The Making of a Paratrooper

Airborne Training and Combat in World War II

Kurt Gabel William C. Mitchell, Editor

The memoir of paratrooper Kurt Gabel—a German Jew who emigrated to the US in 1938, joined the 513th Regiment of the 17th Airborne Division, and fought against his former countrymen in the Battle of the Bulge.

Gabel conveys with rare immediacy an in-depth look at the training of a paratrooper, the dangers of combat, and his transformation from romantic idealist to warrior. He vividly recounts the fire fights and such episodes as narrow escapes, separation from his battalion and his rescue by another, and the interrogation of prisoners. He tells the full story of his desperate hours on Dead Mans Ridge near Bastogne.

“This book is must reading for anyone interested in elite military units, European conflict during World War II, and an inside perspective on what it is like to be part of an airborne outfit.

—Journal of Military History

“Narrates the fearless acts performed by the men of the Army's 17th Airborne Division. From the unusual viewpoint of a young man who emigrated to the United States and fought against his German homeland at the Battle of the Bulge.

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About the Author

William C. Mitchell was professor of political science at the University of Oregon and served in the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War II.##Theodore A. Wilson is professor of history emeritus, University of Kansas.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series