by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
This is a review of the Osprey Publishing LTD book US Army Paratrooper In The Pacific Theater 1943-45 by author Gordon L Rottman and illustrator Brian Delf with consultant editor Marcus Cowper.
body of the text
** US Army paratroopers in the Pacific played an important part in the war. They operated in extremely difficult, and often outright dangerous, terrain. As well as parachute operations, they conducted amphibious assaults and endured terrible conditions as they fought in the treacherous jungles, mountains and swamps of the Pacific. This book looks at the two major Army units that operated in the Pacific – the 11th Airborne Division and the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team – examining their background and their training, both stateside and in Australia, before detailing the specific equipment used in the theater and, finally and most importantly, the combat experience at a personal level of the US Army Paratrooper in the Pacific. **
** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released US Army Paratrooper In The Pacific Theater 1943-45 as Warrior 165 in their Warrior series. It is a paperback book with 64 pages. Included with the text are black and white and colour photographs, colour illustrations, informational charts and detailed captions. It has a 2006 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-78096-129-3. As the title states, the book covers the US Army Paratrooper in the Pacific Theater during WWII.
- Conscription And Enlistment
- Training the regiment
- Jump school
- Unit training
- Appearance And Equipment
- Paratroopers’ uniforms
- Paratrooper’s uniform distinctions
- Web gear
- The T-5 troop parachute
- Belief And Belonging
- Awards and decorations
- Conditions Of Service
- Troop trains
- Camp Stoneman
- First aid
- On Campaign
- The 503rd jumps onto Corregidor
- The 511th slogs through the Leyte jungle
- Aftermath Of Battle
- Select Bibliography
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Gordon L Rottman covers the United States Army Paratroopers serving in the Pacific Theater during the years of 1943 to 1945 during World War Two very well and goes into great detail in the training and the military actions that they were involved in using both archived history and personal accounts from paratroopers of the period.
Also covered in the text are the uniforms, weapons and equipment and web gear used by the paratroopers. This is a well written history that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable United States Army World War Two Paratroopers historian or the individual that is new to the United States airborne actions in the Pacific theater and wants to learn about its history.
As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the United States Army Paratroopers serving in the Pacific Theater during the years of 1943 to 1945 to their personal library will be pleased with this book and will find this book very informative and interesting.
Two areas of the text that I found interesting as I read through the book were:
- A section describing the various dress uniform items details how the glider and parachute patch that the troopers wore on their garrison caps were large enough to sew a US silver dollar under so that it would make the cap fit firmly but jauntily when worn, to be used as emergency money or used as a weapon if involved in a bar altercation as the coin weighed 26.73 grams, almost an ounce.
- Paratrooper Deane E. Marks of the 2/511th goes into great detail of the contents of the K rations and how to prepare various recipes from the food items contained and also described the other contents and their uses.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
There are a total of 51 black and white photographs and two colour featured photographs throughout the book. Gordon L Rottman has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are specific to the United States Army Paratroopers serving in the Pacific Theater during the years of 1943 to 1945 during World War Two and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before, if not all of them, and I was pleased with this. Many of the photographs provide several close-up details on items such as uniforms and web equipment.
Some of the photographs that I found interesting are:
- Jump (parachute) training
- A paratrooper landing in Corregidor
- 250 foot jump towers at Fort Benning
- Windcharger wind machines previously used in Hollywood for special effects
- Douglas C-47D transports referred to as the Skytrain or “Gooney Bird”
- Major-General Joseph M. Swing
- Paratrooper armed with an M1 Carbine firing a 2.36in. M9 rocket launcher
- General Robert L. Eichelberger
- Various items being unpacked from an aerial equipment container
- A platoon radio operator’s equipment laid out on a shelter half
- A battery of US 75mm M1A1 Pack Howitzers of the 675th Glider Field Artillery Battalion on Manila
- Aircrews of the 317th Troop Carrier Group being briefed
- Barracks at Camp Stoneman, California
- The 503rd PIR jumping into Nadzab, Northwest New Guinea on September 5, 1943
- US Paratroopers landing on Corregidor
- Paratroopers dragging a color-coded cargo parachute into a bomb crater
- Battery C of the 462nd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion with a 75mm M1A1 Pack Howitzer
- 511th PIR Paratroopers examining a trophy Japanese 7.7mm Type 99 (1939) Nambu light machine gun
- 11th Abn Div troops on Leyte unloading their 1944 Christmas Dinner from a Piper L-4 Grasshopper aircraft
- A Piper L-4 Grasshopper liaison airplane being loaded into a Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
the colour illustrations
There are seven colour illustrations by illustrator Brian Delf. There are informative captions that accompany the illustrations that detail the various training items at jump school, weapons, gear, equipment, uniforms, unit insignia, dates and locations and other such items shown. The military scale figure modeller will find the detailed illustrations very helpful for detailing purposes. While going through the illustrations to list them I did discover a mistake. They are listed throughout the book starting with the letter A and ending with H. However as I was making the list I noticed that there is no illustration which would have been F. I am not sure what happened but it is a mistake, even though it is a minor one.
The colour illustrations are of the following:
- Jump School – Fort Benning Parachute School
- Paratrooper, 1943
- Paratrooper Service Uniforms
- Paratrooper Weapons
- Light machine Gun Team, Manila, February 1945
- Corregidor, DZ Able, February 16, 1945
- Paratrooper On Leyte, 1944 (refer to included scan)
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.
There are no maps included in this volume.
The captions that accompany the photographs and the illustrations are well written and are very detailed. They give very specific information as to locations, individuals, uniform items and weapons shown. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
the informational charts
There are three informational charts included in this volume. They provide information on:
- US military abbreviations
- Paratroopers’ individual equipment, 503rd PIR, 1943
- Parachute rifle platoon, 1942-44 (according to T/O&E)
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the informational charts for yourself.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains many excellent and subject specific photographs and illustrations and well detailed captions. It details the United States Army Paratroopers serving in the Pacific Theater during the years of 1943 to 1945 during World War Two very well. This volume will be of interest and also beneficial to the military uniform and equipment collector, military re-enactor and weapon enthusiast and anyone interested in United States Army Paratroopers during World War II or the fighting in the Pacific Theater. There are no maps provided in this volume and personally I would have liked to have seen some maps provided to show the units movements during its various actions, but that is just personal wish. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.
This book was provided by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
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Osprey web site:
Osprey Publishing has US Army Paratrooper In The Pacific Theater 1943-45 available as a PDF eBook and as an ePub eBook as well.
Amazon web site with an inside search of this title:
http://www.amazon.com/Paratrooper-Pacific-Theater-1943-45-Warrior/dp/1780961294/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363219725&sr=8-1&keywords=US Army Paratrooper In The Pacific Theater 1943-45
Take a look at the Kindle Edition at the Amazon web site: