Guild ed., 1988. 191 pp., numerous photo-ills., + maps. D.j., 25 x 19cm. FINE. In the exclusive number of elite German fighting formations of the Second World War, the paratroops rank high. During the Blitzkrieg of 1940 they spearheaded the attack; their most spectacular success, but at great cost, was the invasion and capture of Crete in May 1941; for the rest of the war the parachute troops were used almost exclusively in a ground role, repeatedly justifying their great reputation for courage and hard fighting in Russia, North Africa and Italy, especially in their dogged defence of Monte Cassino. This book provides the first major account of these legendary soldiers, based on research deep into Allied and captured German archives and on interviews with many of the leading members of the Fallschirmjaeger units and formations who survived the war. Illustrated throughout with photographs and some maps.