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Color II ustration by Ken M,8cSwan lustrated by O,on Greer

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'lryou bal'e IDlJ[pliatltgnqJils tlf lbe .a.ireran~,armor_., oo.Lme-n: Qr'sllrp5 of a.m)'nOO(HJI. pllrli(lD.hufy wartime
snspshots, wby Dor Sh; re rilem with lIS :and help tmake·Squ.:lnuIi/Signull"s hO(liks all ~Iu~ m.tne itllteRl'Iliing allde0Dlpl~te to ~h~ru{lJJ'e. ,An} pooto~apb sent ~Q1UV'lill be copjed u(i,thie ori.gim:illl re.urned. 'fthf' doDa.r win be fully credJ led for any photos IllSCd .. Ple~ send ith~m tu:

Squailrom!Signa.l.Publi; dOllls~Iae, 111:5 Cm'wieJ Drivo~ (illnuUtoo, TX. 751) II-50 10..

Th British recruiting poster was used durnng 194'2 '10 aHract recruits 'for the Aj'rborna forC9S. The POSt9' L1sa-da combl'nalia n of an actio.n!!~nlerlted lpa1ntlng wlthl the promise 0 addttlonaJ pay to apJ)eal to. prospectwe app lieants.
1 1'

'THE. ,A!lRBOfH~:JEFORCES OF tHE "B.RIi11SH ARMV C~NBIST OF PARACHUTE TROOPS' AND GUDER~80RNE TFlOOPS OF M..L ARMS OF' THE ·SERVICE. OtfICe rs an a men in any Regiment·or Corps (e~t R.~C.), whcr:areJ118di~ally fit may apptyfGt lransferto a para~tlUte'orgUder-bome ufllt of me Airoorne, Forces, Ard~iti0nJJ pa.y IS gramEdto aU.airborne. ~rtne~ at lh'e rate' cd 2::.per day ~f;o_r parachute; f oops, and , - per dgy 'fqr Q Heer-be me troops A ~rmiteqr numbar'm offl ~fS arl~other ranRs are urgently' reQ.uireti lor training .as glider Plflots. App~mt-ioo fo r trahsfer or. tu 11M.. ln10[~tlon snauld, bE mad 8 to_unit OBadqusders. 00rI ijtffiOfL of service are raid 00wn in the foUovl]ng A.C.ls.·= 1fitt 91 1941. 275 & 1490 oli 942

Parachute Commandos
The Russians" lralia:ns and Germans had experimented with parachute troops long before the' British gave serious consideration to the furmation of parachute units. The British Prime Minister, Winston. Churchill, was always interested in new techniques, .especial ~y those that woutd i1iIstill an ~tggre.S5.ive spirit and take til e war VO lbe enemy, During Ju ne of 1940, 11 suggesled that a corps of,a t least 5:ro.OO e parachute ~TOOpS be formedto ea rry out commando slyf.e·raids against the ,ene rny,.Initia llY't til e concept was 0rpn~e.d by. the' ROyic1Jl.Air Force! 'which feared that such a force would put a drain on Its severely Iimited resources oftransport aircrafl. The Prime Minbte<r., IIOwt.""VCt, was hard. to buck and U1,eR./l finally agreed 1.0. t.fue establishme11tofajoilntAmlyiRAFp'arachute training facility, to be known as the Centra) Landi. ng School, at RAF Ringway, Initially -;tihe men of #2 Co m rn ando, which h ad.been formed du ri 'In.g the: Summer of 1940 Irom recrui ts in tere sred in parach u ti ng.were as signed to un dcrgo parachute trainmg. These men had gone through the same interview and selection process as bad other Commandos, witlJ about seventy-five percent being rejected for. various reasons, Those who were selected for Ccmm ando training were also as ked if they P lI"eferredairborne or seaborne servi ces, and those selecting the airborne servicewere assigned- to #2 Comrnando.

Landing Establishment, under the command ,of (1rro1lllJ' Captain L,'G .IJor\iey., with. LTC J.F. R{)Ckas the senior Armyofficer .. ' he Centra] Landing Establishmentwasorganized in In ,~Pal;il!Cflu.teSquadron, a GI ,i,tierSq uadroa and a Technical De\relop rnenr U nil. LTC Rock 'worked on develn ping sped al uniform 5, and eq uipmentfor tJ) e paratroop 5,! including bulky, heavily padded clothing' patterned after the uniforms worn by the German Fa lise hirrnjaegeF , This ,clothing later evolved into the jump smock: which became 8. hallmark of the. fJ·ritisb. paratrooper, Mte'f completing their initial pMracnllte training, the members of #1 Commando were as • igned [0 the Commando course at A,chnicalll'ry to complete their training ~'S s Co: nmando s, On 21 November 1940, the Paract U W t1 nd Glider Squadrons were. re-des igni1.[,t;::J. 11 # S pecial Air Servi ce .Ihttl:al ion (this unit designation shou]d not 11 confu sell with the Spee cial Ai r S ervicc formedin the Western. Desert by Davi d :s terling), ~ 1'940 came toan end, about 2~OOO jumps had been made by the men of #11 SAS Battalion in preparation for their fi rst ope ratio 001 deployment,
This, member of the· 6t'h Royal Welch lPsrach ute 8attidlon 'wears the' regulation cloth 'covered IiUbber 1tai~nill1g' elme1l'used by'b'al'n:ees at R'ingway. IH, has written a messag'I;!' to his I'nstruc11 tors on it iln Black ..

TO' provide the force l\'ith the necessary 11'ans.poJ1 assets.me RAeF commi tted to assigning sufficient numbers of'WbitJi.ey bombers to drop a force of720 men plus their armsand,equip'mentInacluality,"however~onlyrour.~ircrraftwcre[nitiaUyassignedand the remainder were s10w in coming. Duri ngthhl e,arl1-' st~~ge, was also-decided to includc it gli de! training for some of the tr-oops" with this trai ning also ccnducte d. at the Central Landing School. On. 91uJy 1940,the firs l cou~ingent ottrainees, made up' ofB and C Troops of #2 Commando, began their ground training. Their instructnrs included. members of the R1\F drawn hom the' training cadre ai RAP Henlow where pilots and aircrews received parachute training, and Army Physical Training Corps instructors. PHo~Officer Louis Strange ",'asia charge o;fthe·RAP instructors at the parachute school. Later, a number of professlnnal exhibition parachute jumpers joined the RAF and were assigned as Parachute Jumping Instructors (P Jls) all:Ringway. A few days after ground training began, the- instructors began lest jumps from the Whitle)(to establish propel" jump techniques for the aircraft, The technique worked out was- for the jrumper to, exit the- aircraft from lit pl.alforrn fitted in place of the be; mber's rear bluet This method W8,s found to he both slow and rat er frighteJllng for a new trainee, since the parachute was deployed white the men stood on the platform ~n.d they were ra ther Iorceab ly pulled 0 ff the ir perch, Later, it Cl rcul a r exit ha teh 'was cut in the floor n f the Wh itley 10- allow for a more rapid exit using a static line. To allow the fledgling parachute troops {}use a static line'! the 28. foot diam leT Irvin parachute used by RA F pilots was altered to incorporate a 1,] toot 6 inL":h sta tic line. During the first two mnnths at.the Central Landing Scbool abou l J SOtroops gradu ated, at though ove r fift)" trai nees had been) ost j n trai n ingfrom inj u ries, de a tns, Of by fail i'ng to jump. Although the deaths were regrettable. 'chey were unavoidable in the rusih to train parachute troops with untried techniques and. equipment. Each death was studied to find out what had gone wrong.and improvements in equipment and/or techniques were made to a ,oid a repetition of the- accident, To support the men once they were on tile ground, a method of landing heavy 'weapons aml equipment was needed and, to this end, 400 I otspur gliders were ordered. In September of ]940, the Central LandingSchool was renamed becoming the Central


one Il]gJU balloon deseen L~ and Ii d a "I aircraft descents. and observations of actvanced swd.forty trai ned paratroops graduati ng eac h ~k.s~ parachute 'U sage~ 'p·hysical training. With the balloons. one con rained the fuselages.r J.a1'10lL8 ircraft L)pe :. with. plilysi.e d rifts into' . a incl u djn:g the lOne known 35 the ~ 'Fan.ing' th Is partl!(. eq uipmen.. 'use of the ki tbag" Iifehelt.Oji"v. created. Much of rhe initiel grou nd training" in valuabl e as it was. drills. some more successful lhan others.lm.unates watch. & [1 result. he ls prad.ining course which included. the fledgling airborne ~mopf'i we: re broken luta groups" known as sticks.eiS f the Comma ndo o cou rse and were' in. twists.R." The second hanga r CJ)]} rained various tr aining devi ces.Ringway~ Dur.pamtroop traill1ea perfonns e.enm making' their p erachme ju.teChni~' 'lues f. inclu rung exit train i:n. 'The use of the "Oi:lllO'w~l·I'tSl. The lack of training aircraft was at least partiallyovercome through the use ofcaptive balloons.c. the. t1l:1e Ai rborue "ROfC'CS 'Depot before reporti n g for pa rachute tra ining. eo ntinue 'With little change throughout the remainder d:f. Among the training aids at Ringway was the "Gallows." whi ch allowed a tramee to make a DOnt rolled descent from a twenty-five fOOT. the Bri tish system differed in b aving the recruits. aircrafl drill.. li'8Ct'Uita at"Ringway the. however. already put through jill.1 toughe:ningc course at.. Advanced training lit': ~: uded.UsJ ning drop bi. A .oe:nIs. who had.Jl~din so. lrith a trainee's first two trainingjumps bei 'll_g made "from the b alloons. A]tbough American airborne trainieg has normally included the toughening and. 'and dragging. and by Ap ril of 194l ~the balloons had been ins talled alLthe Iacility for use d uri Ilg the tndrun~gcourse. of course.8.. Ground trainirrg consisted 01'" a nvc day course.'0 mpa fly..AFP-iITachute T:ralning Schno] =i s c red! ted 'with deve lopi 'ill g th e Hnal I[l1ining prQgra m whie)) would.eKit.F). Kilkenny. been Chief tnstructor al ~ .de.iqu e.to ten jump s. trees. Although thereweceslightchangeaduring the waryears the hasieparachutetrainlng course boca me failldy :!!l L~iHJ ardized. Sergeant instructor. approximately . ha ngar at .out p [ODeS'~ as part of'parac hute training.sl ipstream cut th e nu mbe r of'osc i11a tion s of the parachu te and made tlh e tra:a nee? s first landings.pifllQl nstructOJ tpJI) I~ im fhe proper ma1J1od of dcdng a Parsm Urte landing Fa (Pl. Two hangars were converted for this portion of the con rse. two day balloon des. co ntro 1of the parach ute.fy for parachute wings. The 'balloon 'was found to be very usefill for these' early jumps because the luc k of a.ndy~ Arnhem.many sprains. route marehe s~and ~apo I]. landing it:e(."y continued the use of ground training fo!' physical fitness and 'to reach baSic skills. The earliest trainees. were gradu ~l:. tharits use was eventu ~lUy abandoned.C.n.diU~e[eJillypes.ldng fhe proper m&tbOd for shiel dl'ng his face if his paracluJt. of troop transport ai rcraft and door moerup~ wh ich were used to teach p:r1()peT . Physlcal training was not neglected with ob stacle course runs. From this cou rse graduated the airborne troops who would ruake h is. weeding .ullar drop. the training syllahus of th e bas it parach ute course evn lved wi tl'~ them Initially ~ :six ju mps were required to qua1i. ~ bit sofler.. The' call rse normally J asted two to th ree weeks.p'h}~ical co 1i1 dj ti 0 '1"1. various' tral n 1ng devices to simulate a parachute jump were designed. andother injuries.tory at 'N'or'lna.n'e_ As cla-s. exoell en! . an RAF Pamt::h me Jum.~ attended by members 0 f the Par ach nte Regim:ent before til ey rep ott for the pa raehu te eou rse. The first ballnoa experiments we're' carried out by 'i nstruetors in November of 194U~. ~"'3 s incJuded because of a 1act of oS uIficie fit numbers of' available training airel' aJt. Kilte1lll. 'WlngCotm:l13jn. platform by bJ owing a cnn stant stream of air into the' deployed p araeh ure ca t"!lJopy.Since th e men of #2 Commando were the fi rst p ilrae hute t roo ps tra in ed.t container. and the 'Rh~. lhi~ was later increased to eigbt. the course evolved furlb:e. of. This number 'WOuld inc rease dra rn ati cally as t1rs tan airborne brigade and than an airborne di "115ion W"C [it.r.g. of ten men 'Under 1:1. dislocations.~''of parancl chutes. Dnring tra ining.mp~" this was followed by the parachute tM'fJj.S. :hUi.tbe war. 'This \WfS 1he predecessor (0 tod t'lJy·'s~~ P (:." which consisted of a harness artacbed to a weight to simulate the shock of (he' parachute opening.

