Synopses & Reviews
For many months, the men of the 101st Airborne Division prepared for the great Allied landings in France. From their first day of training, the volunteers for this hazardous duty were subjected to severe physical and mental tests. Those who were unable to adapt were promptly eliminated from parachute units. By the time the Screaming Eagles landed in Normandy, they were tough and disciplined, their morale high. The soldiers of the 101st Airborne were imbued with the will to win, regardless of any obstacles they might confront. These young men didn’t represent any particular section of the Unites States; they came from all states of the union and all walks of life. The farmer, the artisan, the laborer, the doctor, the priest, the professor, all were found among their ranks. They were unrelenting in their determination to bring complete defeat to the enemy but generous in their feelings for the friendly people whose homeland was occupied by Nazi troops. The 101st Airborne troopers of World War II had a high degree of esprit de corps. They wore their distinctive uniforms and insignia with pride and confidence. Trained to go for long periods with little food or sleep, they were especially fitted to carry out difficult missions. Descending from the skies by parachute and glider, they exemplified the spirit and daring of American youth. With their comrades in the U.S. Air Force, they were ready and eager to take the fighting to the enemy. 101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy celebrates their accomplishments from their point of view and with hundreds of rare photographs.
A minute-by-minute and day-by-day account of the elite 101st Airborne’s daring parachute landing behind enemy lines at Normandy is accompanied by firsthand accounts from Airborne veterans and forty incredible, previously unknown (let alone published) color photos of the “Screaming Eagles” at Normandy and in Great Britain prior to the invasion. Accompanying these remarkable D-Day color Kodachromes—which were unearthed in the attic of an Army doctor’s daughter—are more than two hundred black-and-white photographs from 101st survivors and the author’s own private collection. This is an unprecedented look at an elite fighting force during one of the last century’s most crucial moments.
The assignment was so hazardous, soldiers of the elite 101st Airborne could not be forced to go, they had to volunteer. The mission entailed nighttime parachuting into the midst of Nazi-occupied France some five hours before the first waves of Allied troops hit the beaches at Normandy. Their objective was to open the way for the Utah Beach landings. With almost insane heroics, these fearless warriors waged a win-or-die struggle to pave the way for the greatest invasion in history. 101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy stands as a lasting tribute to these American folk heroes. Noted World War II historian Mark Bando shares decades of research, the result of nearly a thousand interviews with 101st members and numerous trips to Normandy. From hundreds of rare, unpublished photographs and countless untold stories, he has recreated the paratroopers’ perspective of events that took place on D-Day. 101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy is a must for anyone interested in the untold story of what happened behind the lines on D-Day.
About the Author
Author and historian Mark Bando specializes in the history of the 101st Airborne and the 2nd Armored Division. He has published four previous books with Zenith Press, including The 101st Airborne at Normandy, The 101st Airborne: From Holland to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, 101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles in World War II, and Breakout at Normandy: The 2nd Armored Division in the Land of the Dead. He is retired from the police department in Detroit, Michigan, where he resides. Visit him on the internet at www.101airborneww2.com