably recommend to you." -Scott Van Aken, "modelingmadness.com" (December 2007)

Author Bielakowski tells the story of these men service by service and covers some of the greatest successes as well as some of the failures. This is all enhanced by quality period photos and the illustrations of R. Ruggeri. In all, a superb book on a part of WWII that gets very little press. A book I can justifiably recommend to you. "Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (December 2007)""

Book Description

This book is a concise history of the service records and combat experience of the African American troops who rose above discrimination to fight for the Allied cause and paved the way for integrated armed forces.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a good guide for any Afro American,whom wants to get involved with re-enacting,or is just looking for an easy guide to Afro American soldiers in WW2,as it gives you referance points for further more detailed research, Black Warriors - The LegacyUS Tank and Tank Destroyer Battalions in the ETO, 1944-45 (Battle Orders)Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten HeroesPatton's Panthers
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good publication about a still not very well known subject, I particularly like the style of the colour plates in this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x918baf24) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91b30abc) out of 5 stars Quite thorough coverage of a worthy subject 29 Mar. 2011
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has surprisingly broad and deep coverage of the topic, given the constraints of Osprey's format. Thorough coverage is given to African Americans in all the services (Army, Navy, Army Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine), and the bibliography is particularly impressive bibliography. There is brief combat history of some units, but the strength of this book is its focus on select famous individuals, social issues, and racial tensions.

Though it's always unfair to criticize authors for not including more given the tight confines of Osprey's format, a little more coverage could have been included on the tank and tank destroyer units. The 761st Tank Bn and 827th TD Bn are given good coverage, but were they the only such units to see combat? A photo caption mentions the 784th Tank Bn, but that's all. Given that most African Americans in the Army served in support units, coverage of these units is adequate, and certainly more than in your typical Osprey book, focused on combat troops as they are.

I was slightly surprised not to more on the USAAF aircraft, but this is an Elite book after all, focusing on soldiers not gear, but Osprey's Aviation Elite book should give more than adequate coverage.

The only downside I found were the color plates, which were a bit unimpressive and lacking in detail, but those who are interested in the details of US uniforms should go to one of the other Ospreys that cover this in greater detail.
0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92098a20) out of 5 stars Reminds me of comments re Jason Alexander's book on acting in Curb Your Enthusiasm "It's not a book, it's a pamphlet". 27 May 2010
By Bruce K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
According to the author Alexander Bielakowski, identified elsewhere on Amazon as a war college nstructor, ground anti-aircraft artillery was so obsolete by the time the US entered WWII that few were used to fight and destroy enemy airplanes in the ETO. Tell that to the 50,000+ U.S. Anti-Aircraft Artillery troops which were landed at Normandy within the first 21 days after D-Day. "AAA" was considered so vital to D-Day plans that were dropped as part of the first Airborn assault the night bfore D-Day.

Bielakowski argues that as the counterpart of field artillery, the Coastal artillery was not useful for modern warfare because they were 'planted' in one place and could not be moved. Yes, that was true -- until 1939, when an entirely new concept in anti-aircraft, mobile anti-aircraft battalions were developed. These units, could move in, set up, break down and be one their way in a day when the need increased elsewhere.

The typical AAA battalion was comprised of about 1000 men and an array of mobile units: Self-propelled units where an M16 halftrack was equipped for low altitude fire with a quad - 4 set-up. Four machine guns mounted in a square and capable of being fine tune so that all 4 barrels would strike an enemy craft at precisely the same spot, frequently causing the airplane to simply collapse and disintegrate in flight. The bofors short range cannon was used by both the Germans and the Allies (Switzerland, our "peaceful" country, supplied the weapon to both sides)

It is true that more German warplanes were destroyed by other airplanes, but not as Bielakowski would have the reader think. The Luftwaffe was not destroyed by fighters mixing it up with each other in combat but rather by American bombers relentlessly bombing german airplane manufacturing plants and airfields.

The value of the mobile AAA units was not in the gross number of german planes they destroyed but in the amount of our own artillery, infantry and armored units which they protected, saving their lives and enabling the units they protected to move on as a fighting force rather than be left in ruins by German warplanes attacking unprotected combat units.
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