“D-DAY MINUS – 17 SEPTEMBER 1944” is the first volume covering the history of the 101st Airborne Division in Operation Market Garden.
The book is a valuable addition to the existing literature about Operation Market Garden and the 101st Airborne Division, because no other unit in any given battle in any war received such extensive coverage as the 101st gets in this book. Even those who have been studying the 101st Airborne Division for many years and believe the have read all there is to it, will discover many new facts about the great achievements of the “Screaming Eagles”.
So the entire combat history of the 101st Airborne Division in Operation Market Garden is covered, from the day they boarded their C-47s and WACO gliders at the airbases in England on September 17, 1944, to the moment they were relieved after 72 days of continual combat on November 27, 1944.
However, aiming to be complete, the book was getting close to 775 pages and out of sheer necessity it was decided to cut the book in two and publish two volumes. Only the two volumes together tell the complete story.
Like a kite string, the complete story of the employment of the 101st Airborne Division is told in photographs and elaborate captions. No single major action has been omitted. And where no photographs or stills were available to complete the story, new chapters were written based on prime sources such as after action reports, combat interviews and veteran stories.
For this pictorial history, special attention was given to the quality of the photographs… and like you have come to expect from D-Day Publishing books: “No Small Photograph Prints.” Furthermore, the great majority of the photos are digital copies of the first, original print. The density and contrast have been digitally improved, so in many cases the quality is even better than the original print. If photographs were not available stills from Signal Corps footage were used with surprising results. The authors were also able to scan original 120mm and 35mm negatives of local Dutch photographers, which resulted in an even better quality and detail.
The thought provoking introduction is the first concise version of the entire decision making process that lead to Operation Market Garden and the strategy behind it. The role and organization of the newly founded First Allied Airborne Army and the preparations for the operation are dealt with in the first chapter.
Next, the authors take a detailed look at the role of the four participating Pathfinder Teams which were to mark the Drop Zones and how the tragic loss of one of the teams lead to an erroneous drop.
The next three chapters show the emplaning on various airbases in England of the paratroopers of the 501st, 502nd and 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Hundreds of unique photographs show the paratroopers and their generals : Taylor, McAuliffe and Higgins, as well as their parachute equipment. Although the main focus is on the airborne forces, the pilots of the Troop Carrier Command and their C-47 aircraft are also pictured in great detail.
The last chapter is devoted to the preparations and emplaning of the glider echelons of the 101st Airborne Division; the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, the artillery battalions, engineers and medics. Many photos of the glider riders, the glider pilots and their fragile canvas WACO gliders are seen and published for the first time.
Together with the second volume, titled “ORANGE IS THE COLOR OF THE DAY”, this volume offers a never before published insight in the history of the 101st Airborne Division in the Holland campaign.