us~d to ii:-&aehproper body .osclUatlons.aids at Ringw. badp OJl1 his U pp~ r right .a 'tra~nee'In proper IIIoSinonLing his.s 'the PJt IderrTlfica~ tinn. 'to e.e. during a drop by the UB9 01 a kaitf'Rg swing.JIwear.shirt' sleeve. The tra p9~e WBS.-lIIp'~ .y was a trap~e' device which aJIGwed U'aJnees.t callEd occur du~llIlg·a pa:rach ute j u m p.a. The P.xp-e lienee 3ndllearn to Iccultr'ol th. oscillatiDns ~ha. (Above!F An RM Pa~hlute Jumping I nstrucsor instructs . (RIght) W8arl"9 dummy' parachute IpackJj a group Df ttrainees pmc:tica the COrrect"lfIlBnrUIr of boarding a Wh hley bomber ~by using II Whb ley lu8el8g& modk. feet and knees.cont~ol' during such .(Abc\p~l One 1)1 It)hetraini n gr.

pt Ihe etn. 7 .ployed .lSlly stow and 'Ree' of . TMs 'PJI iis i'nstfiU'c:tlng' paratroop trainees.om tlhe paradnde tower..just ..:&ft) IHls Hl'ghlntiEli.dutJ'lln. use of a 1rail'iiing mock~Llllp. (Il.descent from the 'towel' was U:!lU. the Maharajah Jam Satte:b m'lNIawanagartJllks wrtfl a 'trainee 'Who lliU..g this descent.u:l with 8 cD'cul'ar hatch cUl" iin "'he ftoDr mr dra:ppl'n'EI p8 ratroops.i. (A_OOve.{AOOvtlJ) An Oth.g a Whitley' bumbe r b.lIIe 'fu[1y de. Tha .. 111e rigid 'framework w'iliJiinl Ole patachurte k-e.lllO JI.I m pi 'fF.os<:ltlliBtiDn.e'xitin.The WhiDey was modUh.. In the l~uoper method of .oomp~Meda tralin.e:r gmu nd traln~1l9 deYJlcewas tile 'b'al nlng towerr 'wh 100 released! 'ttte Ira "nee below a fully deployed parachute\.

tralnl m) balloon for their Tilrst static l:.the para:ehute. .CI. . Trilll'nHS made a total of Hil'iee bal100n ju m ps.y (Left) The slatlc baUOOflS kOlin wh lei. with thR training b.tr-al nees lnade the It flrst J urn pa Vi'EiI'Ell' modifled barraga baDoafls..(AbOi"9) Four recru itS ac~mpal':iiE!id by '~h8:itimtructor p r1eparfi!'to a~eflld lin .I!alloon lump.a9Icat'$I~ ur&ly 1etheri)d beneath the baUoon. two and one at niglht.

a n RAF PJI.1 neeS praotl'ce the proper way of 'exUing' through th e Whltley"s lhatt:h . .al paraGhuta Jump kom 'til e 'stUic balloon·..ckup back 'Bnft f.assisted by .had P Glreular exit 't'hro.observed and ..classmates [push the Wh iller exit mg. .ugh wlltic'h the recruit dropj ~_d using a statiC rlUi attacn'cI to the balloon basket. EaClhrecruit was . (Above)' Whil'E!!the (Right) R&Cfuiite:m:ade.·their Hl'St _t".. The !balloon bask.ol1h Q\IIell"he mala t Wesses+ h.

-i-·'!--. JO .hard. The log. (Above) Women parachute Ir. • I ~ . _-..lcal training of 'paratroop t$.aini n:Q1p..u·.~~":~:"-:._'.Enees wa.·"-::.y':. all ~I it ..iggers ~c k tr.e~'not onlY toughened 1h'8 111lQp&.~-. 'Tha warn ing ~igJn above "their heads 'was a pobited' remi nder 'Dr the In'ilpl'Jftalnce Of 'th ell!" Jo'bs. Parachute Quali'fication W'ings Pllys.ae:h uiles-in 'Rlngwe...S.. pBt[acliiute packing shed..~.Jnd wall lid'become '8 Iklng·_ndlng tmdHlon wtth tAbov-:J ElJr1ftsh AJrborne troops. taught team work.

8Jlthou. .ej-'5: .ybe.terir!1gno oppositi on. of the raid. Other memb en of the raid mE force' escaped and joined 'with Italian. the most dham. The aqueduct had been buill by a British firm. The party that had been drupped off course heard th!e exp. ali'1 east a ella flee ofrna:kl~ ~t ba{:. eomm anded by the Chief Engineering '0 Hioor. and within a fewdays had captured all four partles.an..their e:bjectJYe. Mter a successful demanstn~. who was L. British military o.altcfall. _.AJ'TAG.eredl to' blowone pier.w ether wea.ndi.the Tragiuo A~uaduc~ 'Which earned water to ]lrin:disi~. the junior engineering officer. Eight aircraft were. result. th ey ~:re ke<pt.:15~~:5 a.li. coast i SOtlne sixty mile s front the objective.(J_m.. aircraft was commanded by OAeof the six officers assigned to th~~ s!)iO_ It. The stick of parachutists in each. Althnugh they were not ~old. both th e Italians and Germans.32 ca hbtr au to m snc pistols fnr other Ui. various troops of #2 'Co mmando. 'partisans. to make their way towards tb e coast.~S." The first gronp' tGI la~d was Dea neDrummond's. that the raid's success prompted the' Army to begin training paratroops In even. LT Paterson.fficia1~ [cit that a raid was needed to test the effecti VelH!SS of 1h ese QC\\r.]()s.al low the Ul'lO. The unit was commanded by M. The junior engineering officer.__ On 10 February 1941.. . an d..ntsk a Commando knife and grenades.ompson JSu'bmaehine Gun Model 1928 A11 11 . a 'I ran through mountain 1'.tr~'on and wea ~ poi net Another (actor was tfu at it was a diffieu Lt UH"gC!L destroy by born bing because It to r ']'he Ital ians Iaunched an inffi~ntdve seaech. an.. LT DeaneDn l'rn mond escaped but was re-captured. The actual tar:get was selected both because of its military vnlue and as a politieal demonstration of Il[aly'. As the training ofrhe first British airborne forces eontinued. the rn iss ion . ltal ian-spea ki n g volnnteers.s wJnerabiliw to attack The. sa there was ample mD forrnarlon avallable about Ies oon:stn. . Six .gh o~Y tlth1y. he evenrua lly escaped again and made it back to rejoin theparacaute forces" Some of the otberranks also managed ito e:s:cap~ a~'r-ejoi[t British units after the Ani ed land 1ngs in Italy. and they Immediately recovered '~hei:r eapon S and set eutfer the aqueduct w As other sticks landed. One of the' sticks of paratroops 'Was com manded 'hy 'LT Anthony Deane-Dru rnm end. tern tory. every member of'the #2 Ccmmando b.. jump over occupied Europe" By ear 1y January ef 194] the parachuti sts = an vo lunteers -ltad ~eflfi_ selected for O'U:: raid.WQrk for the future airborne divisions which would.MG~ 'B~r<=ll light illa~ me guns} illlidl eX'p~tH)~veS) ere c arried in containers slung under w the wings of the a. Ben. " By late 1940.age.d 'ry al1. Bren. comrmmicado .a'nd Co 1t .r..kel.d Foggia. they gatberedthcirweapoas and e1t{p']osive1!ll!a1L~llUgh: s.ti{)nj1Lln:tp 011 Sali~huj'yPlajn by members of #2 CJmma~do perfor:ned in 'fro.the raid was launched. the paratruops ooghIn! practioin g nigh II! jumps. Italian mu ral e had also suffered as a.uutry. More importantly. a fnoc'kup of 'lb~ aqueduct W.i~. was one of these and became weU known among the partisa ns. the conad tamers had not b een dlro'Pll edt Enoou n.irCfla:rt .PQ~ (Th."'~ thought by many to be a suicide mission. Each tUlra. e~.s of the missing containers cause-d a shortage of explosives_. Dravm from the. . Pritchard. The raid had proven Ute vi. . hQweve. LT Paterson. ta:Fget tn occupied Europe.rivf:' than Germany or GenIDIn-OOCUpled. but with the exception of one Italian who had jumped Y1iththem" they were treated as prisnners of war.~tereo become one of Britain's most farnous paratroops . 'target was .aJ rach utists for a raid against a. o t . built for them to' study. (I.•.Another iStic'k wa~.E-ngi3! nd. lIowe~er~was the fact. The raiders were threatened with being shot.(}mpSOD S.k.asslgned to the raiders. done at night. a re ndezvOliS with a submarine was arranged at a poiat on the l'ta. Iarger numbers.a~ yulunt~e~d" . up' plaJyin_g no part in the raid.t!he General Staffhadl selected Imly to be the target CQ.ld dD.ruo:ns nd also began.g vall cy and end.•. To. The twenty-ni ne raidess li\O. ~ying the gmLW.n. we re forced 'to tie down troops on garrison duty to guard Mg:a_insl possible furore' attacks.~onewere selected.a number of blgh ranking officers of rJte· Gene1"'aJ Staff~ 11 was decided ttl aa tborize the us~uf it ~mrul n u mber Q P. managed to 'bring down haIl the aqueduct by carefelly placi ng his charges whe re they WUUl.PS.. who would be dropped in the W1:on. .~ofrhe aircraft 11 experienced problems wirh the container releas e mechaai sms and.for tbe"lrud~ since it was considered a sofieI' obj<tl(:. "E ven though va rious escape aids were sewn into thLeir ru nics. wh.o atitac'kied the' aquaduot then broke up In'tO three gn:m. . Once selected. In 'fact.ile plana ing for the raid got unde~y.abUity of parachute troops by showing that tbey could strike importa Itt objectives de ep in enemy territory. second 111 command of #2 Commando.. Gun Th.ough '©Xpli::>.Th. Since this raid would 'most H.Iroups.t~ mi looper carried a pistol (W'ebtey revol vers fo r th e officers ...at m Ring'Nay where th~y contlnned ~Rtc:nsivetraining. The ~Os.) 'secured the aq ua dJ~ct.ot of .. the paratroops quicki.psto make theirescape.S:l'VeS were re~\". 'VIITihohad ~beeh augme flied by 'two.Operation CO ossus .. d1c volun jeers were designated as X'Iroop.eh'ried parachutists wh He two bombers aecompanied lite forma lion to C!lny ~outa diverS10 nary bombing ri}:id on '(he TmJ y'ard So ~ t Foggie.

