Although the fledgling German paratrooper operations in Belgium and the Netherlands in 1940, and on Crete in 1941, attracted worldwide attention, less well-known is that the use of paratroopers had been planned for the invasion of Poland in 1939, in an act that began the Second World War. This has given rise to the myth that Adolf Hitler wanted to keep this new, and hitherto little-known, branch of the armed services secret for future projects. However, on several occasions the men of Parachute Regiment 1 were sat ready in their Ju52 transport planes, fully equipped and ready to go. Many of these young and in-experienced paratroopers would go on to experience the full horrors of warfare and for some of them, the Polish Campaign would end in a ‘hero’s death’.
Operation Fall Weiss describes the role of the German paratroopers in the Polish campaign, using war diaries, maps, contemporary documents and photographs, including those from various private collections around the world.