Hitler’s mountain troops or Gebirgsjager were a group of elite soldiers ready for battle, whatever the conditions. These mountain men were trained to ski, climb and endure long marches, survive appalling conditions and were given a role as crack shock troops. Yet many of the campaigns in which the Gebirgsjager fought were on level ground where they had little opportunity to demonstrate their unique skills. Instead, they were invariably employed as assault infantry in conventional battle, a role in which every individual trooper excelled, but not one for which they had been trained. They fought in virtually all theatres of World War, notably on the Eastern Front, where operations took them into the Caucasus. The Gebirgsjager were proud to wear the Edelweiss, the famous badge that set them apart and distinguished them as Hitler s mountain men.
IMAGES OF WAR: HITLER’S MOUNTAIN TROOPS 1939-1945 The Gebirgsjager
Baxter has produced a fine selection of highly illustrated books in the Images of War Series mainly covering Axis Forces in WW2, and this is a good resource to use to learn about the men and equipment of the Gebirgsjaeger Regiments, in training and action from Poland, Norway and France, through Yugoslavia, the Eastern Front and in the closing stages of the War.