starboard Sid 'Qfthe" gel h. freight). (Above) 'The 1m ~r ofa Hotspur gilder was cramp· d.DOPS seated on bench 8aat8. Tlhe Brigadier in the fOl"egrou nd wears ons· of the varratlons at the aill'OOrne il"lSilgnl9.$ equipped with a hhlgcd nose 00 ease It) adi ng/u nloadi n g of equi p me at . and. The Horsa became the main glider used by. the airborne forces and "vas improved throughout the \V'''U". The largest glider USitJ by the Airborne Forces was the General Aircraft Hamilcar. The Iarge size of [he Hamilcar required the use of our' engine tow aircraft such as the Halifax or StirHlll:. moving supplies andlarge weapons such as anti-tank gu ns and howi tzers j nto battle wi thout '0eving 0 break the equipment down :fOJ parachute drop. early version of ihe G l1er Pl Dt~'5helDlN.p. Hotsp ur 9 I er wearl ng the . The Hotspur could carry six fully equipped troops and had a crew ottwo. With gild ers [0 c arry them. which had already recei ved speci alized tra in ing ~: m ou ~1Jt. with the tr. It was ely' Ul&ed In the b'alnlng fQI'e~ . wa s re-designs ted as the 1liB L tl in Air Landing :Rrigad~ Britain's fust glider-burne infantry. By 1942. The Hotspur was fullowed by the Airspeed Horsa. a larger troop/Ireight glider with a capacity tor twenty-five troops (although most mi ~sionswere flown with fifteen troops and.oweviir.straight IVRBDRNE tab w'Om below the Pegasus patoh. "it Was used mainly as a large resupply glider on most operations.a wa rfare.MI~. the first' a irlandi I1g' troops could b e formed to romp] iment the paratroops. September (Below} A mnem'bGr' of vl9Jting Indian I!'OJ8lty ta oks ID tll1: pilot of. The Mk n 'W1i. Th is was designed to be able to lift a ligh t tank or two Bren carriers: although.nstry of . -in October-of 1941~the 31 st Independent Brigade Group.~~ i reraft Produc lion with General Ai rcraft Ltd for 400 Hotspur gliders. HDtBpurCQUfd carry' eight Mfyequlpped troops. Ih. along the. The Hotspur was intended to serve pri marily as a support aircraft. a nord er was pl aced b y the . training had been In.and vehicles. a .-orce Expansion of 1940.

in Au:gust of 194:2~· officially became the Parach ute Regiment. . Halifax. infantry b 11ttal io n ~ from selected line regiments were sent through the parachute selection CQU'I'seas units. September of '1'~ I und cr 'LTC Ri chard. Royal 'Welch Fusiliers we re trained and.. To be lp me et the growi ng man power needs of the' airborne' forces.2 pOunder mailil gun and a 1. theprimary low aircraft for the glider force .M the 5th fSoottlsh. N. when No]8 Wi ng ofilie1b\·F was. Since these pilots WQu1d have to Iighl alongside the infantry until relieved. the founders at the regi ment in:sbl. A~m i'[[J Septem h eli" th e '11th BAS Battalion was redesign i1!. These airborne troops 'Q1oveout aft'Sr randiiifig~ina jeep 'towing. Brown i' ng he 1ped p gainauthorization.. were considered as el ire Hg~ll inlj:lnlry units and.g' progressed at. the Albemarle. th e Is! Airb 0 rue Division under M'G'EN F. These troops. 'With th me battalions assigned! the Brigade 'had a strength of between 1. .~.'. n OCCll_]J 1ed Eu rope. the 1.. were trained to a h igh degre e. and car·gei.1l gun. and SUOmen" wh ne iFJeld!Marsha'i MOll1t. rae h ute Batta lion.Depnt being establisltcd at Hardwick Hall during April . The' unit also was tasked with dellvering personnel and supplies to the res istance fo Fees . a ~rgo' railer aceompanled by a tree par On II 1942. To fly th e g]ide·rs. toads bee a m. formed. No rm al co mplemcn t.. for disttnctive unifermjtems 1.Airbome Forces .rs. ~ik st {he Training es tablish ment a'[ Ringway geared up (0 train the..gometY observes the wl!1loading Qt' a Mark.l powerplants.-~:.ed that. Queen" s Own C 3 moron Highlanders and the 1nth Barta 1f on..0 ride.ted as th e "] Pal.re' hea vier and the gliders became larger. B&aa C08J!I[iallm!8C hili'll. lrl'itiaUYl" the ~1lll[ey bomber served ::IS. reforme d. the Glider Pilot Regiment was formed. ' t Right) . glider pi lots also he qu ELJHied infa ntry sol di ers able tnba n (1] e fl.0' £Jenlify[b. Stirling. of 1942. or an ti-tank gun once they had safely landed their gliders. wirh the .2.) and 6th (Vlelch) Parachute Battalicns.iltdcarry Gn9 tan k or two Bran ·gun carrl.. To keep their navigatienal skills at the high level needed for proper troop delivery. As trainim. Ugh t walg!ht motorcycle·. Gale (..~ trooper. This unitwas specltically tasked to provide aireraft ]or the airborne troops.800 and . of a paraeh u~~banal ion '~~'a~ betwee n me I glider ba ua lin ns were comprised of 976 men. Along with the 4th (Wessex) Parachute ~attalio:n"ii these units were formed into the 2nd Parachute Brigade under the command ofRr'isaiHer Eric :DQI\VU in July of ]942. The 600 maroon beret and.M" Browni ng bega n to take 1) ha pc d II ring [Above) The HOrb !i "deli cm.2M . like the paratroops. The fi rs t two sue h banal io us. the Hellerophon-nn-Pegusus shoulde r sleeve insignia we:reauthorized for '(he Parach ute troops who.urn~Ham _cafS cOlj. Ringway and sufficient numbers of trained men became a va i1abJ e. st Fa rach ute Brigade was formed in. 'RJ't. .0 flew pree isie I:l bombing' missions against lil::eiy airborne targets such as bridges it nt. An important step for 01c fu l ure o f the airborne forces took place in FebruilLry of]942".iye· these new parachu te troops a se n Seeof elite nes s: a 111.lJd Garry Yehlcles as well as ·troops.400 men.'. large nurn bers of glid er p ilors were nee ded tIJ] din l}ece rn her of" 1941. and: U a kota (C -47) were ail used to row gli ders. during l Y42..accelerated and full bartal ions of glider infantry were beh1lg formed.th e 7th Batta! io n. VII Tetrarch lig ht Tank from tal HaMIFcar glider ~TIle eight l'On 'tank carried a. No 38 Wi ng a 1.J atel urigadier). rifle.! g. numbers of'parachutists to meetthe needs ofthese newforrnations.A. To.

oo.42 •. Glid1er Pilot Regiment Tab H'orsa D ~I Hamilcar .. helmet.' p to l'Ow'tll I'rI·pounder AT gun away frem Uland1ng z. cargo haul In'll and ali tow vehIcles.ps dlllnng lMay of "..lssance. wtllch has rubber nlln beneatt.iFhesa 1rOQps wear fhe 'Pegasus insignia on their left :shOtlld:er and :ate equrpped with the ear1y version 01' tile 1941 steell parachutist's. anti-tank gun craw uses a J .one. were used for a varf.:ety 01 s810 ns Including rocoJ1:M. This..::.~ ~E:J His Roya1 Highness.Hotn 9 iders Hotspu·r ~~-..Jeepg. The King" Ins peds alrboma Ir. tha IMttlng.sre.1'he aircraft In tile backgroundl .

5 .-- 1.nsport/Glider Tow Aircraft WhItley Albemanle WhLla a Bren 'g'u'n t'B8!m stai1'ds.-. on ttte' nose OiI'the Horsa. Ha Iltax A.guard u'ndei" t'h &. (in White) is '~Gf8BON'$SCOFERS:~ St~rUng Mk.S. shook absorber" and collai_eeI an Isnd'lng .oad a'jeep !from (II Horsa ig Udef.8pedia Y padt'f&d co ntaine:r was U&&d by pam(:hute troops f.'The name... IV 'fihi.Dr dmppilltg radio sets.. The ooniainer"s bot'toml [left) was.serve as tel.... nOH" a Slqllad of airborne trJaoiPs .Tra.unl. III Dakota (0-47) ~-~ _'1""'"-- . designed to .

The clrcu object on 'the har ._ r Ii hamess res 9.n Mk 2· Submachine 'Guln 16 . __ The nscrJptloA on the quick raiNie' mech nlsm In tile carr er o·l·this paratlrDo.p re per Jump uniform. to release. Jump 9r. harl'leSS~ his. ured. heltnat strap I .'essed.11 from blowt1ng up~ and :hl . his Stan su bmac:hlna Is tucked Into the pua<:hute..an enow n the d Ireet Ion of: rD'mlion and "Press.This paratroope. is d'emonstratlng th ._.. Ste. th quick release IU fastened alii four hal'! ps. ~'1Urnto unlock'" wHh . ness Is the €I Ullck f1eleasehamess catch.'~ Wli'ten ".noek Is snapped 8 ound his ~egato k' _ _ .

Whi e th e Sergeant In the· famgrou nd . 17 .bren gun j retll1ie"Yethsnr equi pmenf. These tr:gops~ sta n ding ..~. Airiborne Tab .al"II"iIH.provldsss~lUriity wlt.h a Sten sutllnQchl n D' gunj.wear thl8 R'ECQNNAlSSANr:E: "tab QA tine left shauidell" and a h elrnet Id enilificatlon ' Pega~sus nash.oo· other par. AIRBORI~\lE .at' aHa ntlon :befof.nnal'ssaJliiCe troops wore 8 S peelal Id'ennfi-catlon tab to diM Inguisih them from D~W AI'rbornt8 Iroopa.~a AJrborne reco.ach u!i8ta..Sho. . from i:t container.e boardl ng 1h ell" transport . The IBran gwnner ba_s'iI hetme'tfla-s_h painted an his. 'tilr.ul'der ·· InSlgn. helmet. includ Ing one armed with a .

