Hrvatski Orlovi
Paratroopers of the Independent State of Croatia 1942-1945

Josip Novak & David Spencer

This book, Hrvatski Orlovi: Paratroopers of the Independent State of Croatia 1942-1945, covers the history and actions of the paratroop-units of the Croatian Air Force.

Chapter 1 briefly covers the history of the history of civilian sport parachuting in Yugoslavia between the world wars. This is followed by two chapters on the founding and history of the paratroop-units of the Yugoslavian Royal Air Force.

The founding and training of the croatians paratroopers are covered in the next chapter before covering the combat history of the unit in the longest chapter (12 pages) of the book. The battles between this unit and the partisans in covered in detail, but I wish that the authors had included a map of the area since many of the place names will be new to many readers. The Uniforms and equipment of the unit is covered on the next three pages, but I would have liked more details on the equipment and (in particular) illustrations of the insignia and uniforms.

The book includes several appendixes, they cover: the Parachute Company of the Yugoslavian Royal Air Force 1943-45, 17th Air Force Company of the Croatian Legion and the Croatian Air Legion. The last part of the book is an excellent photo section with 36 photos of the Croatian paratroopers, mostly parades and training, but a few combat photos are also included.

This is very good book on this somewhat obscure unit, but I feel that some things that one should expect of such a book is ignored, such as ranks, illustrations of insignia and maps. Having said that, I still feel that this is an a must buy for anyone interested in the Croatian units of World War II.

(Reviewed by Marcus Wendel)

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