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.”
—ArmySee all reviews...
“A gripping, sometimes heartbreaking and intense account of small-unit combat during the Battle of the Bulge and its aftermath.”
“A magnificent book. Quite possibly the best combat memoir Ive ever read.”
—Stephen E. Ambrose, author of Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
“This is the best and clearest account of airborne training and combat in World War II...I recommend Kurt Gabel’s absorbing memoirs not only to the veterans who shared his ordeals, but also to World War II history buffs.”
—John Toland, author of Battle: The Story of the BulgeSee fewer reviews...