. the second group qu ic kly seized the house near the radar set and began photographing and sketchi ng the installation prior to disassemblingij.b orne D\'t •SIO. MjjjorCllallpo'llcnu~ oflhe division were the 1st Parachute Brigade. .' eppe dUDng. paratroeps received their official :n'. During their M1hdra'!.Bruneval /\. and the 1st. Both gliders. the men of the firsil: party found that half their force bad. they wak:tuiliS. ten men using' cam nuflage pa raehutes.j.. In September of '1"142~ GEN Bwwnim.e on German radar develnpmerrts. during the course of the raid C Company suffered two killed. a:L UDin com posed primarily of Scots under the command of MAT John Frusl. been dropped off course and was separated.All these men were ]ater killed by the The training program at Rin~'ay was now graduating some ]. British ph otoreconnaissance experts assembled the lares till Ie] 1 igell cc on the B ru ne vall radar site" As a trill]ni ng .F. 'was now assigned . they could not take' the enti Fe site. . W~rrC a hi net.an. two prisoners were secured.. although it was expected that they would do so under his supervision during the actual raid. Lord Mountbatten had submitted a proposal for 3 'raid against a: German radar site 0. set. along 'With. to ~' IV. engineers to disassern blc a radar' set. they had to secure the beach and their other ob jectives. with the rust group jumpi ng at ocn). Airborne Light Regiment RA. the paratroops of'C Company were told that they were training for-a demonstrat] on jump for Ch u rch ill and the. at 0230 the landing craft arrived and extracted the raiders Frost's. was selected Ior the mission.\llies prep. The first P.ared ro drive Field ·!'. On 21 January [942.. The parad'i ldisl'S winged brevet' 15visible on ttle IiJPperrigHt shoulder of a number Prtorto boarding Ihelransporl. Th e raid was pla n ned as a commando type operation Intended to gain scientific. When the raid was postponed until Augusl of 1942. a rear guard during withdraw .1. while the third p aft}' \iIl'as made up of the landward screen. tOr practice landing craft embarkation. {Royal Artillery).: Marshall Rommel out of North Africa.\'allhe paratroops began taking heavy nrc from the German garrison located about 400 yards from ti1e site. Landing in snow. six rnisslllM and six wounded.the radar technician trained a number-of the' airborne. ir appeared that the ir efforts VIOU 1d. As C Company trai ned for the op eration.500 new troops each month (including Allied personnel. Unlike the earlier raid in Ju:dy the Bruncval raid also proved thatparatreops could be safely extracted after carrying out a mission. rai d 0 n the Ell ropea In mainland. To maintain security. As MA_l Frost and his men reached the beach.e..<.O The success of the paratroops at Bruneval led British planners tu schedule the Ist Pa rae Itu te Brigade to he part 0 f a much la rger raid planned. however. Duri ng November of 1942.chranlz9 th_'lr These groups would he dropped at fntervals. also function M.yn. 2n.aJi:y had the 11rl ~'s ion of securing the unit's line ofretreat l s Ul e b each. The 'successful mission was not without cost. beeomi ng one of the first Briti sh u ni ts to receive this weapon.. crashed in ·bad weather shortoftheir objective and the SUf'vivors were ''iu ickJy ~ap lu red by the G ermans . Resists 11ce and. Sinee the men of C Company would be' evacuated by sea after the operation. Since.· 1 st' Ai. the offlcersnd ser'geant of lRe&e troOp. The second. averaray. which WB.gimental designation. 'M ountb atten as ked fOT () n e '0 rn pa ttl' of parachute troops a seetion of' airborne engineers and several l~~Af radar technicians (who wnukl be put through a quick parachute training OOUI"s.' operational in ~ray or 1943 under MGEN G. I sr (Air-Landing) Brigade.di. A seeundary missionwas the capture of one or more German radar technicians. sent against the German heavy water plant in Norway. were. To carry I) U { the raj d. Gestapo. inteHigenc. In i'llgfr g OlU raiding force to 120 men (the second RAF technician had been injured duringparachute training). The 1st Parachute Briga ."OHJing to ![ he plan. TIle site had been focated byRAF' photographic: reconnaissance and offered a unique possibility to learn just how advanced the Germ ELn rad Eli I' 'va s. The company was dropped tn sticks of al.s~ s.C\ different mission as the . against 0. C Company of the 2nd Parachute Ba tralion.T. which became fun).d Parachute Brigade. their covering Iorce. This ill crease in trained per~ sonnel allowed the Brltish 10 form the lst Airborne Division... Fmally.e). few months before the.e~~ technicians actually joined the company for the mid. TwO'Horsa gliders carrying ~aJlpers. Airhome Brigade' for ~ combat jump in North Africa. they took part in their seeon d. -w1hich 'wou~d. critical to German ~forls to produc an ate 111 ic bomb. \Vh. however. the Fre ncr. another commando type operation was attempted using glidcr-horue troops. party mctudcd the technicians who would disassemble the radar. only the most critical compaucnts were removed to be taken hack for study. the Commandos took nverthis mission fro In 'the paratroops. O~lly one of I.h. prove to be in vain since til e J.~le the] r training progressed. reconnaissance specialists built a detailed scale model of the fad-a site fOF the troops to study.ad dl~the photo. the paratroops ~missio n would be to destroy the coastal batteries east and west of the town.g was M ordered to prepare the: ] st. b aid hi m. they wen: issued the M'W Ste n su h [Illaclh f ne gu n. moved to. and. Scotland. AEX. force had carried out a highly successful laid both for 'ill tclligence ga{beri ng and for prepagan da pu rposes since an imports nt piece of German militaryequiprnenr had been seized and spirited back to Great Britain. After landing.ng·craft that were to evacuate them were not there. l'dAJ Frost's force Was nrokell up i nto three bl"fOUPSconsisting of forty men each.1 the French coast.I une of 1942.. "lith Of'lly twenty men. Hopkins.aifQ'8ft lora JumP. SOE and ass agents).

fo 11 $ owed by the 5 fu Parachute Brigade which comprised ehe Division's other parachute brigade.alrbornetroop. A fairly su.ght Infantry Royal Wam.The 6th Airbnrne Dlviston also began lbrming in M~y of r94J. fll.of speclel equ pt!n811t is·C81lii'iied y' this airborne trooper inc:lud ins b IFalrba1rn""Sykes dagger ~camo_uflag. 19 . ill i:Dglgle ropE. (drawn primarily from the Somerset Li.A.ris Garryln th _Hum~ 11"22 wlRl~ . equipped with 7 5MM pack iowitze s..ckshiir'c Regi rnent. eumprising the 7tb! 8th and 9th Parachu1e BattaJions. was the 6th ~ initi a Lcompo-ne at. r I A 'Variety .~ under MGE Richard Gale. 5et In canvaseantelnerattached '0 his hamas!. The 1st ::a na d·m an Parachu te Battal ion was also as~igned to the 6l h Division.bome ~Jemenlwas the 6th (. and E ssex Regime n t). I!lettlng face V_If an d binoculars.IIJ'peright 819&"'8.r) troo ps had :also t~ ken a shortened version offhe parachute eourse (4 jumps] and enuld be parachuted lJlto battle I necessary.bstantial number of the air landing (ghde. The lrd Paract UI.ir~LandiIlg) Brigade.. while 'the 53rd (Wore stershire Yoeruan ry) Airborne Light Regiment RA formed me artille ry cornpo near. He s wearing the parach uta brevet on his I!. 111e glider.c Brigade.

contil!l~neT' and. Betwsetli missions. g:wiith items of -.nldng offIo1als.(AboYe't His Royal High ~J the Kino! . . 10r th. the paratroops :put OIl dernonstmtions for a number of high r. . of glkter'lroops move out from a glld'&llandlng zone t~wtng their heavier eq ulp· maRt on a lightweight carl develo]led espacIeiq.examlnes an aIrborne 'Dees Jeep arMed with ill Vk:k'8N MG carried an iii pintle mount on 'the pa'S:Sl!ng&r 5lde~ The jeep e8rrles the Birtxnne shield on the front bumper. rorces (Above) As part of' heir contln I.a.501th ell special eq pmenli' AI'. the W Iblk~a oollapslbre motorbikem (Le1t')A group.~anal e " ulp' e-n' 'the display. 80 Included a fu SlZ pamchuttl" a _ rk I parachute.rborne Forces..IlrngrecruHJng etrortst Airborne tr-oopa pUll On dl ' la:y.

dl60USS'e4 tile layout of a p8Jratroo. CCtmma n der of 1tte 6th AJrbol'ne DI.o:I'tefl were ~isiOOdby high ranking offEiB_Is".l'iiiUciMenfgamE!lJ nspeCtS a.='1eIdl traffinl ng exerdses . MGEN Gale!.'iroorne troops andl 'their .evDlver' '9MM Bro.pme!lf during a lra'irnimg exerti'H .iC .38 Caliber Weble'y Mk nl R. carryling the b~pod (left) and tube ~ight) f.vblon. con . GEN Ber..(n a 3: inCh mortar.tomat-c.liiE!!1y dun rig a large scale field tr-ainiil1Q: exer:clS9 .au. .p nerd headquafters with '0 EN MOI1Q1C1t.32 Caliber Au.The two me n in the or'8grou mid..qu~.wnlin'Q Hi Power Automat.

elrieved from an equipment co.ycle A numb9.sma Itoggfe on the 1[1eJacket aGtivated 9 C02 Jcyltnder to inflaie. 22 .Motorc.ntalnel"~ These frOOpsere.e paratrooPS are assembling a oollaps-JbJe WeIb'limwflllCh they have JUSI r. 03 N~ 4 Lee linfteld t'11ft&s.:and:a lMN 3 S Sten 9ubmnachlne. amted with .Thes.. the' jaGoket. Igun~ Welbike Col:lapsrible .r' of !items 10"Special eq u Ip:mer:rt were developed for the Airborne F-nrees inc1udirng this special life]acl<et which rs being modeled In Its fu IIVInHeted :atat'e~The .

JQfo designed Sp&etficalty 'for U Be by the airborne folfCS&.. (Right) A lpanrb'ooper demonstrates tho tight' we . were Bqujpped 'with a rack omthe frame to hold 8 . . Thsse mot~ff. .liheee.ls were primarily usedl by recon" nalssance tea rns a nd d~Bp*11 rldt8fS.e* 3 QA A 'pamlrOOpetl" rides off from a drop zone. aJld Mk 4 riIfl'.e bicyc (Abov.'ht of this spool mQton.Folding Bicycl.) a :seClonti pattern foltUng bicycle. 03 Lee En..

.ked up hiSstatic line te the lEI Ircraiftand checked1lt sure that the Ii nEl would deprDY pmpel'fy lOinle-a'l[ng the ail'Craft. -forces.The Brenl gun was. 24 .Ptior toO a Jump" eac h para1rcop. the standard ~ight maehlna gun 1I8Bdby the Airb(wne.r hoo. is. c:arryl'ng a Rr&n m chine gun valisfi a'ttached'to his harness. to be Th"s para1moper'! staJt1dlngl in the door ready to Jump.

