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Following the battle for Crete in May 1941, Hitler refused to undertake any further large-scale airborne operations due to the high casualty rate. The Fallschirmjäger subsequently took up a new role as elite 'line' infantry, and they served in the Mediterranean from 1942 to 1945, taking part in the conflict in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Their performance in such hard-fought battles as El Alamein and Monte Cassino reinforced their reputation as some of the toughest troops of World War II. This book explores their changing role in organisation, training and doctrine as the paratroopers developed into Germany's finest frontline soldiers.

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