The 101st Airborne in Normandy

June 1944

Yves Buffetaut

101st Airborne Division was activated in August 1942 in Louisiana, and its first combat mission was Operation Overlord. On D-Day—June 6, 1944—101st and 82nd Airborne dropped onto the Cotentin peninsula hours before the landings, tasked with capturing bridges and positions, taking out German strongpoints and batteries, and securing the exits from Ut
Date Published :
April 2018
Publisher :
Series :
Casemate Illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781612005232
Pages : 128
Dimensions : 10 X 7 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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101st Airborne Division was activated in August 1942 in Louisiana, and its first combat mission was Operation Overlord. On D-Day—June 6, 1944—101st and 82nd Airborne dropped onto the Cotentin peninsula hours before the landings, tasked with capturing bridges and positions, taking out German strongpoints and batteries, and securing the exits from Utah and Omaha Beaches. Things did not initially go smoothly for 101st Airborne, with cloud and antiaircraft fire disrupting the drops, resulting in some units landing scattered over a large area outside their designated drop zones and having to waste time assembling—stymied by lost or damaged radio equipment—or trying to achieve their objectives with severely reduced numbers.

Casualties were high in some areas due to heavy pre-registered German fire. Nevertheless, the paratroopers fought on and they did manage to secure the crucial beach exits, even if they only achieved a tenuous hold on some other positions. A few days later, 101st Airborne were tasked with attacking the German-held city of Carentan as part of the consolidation of the US beachheads and establishment of a defensive line against the anticipated German counteroffensive. The 101st forced their way into Carentan on 10 and 11 June. The Germans withdrew the following day, and a counteroffensive was put down by elements of the 2nd Armored Division.

This fully illustrated book details the planning of the airborne element of D-Day, and the execution of the plans until the troops were withdrawn to prepare for the next big airborne operation, Market Garden.

About The Author

Yves Buffetaut is an internationally respected French military historian and editor of Histoire & Collections major magazine, Militaria. He lives in France.


Planning and Preparation
Airborne Invasion
"E" is for Easy
The 101st in Carentan


“This book is an easy read and includes lots of fascinating photos of the 101st during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. It provides an overview on the men, battles, and equipment used on both sides of the battles… a highly recommended illustrated guide to the 101st, and would be a good read for those interested in the 101st Airborne or the D-Day invasion.”


“Visually striking insights for military history buffs and inspirations for toy soldier and model figure hobbyists abound in the brand new “Casemate Illustrated” series of World War II-themed books… Filled with purportedly rare photos and designed with attractive graphics, these interesting books will arm any reader with illustrative and informative insights.”

- Toy Soldier & Model Figure

“This is a well told story and supported by photos, maps, fine artwork that the modellers among us will enjoy along with other bit of supporting information.  Great too see this English language edition and well worth reading.”


“A fine compilation of text, photos, artwork and maps, I thoroughly recommend this book to the enthusiast, modeller and armchair historian.”

- Scale Military Modeller International

"This is a condensed "Band of Brothers" with profiles of Richard Winters and Easy company as well as the German and American Generals . The descripion of the battles such as Carentan are as clear as you need them to be. I would suggest this series of books Men, Battles, Weapons would be the ideal starting place for sixth formers taking history of WW2 to start whilst still providing interest to the older reader. I am so pleased to have been able to review it." - 5 stars.

- Army Rumour Service

“If you're interested in the 101st Airborne, and in particularly their actions in Normandy this is a must read. Highly Recommended.”

- Britmodeller

I happen to really like what Histoire & Collections and other publishers across the Channel have been doing and welcome the opportunity to see their books in English, especially when they cover French subjects.”

- War History Online

“Always good to read a detailed account of one division's controbution to Operation Overlord. The detail is exceptional and fascinating.”

- Books Monthly

“Casemate's Illustrated Series is a welcome addition to the available literature targeted at the general World War II enthusiast… Though the text is clearly targeted at the reader who is not an advanced specialist in the topics presented; the quality, diversity, and curation that went into the selection of the photographs would be of interest to even the professional historian… To find a book where time and effort went into selecting the illustrations with an eye toward bringing the chosen campaign, weapons, or units to life is something else entirely and well worth your time. Bsed upon what I have seen so far I have no problem recommending the new Casemate Illustrated Series.”

- Globe at War

“These twin books by the same author are high-quality…with excellent photographs and an endowment of full-colour pictures of typical equipment.”

- Miniature Wargames

"Originally published in French, each volume is profusely illustrated with vintage black-and-white photos and a few in color. Almost none of the images are commonly found in U.S. publications. The format is identical in each book: two-to-four page spreads with photos and drawings of the motorized weapons used in each situation. Individual pages are devoted to a photo and a short biography of the military leaders involved in the various campaigns. The layout can be a little irksome, as sentences are often interrupted by the images. Extra information is included in green or gray boxes with white print. The text font is small and the detailed captions are even smaller. Unfortunately, the small font and glossy paper on which it is printed does not allow for comfortable reading. 101st Airborne is the more fluid of the two, as the content is likely to be more familiar to readers; Panzer does feature a photo of three nude men examining a destroyed Russian tank. VERDICT Great titles for ardent military history readers."

- School Library Journal

"Readers with a keen interest in military history will appreciate the eight volumes in Casemate’s new World War II series. Translations of books by French military historian Buffetaut, who edits the French magazine Militaria, this series provides photographs and illustrations on every page, with background and details on the scope of specific conflicts. The 101st Airborne Division was instrumental in the Allied invasion on D-Day and included Easy Company, made famous by Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. Coverage includes one-page bios of key commanders, illustrated looks at transport and guns, and rarely seen photos of soldiers suited up for parachute jumps. Coverage of the 2nd SS Panzer Division, known as “Das Reich,” is equally rich, with images that may be new to many readers, intricate tank illustrations, and a history of Das Reich and its memorable campaigns. VERDICT Small type, particularly on photo captions, demands concentration but should not discourage libraries from purchasing for their military history collections."

- Library Journal

Like other volumes in the Casemate Illustrated series that highlights key elements of military history… it will be appreciated by war-history readers… A good balance between the big picture, small-unit operations, and individual valor.

- Booklist

“Casemate has done a splendid job of repackaging this French series for American audiences. New gamers will appreciate the timelines and maps, along with nicely done color side views of equipment. History buffs and grognards will enjoy the orders of battle and tables of organization. Both will find common ground with the highly readable text. I started out in the 70s with old Marshall Cavendish History of the Second World War specials that featured the wonderful John Bachelor illustrations. This series goes beyond them with their easy to follow presentations. I highly recommend them for any reader at any level who is interested in the Second World War”

- War Diary

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