.alroome unifOrm he :still wears. Even when dressad his mlnlst..in the ru btll.r's colrar. :A. in the eai1y airborne h al!iDel' with 'I1e rubber lliim.oned ·to k.hem pr~PfJ1e'10 engage a Germa n tank.Ibsn ~er hiding.n~ife ·.buU. at :A.8 carryllbg strap Mfacl1ed to :it a nil both paratroop.badge.h·i3\i'1 a' brevtuJPI Dothl wear th@· alrbDrnA) n. lin a :specltall p~ket: on the t.. The ·PI.mu~ers~mdthe strap . A PlAT gun nM an d nig.rba Im""\Sykes k.9 A paJ1aCh ute padre (ahapfin~ wean:.!l)' beret with Parachute Regi me nt beret . Tina .s wear the' eJrbUI'n9 helmet" and 'Den ise n 81"1':1OCtb .~er9eant trooper" ill n d .set·geant wears battk: difeSs wlrtih hrs Faf. his .eep' ft in place.carrled.rn.J has·.

r tlv9 Ba~1 bonnet with tl1e.. . His. l8a~ a CiBTiIer pia. He wears the maroon Rtracllute Regll!n8M Ilere-t with .alar of the 1 st rCa nad'ian) Parach ute BattallDn talks O'n the Teleph.. I.lude the go d band OfIlf_he_owl'det' loa.tr5 his dls.t~dentlfy hrm as a Rl9mber _---"~"--_~·I101'1. ecm durfng th -.. shm.ley revolver prior to Jarn Ing th a 9 d'er ·troops he hi. Other di&· t 11Ct_j0ll8 Inc. arc and nce. lid Ie Ioi'IlIIV Enfield Rlfte #4 Mark I. r8C01iiln8Bunce 1IrOOper . [unit . An alrborln· ... deliwu&d '0 NDI'lmandy. He wears Glid Pilot Yling6 nCl the early paH n gJder pilot's heJrnet.his headgear was distinct to his balta on! the Denison smook and St8n gun were typical thes used by ather arrbotne 'roops at Arnhem. Nonn~J1 dy Inva· sion... or After dl_mbarlidng from his Horsa glider.p designat· Ing hr<9b8ttaliol1j ·the diS· ~nct1'ye shoulder sleeve Inslg n la._ •.A mom bar 01 the 5th [ScotHsti) . Iha palinrtefj [recon·' niJiI-lHllce flash on hl~· ailrbor·ne 11'i~~~lni'II!i:."nai·ssanc....CanacUan ..Parachute BattalIon W8i.oluli1teer ·Servlce MedaJ rIlbbon .•. and the Canada V.The weapon lean*' rng n-rb· . Atflhough .Iamond of Muntin..Y _.one :Set Mk 5..g Stewart tartaiR. . A .Reconna ..tldw .._ [ .Unc..Army Air Corps cap badge on B : . this Membar of Ihe Glider Pilot Regiment' loads his Web.. .(I Cana· dian aIrborne baret badge.

'Often thl:s work hald to be done: ni h~~ 17 . lSMOCkand has an equipment dU'fIfeIlbeg alttachedlf.ps IHlnd in 1he background ~B tr.Ie. of' ilny AIlU:edalreraft.. 11hs$e con tai nelrS QOlJlld be car-riied on srtanmrd .ated paratroopsr Is wea·rii1!) a :s.e. (Left} Two pa ratroops 89genlbl.n' s eq uipment waslnspeeted by th e sliCk l'ei!d@j'/jLnllp mastao The' se.oopen a.'ow him fAbowJ As oth-er iP3ufroo. including 'Rght'en.neqlu Ipme rrt .si 't.ra1l"QQpe ~sjump.oop~r wmk. and bombers.(Above) Prlenr to a Jtnnp. be.bomb racks.o his parachute harFl856wi1ich 'would be D~d un a nne during hi's de5oent.container.'V'elesspa.e... a colllape:i ble cart wI!1 Qh wa's used lUI haul h_vy eQILIlpmen~' and/or' :sUlpplies. each rna.

The Germans 'Were tough. become his ttade. During this period they met thei r opposite: numbers un the German s idee when they fought agains t 'tough German parae hu te e ngi neers.ber1942. the . FOI' the next th ree munths the brigade was used as EL mobile reserve. Fro st. local railway station. Alihough nu British airborne forces were committed during the initiatIandings. f Finally. Mth landings taking place talion in. of SOUJtnern E urope. to help .TheirnhjecUve was to seize the airfield.~.. Although the paratroops were poorly armed to-deal with tanks. tn American.260 casualties before fi [LallyIin kin g up with oth er AJ1ied force s.2 November.h" During one ad vance. stayed In action for another eight days..Milita. the' rem ain de r of the 1sf i Pa rack ute Brigade arrived at Algiers by ~e.25 January 194'3 the entire Ist Parachute Brigade was reformed at Bone.3r. ExplosiVe Clo.. and the 2nd Battalion was diverted to Oudra at 1. since a number of them managed 00 kill 'r'h~ir captors and escape. a b ayo net charge while blQwing tJD.sc~mb]ing ~ftef' 1'1 jump.ttrds [he advi:tlu(.Operation TO'ReEl waslaunched.450.Just before takeoff on 29 November it was learned that the Germans had pulled out from the first hVG objectives.At ~pproxi(l1arely0430 the Germans Iaunched a counterattack supported by tanks and aircraft . As they advanced.a and a waited orders art Maison Blanch The paratroop's next jump was on 1(1 November. in fact. Theirmission was.in.ark aJna he used it. Theparach 11 tist's biggest problem.. iJlVa510ID. however. had 'been held in reserve for a combat drop against the German airfields at Pont du Faha. The horn hei·d.fh Bag Fi'lied 28 . :By. Sinee there were nil' enemy aircraft' on the airfield t. and Oudra.1''1:ROlle A1'rlle'k._ind him when a5. grenade developed for airborne troops which consisted of a cloth bag equipped wirh a fuse whlcb could then be stuffed with as much plastic explosive as the target required] to destroy or disable at least [QUI German tanks.rem. On 6 December.ry Crosses 9' Dimngmsbeu C enduet M'edals. Thosemcm bers of:th e 2 no '18 attal ion til athad bee 11 captured s oon esra blis hell a formidable reputation. Hattal[on held Bone Airfield for a week until relieve d by adva 1"1 cl ng A]~ ed torces.Early the next morning they occupied.DUliliug HE period in combat.s.The a_ggre'ssivene S s.was that loc 801 Arabs stole equipment con tainers and parach utes.m.t was best to withdraw Aii1ie~d. 911 the n:ightof14jl:5 April 1943 the] s'tParachute Brigade was pulled out of c(unba'i to regroup f. secure a stepping stone for the. wh ic h 1NIJU] d u. 360 men of .!. on 1. PineCoffin's 3:rd Battation. 310'ng 'With a number of other awards. brigade had been recognized by 'the awarding of 8 'Distinguished Service Orders. t:rc· Frost' feb .g Allied army. when the men of the Jst Parachute Battalicn d ropped ncar S ou'k 'GlArba. in North Africa was aptly iltustrated when LTC Frost led his 2nd BatI tow. 'the paratroops camouflage smocks and their training at blending in to the terrain made them poor targets for strafing Bf 1095. The 2nd B attalion. done' in earlier raids. Red Dcvi Is" from t11e Germans. D ep ienne. the men of tile 3]"11. IOn :8:No.LTC R.Fortunately. but 'the' British parachutists proved just :::IS tU!lJ. with both units fighting.'1 L1 the Brl t ish Ai rhnrne troo ps their nie kn a'me' 'The. D.or fJd~ln~'airborne openHioD. Duri fl g thi s period. the ai rfiel:d and the. which was accomplished witheu t oppcsitinn. Jo]ned hy NlO 6 Commando.. hunting hurn. the paratroops so impressed the local French troops that many of themjoined the ba ttalion tofigh t alongside the Sri ti sh. The a trac ks iagai nSI: th ese airfi elds 'we re p] an ned to de stroy enemy ai rcraft on t he ground in much the 8aJmC manner as David Sterling's 8AS unit 'had. co m manded b 'Y LT'CJ. and 22 Military Medal s. meeting 'with no GerUlan opposition .gs were the beginnings ofan Al1:i:edpush designed to drive Rommel off the' African continent nnd. commlrted to action wherever the fighting was heaviest.. ']s[ Parachute. the. they managed [0 usc Gam rnon gre nades (iffi. During this fighting retreat they suffered some . C~47s for a jump 0. 15 . Once [inked up the paratroops.North Africa at eleven poi nts alon g the North African wast These landi n. . Brigade were delivered. ss conventionul light infantry under the tactical control of the Fitth Corps. to act as a scouting force a head of'the British lst Army.(]Batral ion joi ned the' ] st Battalion. the lst Parach IIte Brigade took over 8(1) pr1_SOf1ers.J.q attack.\.t loeated about halfway between Algiers and Tunis ..~Ls~meu.

was killed in a glider crash. October of 1942 the Airborne forces suffered anot her setback when CO L lloc~ who had virtually Cit' ~ ted the PaFr:liCn ute Regimenr..ighl~uf9/:LOJuly 'when troopsof the 1~t Air:.en other Red Devils ambushed their Italiaaguards -A numbe r of gl ider troop s who had landed in. overrun.~ 'the in her Inspectiolili of .ournd Is al ProJector Infantry AnU"Tan'k (P. in the sea 0 ff of SiLor]l:y .a nu mber of gliders. Since the. The Wa. too k place 011 Ute :n... proper equipment..aitemoan. ~1Jich inflicted substantial casualties and by 15JOtb.j4 glider. the ruth erne FU[DeS suffered from. diverted. attcnJ]on from the beaches at a critical time and. TIle plan for the Sicily invasion called. O'f' ' . two by the Americans and two by the Britl!isb.rlor to Opera~ 'UOn HUSKY 'to ta wfth. but they bad held the bridge long enough.sHlg them to huuj. the rurborn Forces were slated' n playa key role in the British portion of Operation EIUSKY.€ troops.pon In the back. both the .e Royall Army Medal Corps.. now under COL George' Chane ton. the g]~der·bol'ne tro011S were 1:0 ·attack.. creating a diversion ItO aid the amphibious landings. By June of 1943. were d eemed uris uitahl e fo r th e landing of anti-tankguns and their jeeps.s over such ong distances.and parae hu te troops-were rigorousl1-~ training for their part in HIJSKY~ with the paratroops making al nlost 9!-OOO training jumps netween 8 May .t:remained to defe ad the bridge. white still otber. wh ich prevented th e tow pflo ts from informing (be glider pi 1011: of 1he rel ease pori'111. there were a total of eighty-seven airborne troops armed. During th d I' work-up period? the 'pilot~ had to learn [0..at.lATJweapon which' 'feed a mortar 1Y1P9 round~ Besides. The wea. saved a nu m b er of Iives in Ihe 1M oiling' force. D uri ng 1942. oppnrtunity and attacked these gullS rather than Imr)'to reach their original objective. In addition to securing the bridge.eame under he a \'Y' e rue IUy artilleryfire.Royer High ne. shortages cf men. a maMbe.derBGEN P.c-Q1$~however. MG EN ~~ op py.'anu their glidees off cou f"SC:. were trained to go into acrion U nder . so a num'beroftincJarger Horsa gliders ecrc towed to 'N orth Africa by Halifax Po.. British 8ib . ground is a Bran IIg 1 mach Ine gun~ The Kingl Queen.. arrived and retook ..W. for four ~pa~dre phases '[0 the airborne assault}. to Het.. oI11iy~. PJAli could nre smoke and 9nti~per&o. Other tugs released their gliders too earlj cau. The 6th Airborne Divislon under MGEN Richard Gale was activated in May of 1943. the Allied invaainn of Sh:ily. the. Be "ore the '-. The.cu. howev e1\. wUpo'n in' th iI!lregr. Few of the gliders landed iIlt their assigned landing zones.. more than ~O% of the gliders arrived safely.m hers.. to go badfor the ~id¢rtrnop~~ bad liMea:thcl"".nnel rQunds~ me .Ajlr~Landin~ Brigade was slated to be the first Allied tr6o~'l land on. would not see action in Swil). forced a number of'the gli~r tll~s.S·CI-I Y the Glider Pilot Regiment. gliderswere forced] down by German anti-aircraftfire.any ci feu In s ances and those wi 0 landed near bridge captured lt and removed the demolition charges wb"uc'h had been placed by the Italians.S~ Q~Ji8n!pa. but. few oftlre paratroops had been captured when the bridge 1i. Despite these problems. Hicks were senrin to seize the Ponte Ora. . with two mortars and four Bren guns dug in around the bridge.Iew of the o:r'g~oal ~on. aBU·tank roundS:.Sicily..cludInggale force wi nds of up to 45 MPl~l.l"Ilde.whlle some landed as much as Iorty m iles off course. but A they were quickly freed wil.. '[heir spontaneous attack. In. The first phase.:MJDd 30 JUD(i. Desp ite rh e d ifficultie s of towing glid:er. the. These :few paratroops were finally overrun.'=ie.error near an e raplacemeat of Ital ian: coas bd defense guns hi!lfclseized the.' Hnpkinso ~ accompanied the glide rtrocps A H who were assigned two separate landing zones.in. ridge near Syra. ad~ anci:ng from the beaches.. transport airCri1ft and glider pilots. fly the Am eric an built Wacn C:C. in the event. alld PrinOBSS Roysl i1l18~ airborne troops and titlelf' weapons.ATTIlY infantry. The commander of the] 81' irborne Division.1\I1lS. By me early mnrning of 10 July.elm. Even more frustrating was the 1M al fu neticn of the intercoms en. Syracuse LIseJI fromthe west. H B The troops were ferried to the target area aboard 129 Waoo and eighr Horsa gliders . The airbOHl. Operation LEDBROKE. From the beginning things "began.. bridge . oorn a troops p. was ordered to North Africa in April of 1943.La11dillA Brigade lIUJ.aus enuld destroy' the bridge.8. Th rougho u t d e morning th~'}~ .air-Ianding.

e' alrea dy at 'work p] arming even.attack.of~h~ Axis defenders to Sub!:!lhlntially aid Ihe..~ obiecti vcs wen. ] lD e .aJfi~rnpted to recove r th ei r .ning short of ammunirion. The i3J nti. remai ni n~ forces silenced an anti -aireraft b atI:.Irom the b ridge and~.:'l8QlCl~n2idt the paratroops.Mv. . Along the route t of ad vance towards C atani a was anol her key b ridge. Aforee of] . or the 4th Armored Brigade rumbled up just after dark on.nder of the Alr-LI n tUn 01 811g&de dlroot8 his men fram the oover of p th Ickat.'=i the l~t Parachute Brigade the l st Parachuse Squadron of of the Royal Engineers.960 the Red Devils were forced tu withdraw from the bridge.. They withdrew in small . and the 16dl Parachute Field Ambulance all. 'WOU ld establish a bridgehead across the river' and hold the high pou nd to the south of the' bri dge.: Parachute Bi11£atlion had taken tll. 111 e n three parachute "b. the 14LhT During the fm_gh'ring the l st Parachute Brigade had suffered. to retrea t ItO the southern !'lankof the river.pbmotl ooml'Dil.a:VfJj] torees and a number uJ aircraft a no . Q nee Ih~8. they learn eu nder fire fro m enemy an tiaircrafs gun s.1'18.0.A.eqn ip men t conta i]l ers. however] three an~~1ank guns served hy rnemben . both.(gm~nated by an airborne anti-tank unit 'we're corn mined 00 the as sault The entire wroe was under the command 0] BR lG Lathbury. about fifty men of the 1st . with the intention of rejoining Allied units advancing toward tbe bridge..all1y tnspects.amphibiuus landings Airhome p]~nneTSi studied the aU.'T1heIRoyal p.Cry located nearby.of 14 July.Ssed (J Ver the beach.11 0 f a eti on ca 1]et:lifor t\¥-o ofthe parae hu te p] atnon S and the Roy.y morning there' were 12U paf3:tH)OPS in the peiia meter.e brid..ge."e re . Ironically. a number of British crirbpnle troops continued to fight using captured Ital ian weapons and arnmunitio n.~ reinforcements arri ved to be i. easier. plstot 91i1p~ and.c~~.· sev¢rly decimated the force. chei I' j..as additional troops.ohs.avoiding such problems in the futur-e.lJOS behind the lines. Ma ny of these eh [L nee enoou rrte1r5 le'd.had bee-n over the sea and as they passed over the' Allied invasion fleet. By dawn they had removed tbe demolition. the Primusole b ridge over the river Simeto. The first. He is 800ed with "iii IMk 'V Stan SU:blflrU.. Their approach tntbc target ar.a. .a 1 Em gi ncer Squa dtron~ lu seize the bri age while the..1J 1.p defend the bridge and high ground" That afternoon th e German par atroops la unched a h ea wy counter. Despite the had situation .e~. OnQ~ i1§ain they bad held just long enough. th. ~'n~1ellno' a lig htwet:g ttf folding cart. u camol. as tanks.a:took.:run. which.aVickers machine gun. 1OS1fig a ny chance for a coordinated drop. and three P'fAT anti-tank weapons.~'i[craft fi re caused the transports and glider rug'S to become \viddy scatte red.cr a~liion re:po~ with an eye toward .836 paratroops and seventy-seven glider artillerymen of the Ist Airborne O.iS ion were a. 13 July..u:h.[. fOrearm :pistoJ gri'pi With Syracuse secured . repulse the att3. . cha rges.ge ahead of the 8t£l. 31rborrne 'en. Duri ng til e d~y of 14J uly. rhe airborn e forces had still man aged to create en ough ch f. 'By ead. As the ~Ilrvivo:rs cro.al'~(jjJion:. stidoi: we~ dropped shortly after 2200 on. set abou r defending it with tV{Q mortars.dlaige net1i:ng..groups:. made for some "interesting'tencounters as. 1 'hese same plan ners wer.vy artillerysupport This attac It to reed il:he dc:fDnden~~ W no y. al most 300 ca S ualti es.plosives . Another' German attack carne ~L 1700 with he.Parachute Squ adron of fh e Royal Engineers. German p~:I:r~lroop:shadjumped intI? the same drop zone as some of the British parachutistsatalmest the same' time.morning . to pitched h a nd. . arrived. which. and' eX..Army's ad vance. .~.s were shot dow n.'1)s:ig ed to seize this ~rid.he 8lh Armybegan its advance northwards.hand corn bat..g]ider. they were fired lHJ by Iriendly -o.. 10]]g way j n rnaki I1g I a..lne gun which hiad a wood &n . la rger ill rb orne' operations and the ]essJ) ns learned in Sicily would go til.glnee'r I&qul pment.by 0215 0011 nu.e 16th..\S'tileynlnont of'ammuniticnfor their own 'We'apons. FinaUy~ i.. groups . Though prahlenlS with friendtyfire and scattering had plagued the' airborne portions or Ute S icily ilp-efatio. of the '01 ider P'ilot Regiment 'hclptd o.

31 .s..Gllider (Hadrian. These rn n 1II91!.ansceNt'!1' to c.ommuni .dlo$ 'was their limited. cate' w.. 'Ield I even on cembal' Jumps. rsnge. WACO .lh crthrsr units of the bnlgadle'...181ly eecompa nJed fhe troops .ellld'ns Brigade uses a Icampeot raero. b'.Into ttl.$..) A signals trooper of'fIls AJr'·'l!.One d'rawlback 01:these m.A group 0f' airborne cuplaln8! known as tne parachute padi'e.

'when I~hedivision ccmmamler.. Fa tach ute Brigade.d cruiser ~ two "increments.~ nee w~s the l56th Parachute Battalion which gained a degree of'mobility by commandeering civilian buses.asi~n or the Italian mainland" The 1st Airborne was assigned the important seaport of 'Iaranto as t:h eir objective dlUlri ng the invasio 0. SDS (Special Boat.e:nenlYresistan ceo which was qui ckly O\o'e rcome.. I? ritchard. This action was the . At .lF':.5. prisonersBy Nuvem. REV Gwinnon accompanied the 1st Alrbome' Into. ill Landing Briga de.d began clandestine negoriaeions to end U'aha. Wi. nded on the after n oon of 8 September. Spear. During early October.h{lItlC by ~n Itafia n pilot.Mottola~ the paratroops encountered light .head ing the ad V. Timothy and seven other paratroops of the 2'nd Parach ute Battalio n took part in a drop uorth of Rescara with the' rni ssion of findi ng escaped AJ1ied prisoners and directing -the~n to"\\ards. GEN Hopkinson. LhflY p"lllshed en towards Gieia.acti on cost the paratroops one 1mpo rtant casualty. Atnhenl'.. [be. jeeps. and bicycles. The town had an impol1al"lt airfield wh icb h ad been evacuated by t11e Ge r m an s 0 n the nigh t of 16/17 Septe m her. to h e: he 1d so the 1st Aiirborne troopers dug :i n arou nd the port between 20 and 23 September. on .\i'. By lh~ evenmg of 12. was.e sul'fstantigd amount efequipment were 10st 'when the minelayer h~t a mine and gunk. bel n.nV~kS. 111 L..etl in the figh ting. Using ceptured Italian artillery Castell aneta..:nresistance. IO][erUnner one of the' 'mOSTj utcrestln g a Irborne un its of the . Althongh the airborne troops were now heavily overextended.. Operating in.th the 2nd Parachute Brigade ashcre and ho. nd Airbome 'tab. led to the :p3'irachutc troops being pulled off of Cos on 25 September .~Il. 'Ci\PT J.]Om.lost most of their desi re for war . a 32 . boweve.v camp 5.)" under BRlG C.a threatened German landing.. Anarmisdce was to be announoed.Sguided .ber. with the exception of the 2nd Parachute Brigade which remained in Il3[. straw on the landing zone to Airborne 'padre FI~EV Gwln:nott wears an Intemstl ng com bl nallan 01 inaJgn18~ J~.000nd Wo rl d War ~ the SA~F (S peel-a] AU ied Airborne Reconnaissance Forge).of SiC. along 'Wi t:h a number of paratroops conti n ued to pursue the retreati ng Germans occupying Foggia. for fire support.8 September 1943t timed hl coincide with an Allied il1. the Ist Airborne Division bad been widldrawllltQ England. the 1s t AiT~Landi ng Brigade relieved the 4th. of Italy. This special un ir wa s fa rme d Iate In rhe war with the mission of dropping in near po. They :]:rui tially met wi lh no 'O"P'Po:siLiuIT. ~n5Igi1la.K..Its_y After the Alfied i. the division's reconnalssanee squadron was constantly scouting ahead of the' brigade. The men 'Of (be: 11S1 . however. th e par atroop s pushed on toward the entire division was ashore and Castcllancta had been captured. since transport nire raft were unavail able! the R(:d:D'evi]s we re to be 1anded from a min el ayer a (g. The Hi::1Htinarrison oreos' was so g happy to see the British paratroops that they had spread. which had been formed at Kabrit all the nigh t nf 14 Septemb t'JT~ this b altalion was • dropped 0]1 tl1e tsl a rid of Cns into a drop zone or 'marked bymembersofthe cushion their Iandlngsl Heavy Luftwaffe attacks and ..s.. 0 n 19' September. 'Irilr.l1i:ans. Allied lines.iJYl the U.H. The 'n fi rsru n its were 1a. 136 troops and. and taking charge of [rcCd. but Taranto s till h ad. however. U'tiJrin.rsa~ly iiJ.g this operation.lmng the port the 4tb Parachute Brigade landed ~I1dltd vaneed ou t of the port a rca. Service). ~e Royal Army Chaplain are rSNabove Ihe parach ule bre~~ followed by the Pegasus -5h(JuMer sleeve.September. Eastern Mediterranean (independently of the Ist Airborne Division) was the l Ith Parachute RatwJion.

am rnu n m.Iightly after midnight on () June.Ct other hridges. laud om top of the battery.end glider ~anuing5L Once these' zones we:r~ clear.B. Other R. th at t he two parach ute brigades wou.-The 9th was conlmande-ci by LTC en PathfindEiq.l E. by blowi ng down the poles v. although nne ]an(]ed nearby and its. Most oftheir equipment bad been lost during-the drop and me paratroops had only one machine gun of! heir own.H.A third glider battalion would be landed ever the beaches because of Ii shortage of transport aircraft. one such exercise.! barbed . wanted the 6th. night. ith :fifty ~\'o]u.. ta king the In out of CIctio n.Normandy Mter the formation of the . while.nteers l~IiQ. The para t (no 1)8 then spiked the guns.1 d j ump in du ring the night. German weather experts. minefields.ring the. Division. The ." .vi rc.ly 1'n the W81". Thel amdi. the airborne commanders.h e ("1erTl'l.slngle prob Iern -the weather. minefi eJds. landing zones.. had definitely stated to the GermanHigh Command that no invasion could take place du. The ra id h ad cost the paratroops some seventy casualties. Once' the LZs were marked. the paraehute and glider troops were honed to a fine edge through a series of rigorous and realistic trairring exercises. began markingthe drop zones and landing zones with 1igh is.guns. As the men of the assault force approached the battery they came under heavy German machine gun fire.8. occupants 'pJ'ievented a German platoon from reinforcing the battery. 33 . The paratroops and glidermen of the 6th Airbo r nc.rhich t. ()tway~8 remaining force then advanced tothevillage of Hauger. during the night prior to the invaskm. it turned (rut only 150 of the 600 paratroops otfhe 9th Battalion reached the reu~ dezvous on time where they joined urI with their reconnaissance party which had dropped earlier. They were more concerned wi th equipping the (USC 1vcs with as much. who bad Jed his men through numerous live-fire rehearsals on a mockup of the battery built near :ewb 1I ry " . it bee a me 3ppare t that large' formations of gliders would be involved in the airborne assault a.at. The village t\I'8S cleared with the assistance of Com rna ndos from the lst Special Service Brigade 'who linked IIp with the paratroops Ia te lr ill the day.:. The main 1S)"\fM.:sa. "had three primary missions.ppe'rs of: the Roy-a. The 3rd Parachute Brigade. On 17 February . in\~i!Ved v:Crtu~Uy the entire 6th ru Airborne Division. iIIt Eb~ll Em. as well a s th eir American cOUnte I pa rts of the 82nd and JOIst Airborne JJivisions {who would jump in On the r-ight flank of the British paratroops) Jet the experts worry about the weather.nd throughout late ] Q43 large-scale glider exercises were conducted.a m had . Otway's assault for-ce managed [0 capture the batte I'J'. elE Browning es:tahli:~d]edan Airborne Corps Headqnarers 1:0 control both the 6th and the lst Airborne Divisions _As ·tt.. on 24 Apri11944 . HEll. The Mervlllc battery was-an extremely irnportant objective and was housed in bunkers with walls over six feet thick.crew of th i8 weapon managed to si len ce three of th e enemy guns.el ear.. ·the gliders carry~ng l:he BriEadels hea1. wh il:e the remai n ing th rce were destroyed by d irect assa ult. and otn e r def~]lse~ manned b~y about 1. 1944. that a "brigade woul d be too 5l m al LfOT th e task and the orders were changed to include the entire 6th Airborne.Tachute B. where they encountered heavy enemy resistance forcing !them to dig in.n lroops_ The 9th Pa.t.ul ed~o land.oOy. The recon tea m h ad already begu n cu tting the fe 11CCS 8 ~I rounding the r battery and had found ~ path through the.]t was decide d~th erefore. anti-~ircra. while two battalions of glider troops would reinforce the airhead late on D-Day.6th Airoorne Division durlng_nlid-1943. A'5 tile invasion approached.worried ab out their h iggest.emplaced in ope n an.s did .0 be dropped on theflan k of the British amphibious forces during the CiCOSSchannel ievasion. Montgomery. It beca rue obvio us. and cu I: the road s leadi Ilg towards the beachhead from (be suuth andeast In general. :8Ynchronlze their wak:hes fof'ices~ Pathfinders marked frhre drop followed" iprior 10 JU rn .. destroy the enemy artillery battery at Merville.ryequi pme'nt were iSched. top 0] the barte ry in an attempt ~:o dupl m:ca Ie ~ . in fact. the German anti-glider defenses in the area indicated that there was a stTong likelihood that there would he excessive casualties duri n~ a 'nighl 10 nd ing .eaching the beaches.(although originally thought In be L50MM) gun emplacements were surrounded by machin'e gurUi.. gliders.ng zones we re for gliders wh iell WOUIcJ UOID4t in duri ng that fi rst night carryi ng anti-lank guns and other heavy equipment. the pat hfi ndCTSwould be followed by the men of th e 3rd and 5th Parachute "B rigade 5. tiestn}}-f four bridges over the River Dives to preven t German reinforcem e n ts from r. Airborne co 1111 0':1it~d to b elp hold the J tl a nk 0 f the British beachhe ad. although scattered.a1 Engineers deaRd gJider-landing ZiQtles. drq_p 811d.i on as possible and 'men tally prep a 1'ing to jump into combat . S.ngineers destroyed Hlf.1944!MOEN Gale received orders slating one of bis IW{J parachute brigades 1.DOt.s. h owever. Atler Lough hand-to-hand fighting.of troops that T. urst week of June. the 8th Parachute Battalion assisted b!.llilg In ah ead Q'f the Normandy Invasj'cm zones wH"h lights foli the main body . The th ree gHder.a.e prepara ti DDS fo r th C ill Vl:tsian 01 Western Eu rope progressed.n. they were to create as much havoc among the German defenses from the rear as possible and slow any attern pted German rd n tor-cement of the defe nses near dl e 'heach es.attalion plu~ th~e.56"'200 Gefrlll a. Al thou gh initially ~twas planned that th giiders of the 6th An Landing Brigade would go in. divisional intelligence olficers studied the possible.!dS to prev. as well as olh . managed to destroy twool'the bridge's over the Dives river.be Gernlan succes. commanded by BRJCir J. the Ist Canaian Parachute Battalion. The other objectives assigaed to the peratreops were destroyed as well.![ seniur offlcers in vol ved in pia nni ng the i11vasion. in fact. who would command the British invasion forces. the first British pathfinders of the 21nd Independent Parachute Company-landed and.mthe paratroops and !cight Royal E l1"gh:1C~ were to· 1and right Oil. Olw~y.

. 'b'.Although the. Despite 1lli~ the bridge was quickly seized.N" P'Oe~ was assigned to land north of Ranville. At the Orne River Bridge .rule glider was.de. secure and hold the Mea around the villages of Benouville and Ranvil e. The' tb ree gliders assigned to 1a I) d ne ar Ole Ca eatCanal carne ~irigh t on target. and n Anti-Tank) was P roven.the airborne troops held off a number of German cnunterattacks.atroops~ Paratrooper Jump Helmet . right on targer.st Special Service Brigade. had jump ed at about 01 fKI on 6 Ju ne ~i iff! th e In ission of securing rhc village of La BHS.rst glider Ia aded. Ag. l(AboVe~ IP. 6 gliders carrying assaulttroops of w t."TS I hen cl ug in to defend the b ridge after making sure th at it h ad not been wi red tar demolition by the Germans.lrQ).would become un imp ortant part.t 'With them a number ofbadly neede .~ wan try and a P.antitank guns..rs ere to land. On the evening of 6 June.The 5th Brigade . bu l the other two landed. The. Reinforced during the evening by glider troops of the Royal U1 ster Rifles.' suffered some casualties during tbc drop. while members ofthe 7th Parachute Battalion wouldjump in to support them.yten fUlliy equip· ped par. Parachute Brigade. Once again the value of the P~AT [Projector. stroying nne of them wi th a (3 a m man grenade .. To SCJLhC the crossings. B u ckinghams hire Ligh t .} rty of Ref)'al E ugi neers would landnearby.under BRIG II'I.::l· used kl knocked uu t one of th100 Germ an tan ks that attempted to retake the bridge. de Ranville and the surrounding area. th e the bri dgewas i: n R riti sh h a nds in filteeu nrinu tes from fhe ti me their fl. the paratroops of the 7th Parachute Battalion jumped 'in and reinforced the defenders of the two strategic bridges. German armored forces also attempted to dislodge the ai rb orne tm ops. wlhen on WH. additional reinforcements arrived by glider enabling the airborne forces to hold their ground until reinforced 'by commandos of l. The .. including the 12th and ]3th Parachute R~t~ tal io ns. knocking {LitH1 Paratroops board a Annstrong Whitworth Diemert's Ira nspolf pai ntet with D.1l e (tS"io rdshire and.AJllern _ . capture and defense of the Caen Canal bridge ~ the "Pegasus Bridge" -.Oilps !Undergo eqluipment check3 in preparation for boarding the tra n SPO"J1S Operation OVEiR LORD~ the Iln'Y~sion of iNOrm andy. even fighting off German gunboats on the canal. they continued 10 hold the bridges th roughout the day. 'Their missions were to seize the Orne River and Caen Canal crossings. and secure the landing zones where the . RAF officer at t:h e. o ther units of the 5th. Infantry.alns L hee Y German roll nterattacks.es for 1h eJr drop irnto oocll:lpied France. rlght for i9 the JumpmastGf.. wh 0 b roug . of British Airborne Irani tion.Ie eQuid carr. an d Private McGee' WOn DCM for de. Till e 1rOOPl.g1li. advancing out of the beach ead.arach ute. about 400 yards away. Along with the battle' for the Merville Battery. ay D _l1vaslon s.

. on 17August.Togerhe r with th e j] s~ Divi sm. Ida of a Horn 0 IIdei' boon. l en (AboYe) Pathftncf.ormandy.aunch an attack to throw the Germ 8n s ba eli and restore the British ][ me. men of the . Horsas made up .troops were ordered to advance. The decision to wait until late an D-Day to bring the g]jders in proved a goo-d one since casualties were surprisingly light Additionally. troops at that point wasju 8t l[ he shot in :the. total of 4 457 casualties. On the evening of 6 . (A'lgtlt) ThxJ. in.li.. I 2th Baualion.ps of an alr-lta ':d.er" weat. The airborne forces had to fight off Increasingly hea vy con ntera tracks.~ the . the ('IUl Airborne continued to holdthedrpoaitions despiterhe fru. 'the arrival ~frreiSt.ay operations" the division suffered about 8. Normandy.000 paratroups un eccou n ted for after the drop.s. th e gliders carrying the.[ they were not e~uJpped nor. the heavy casualties suU"erfld by the airborne troops had lowered their strength to the point that they'W"l.a for the .o n e a irb orne troops launched their ceunrerattack led by the 12tll Parachute Battalion 'and B Company. and the fast weeks of August. was hnhli ng positions 0:0. was ex. A n umber 01 these missing 'men were.ne Baret Badge .d the . th e eastern bank of th e Dnl. cleared and held for their arrival by theparatroops wbo had preceded them. spearhe ad 'ing 'the thrust to Le H avre.:!'::ive with the Dtfwsion Ioosing a. the .out several German pzKf\v IV tanks in the procesa.CQC~lingin dosing 3. 26 Augu.e Ri ver.the bulk of the gli dens.s t. By-the end of the second day. On.6th Airborne Division? 'reinforced by the tst Special Se rvi ce Brigade. The attack . By 10 June" however. gl unit: I'ea.6th Aid') orne reached the: Sei~ wher.airborne .Iun e. While in Normandy. the 6th Airborne had notonlyproven that the airbor e forces could carry out a division-sized airborne operation 01i1t also that paratroops could carry out sustained combat operations. fight ing alongsid e American paratroop ~ ij n me American sector. ahhough for tunately they received good artillery sUPI10rt from their own gunners and from gunners within the beachhead. arm the ai rhome :oroes needed to bold '[he ir -objecl:ives.""fC bavmgtrouble hold . Glider Pilot Cap Badg:es Early Airborne Badge Betet Badge Late .Inwa'sion of F'rance.pen. Again tlie paratroops and glider troops held until relieve d hy the mern bers of '# 1 Commando.supported properly for sustained com 1a at Finally.n l beach.e they were halted and told to prepare for withdrawl back to lhe UK for ilie:~U and resupply. at INormand1y. used b~ Ih _ BJllt)sh ku'e8s in Iv. During the D-D. ing me Germans. On 111une M"CEN Gale decided to J.01} casualties with an addi tion al 1. f act.lng the Pand1 ute R 'glmeM cap badge which was aUlHlorized In May of 1943~ are brIeIecI about th elr obfedives pdQr to jumping In behInd the inva&lo.Alrbor. the Devonshire Regiment.6th Ai r-La ndin~' Brigade ~anded ill the Us.graffiti pUnted and Iellaiked an the. gap in the Bri tish rime'a od restab lishing ~fe asive cohesive ness. however. Th rongh the remainder ofJune~July.

ilihen' troops.f'iil~' Invaslonl. 'Canal.UBI .knife sIllpJJed ntD a :shuth held by'fab6"..wm to 'the 1ii9~ othlis ba:ttia Airtim'i'TJ8 woopahavB a eu Pi&flea before'takllfi~ dress in tIlle fashl'on pli'9ferred by many' comrnondos. 'teen min utea fro'm the t'lme the first glider lit ndedi..lnva8ioo~1119b~i'dg9 was captur'ed by th'r:aeglld'Gr. 'Reg. Gl!lriinillhe Norma. three troops are all wearifll DenllOO smode..I~ at tile tar left' has hili flgh.ft man wears a Royal NilVY 8houldllr.gliders of the Oxft:vdshrre and EI'UcklnghamQhire Ug'hllnrarr~ry' eramllandecll along the Caen.Airborne lDiN'isJo!l1lmareh across.dro.lng ItLe NO~J .p oyer NOt'lria_f\dJ~Th.. gunfire iln au pport 01British 81rborne I~ps FOUr members 101 a Co:m1blned a peratl'ons B"OOloord'ment UnH'..rc along with hIe Par. The glider. came' 11m r1ght on blrget aLkJwi1nglile ·~I'OOJlS0 qulcldJ eaplu re the 1 brldg_ OYer the canal.off 10 . the Caen canal Bddga dur. 'The second from ..lm9n'1 ber·ef. Hile' ". Horsa .. caled in naval l BI"W$I'I'Glklpr troops ofi the &1. 'IOO:(ls of trooJ)Si wiIIlln nf. ~nd airborne bOap5!.achyl.. The 0Ih.

(Rlght~ _. .. The' httallon fought bell .during rna NQ.u.(Abnve] British parakOop:s pose wi..Fn:Ji1ndy Irrva"SiOIll. June.r5 of the BrWsl112 h Parachute Battalion S lYe 8 cheel1_ .gance on the dlsposHion of' Gelman forces durl ngl 'tha Nor Illandy ~nl'l8slol1.mbe.. ~'TI'H. 1(. FnJn-th GMltans were oft'&n an i'nQluab SOIU"C8' ofl'oca~ Intal. local Frenm cl. of OperatiDn' OVERLOIRD~ . d German IFnes durl n9 mUCih.rJll1)sup'" duf'lng it '1~lf(In the action .Abo¥_ 'J Members of th.viliia e of D RIiI!lVI . 51 Parachute 'Tilgade 'guard iii Vital .liJiana .Th'esa tl"OOpS had been reinforced illy HoJ'S81 glld'et8 Ga~n9 U1e'Royal Ul\ster Fnflu on 'he evening O'f: 6.crosa I1"Oad ut$lds'11le.

0'1' the Brltl sh 6th AIrborne Djyi5ion dun ng Operaf.20 on 'C~Day~. 38 . Juna 19441..ion {Right} Fiald Marshal Sir Bernard McntlgOr:rteTY poses with H nmr offtcers of the 6th Airoorne Division Just prior 10 the D~Dac'foperations".REl. 'tIltl Normandy Ma]o r General' 'R. InvaSiQl'i" Thalr gilder 'taudled down at' 00. Gale. f$ OVEPitLO. la ild In Francel dUr1lng tha Nor·mandy.N. Cornm:ander ill'wa_ston.LAbove] Three' of tile first' British g liOer tryoQPs (0.

and on 17August paratroops or d ~ 2nd Independent. Parachute Brigade linked up \Vith (he Allied amphibious fortes. Ci011trnl.e South of France. 'Mk. an entire German brigade was tied down tryi ng to COUn ter the activi ties of the few d 07 en. AI Hched to the 2nd New Zealand Division. territory-that as U5Ua[ those paratmops dropped off course' managed to create M'OC in.SAugust il9~ D-Day for 'the (nv_ion of Southem France..anding b rigade and the 2nd I ridepende I1..support weapons and supplies. ru parachutists. on 26 August. the Task Force W~.iinadian Ist Special Service Force). however. TIl e:y alsoest ablis hed their own parachute school at Glow and later at Lido di Roma to trail] replacements" In June of ]944. most of whom managed to exfiltrate after the operation to rejoin their b attalion. the 2nd Independent ParacbuteB riga de fought as ground ~nfantI) on 'l he Adriatic fro nt. By 1. ' . ryi ng ou t ag81es.T. esrah 1ish ing a rep utation for eel. 0 bjectives were under British. one US air. the enemy rear areas while those ~anding o-n or n ear the DZ seized their objectives with the ss 5 istance of local Afaquis [resistan ce] forces ~gai nst Ugh t oppas itt on.S.ed the' DZ. ~ugus:t~ the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade look pan in Operation ~ the AIHed invasion ofth.3( OllOaudmark. only seventy-three of 126 sticks dropped lh~t nightlanded 0. The 2nd was tasked wi th taking a critical road j n te rseetion in the village of Le Muy.fFrencfu. To support the Allied amphibious landings on the French coast between Cannes and Toulen.sive patrols against the Ge rman s. A total of sixty .get.. On 15 .one' Waco and Horsa gliders would follow the p ani troops carryin g then. {Rlghf} Wearing ths'lr respective flags.11 ta:tr. the paratroops were pulled back to Italy. The enf re force l was to be akUfted.jng flyi ng C-47 'transports.t Pa rachute Brigade. Brilish and American.IT. 'U. he Sth Parachute Battalman in particularwas T widely seaneredover sometwenty-five miles o.S Army Air orce SIst Troop Carrier ". paratroops would Ily across the Medi(eiIT~llean from Rome and be dropped in the night before todisrupt German defenses and: take key choke points. 111 by the.015 all. Finally. on e poi nt. Operating as part of the Joint Amertcen/Britlel Ist Airborne Task I-orce uader 'MGEN R.e ill breather' beside 8 French farm house on 1. paratroops of1he 1sf Airborne Task Force.Operatio L When the 1SL Airh orne Divisio'D had been p ulled out of Italy the 2nd Tndependent Para chu te Brigade rematned to §1VC Allied commanders an in -theate r airborne capability. made up offlve US pal'i'ftC'bute battalions. cammanded Ute joint l S}C. sixty men of the 6th Parachute Battalion ca rled out 3 small drop to prevent German demo Iition of key objectives as part ofOp eration HAS. The pathffnders jumped .. Frederick. .. Army (who 'had.

ill:jre Regiment.plans stated thflil lIthe l:s:t A_lrboTIIC could seize and hold l be Arnh~m Bridge fOr f:<.3:rrl·PaHtchy. for the U. force made 'various attempts tcr drive . First. Parachute Battalion had become casualties in ·th. LTC John Frosts 2nd~P.. 7th B etsalioa.captuft tile.off point. Com':pliGating' matters even more.F iMisred 'On u sing drop zenes tha t were rather far .arters.r-e atly a~si. bridges Closest to -XXX Co f]:H3 jump .~ on the third..igencereports pn)vcdto be 'Wrong and... 40 . for the 2 'I st Inde pen de nt Paracmrte C om.. Frost had: a mixed force of his own 2nd 'Battalion!~nd a few"6 pounder anti-tank gans of the 1st Light Regiment hotdlrng the northern end of the bridge~ ..M'GEN ~ 11. against 0 rde"~ dle ccm. as ~T. received his orders for MAR KEf from LTG EN F.tel]lgel1oe reports iadicaood that only decimated German unit s were located around Amhem a nd blocking XJ(1( Corps.' ~ . whiLtI! be. many wearing orange (the colors of. Geneml:oherirts . the' remnan.nfoft'lllia nOEl. ~n reality. h0vrever! the Germans su:oces·s. UU~airborne pla tmers W'CfC u sed to. Finany. . advancing toward its: objectives. 'Was ill the Arnfuefn ~ecKlr.although SS Panser Grenadiers remained in cantrul of the southern... PIATs:t and IG'ammou g:renad es.. Honand. com rna ndi ng officer of the' 1iSV Ah . the srea~headl of XXX Corps would break tbrou. but these were quickly replaced .trle !ie'Sistance and they quickly aCDO mp1 1St..r] airborne signals and other specialist troops.!. t-A ~ LJI!!"". tbe 4th Parachute Brigade (10th.~nd. Tb~y would be followed by the Ist Parachute Brigade and part of Ist Air-Landing Brlgade.a~ the oomnliln. number'of :special difficulties in pl~tllli:ng the Arnhem Jump.Add.. y.01' the battle. Browning.CID{zTO$S the' bridge.' ld short en 'R' IJL. : ' . short notice far possib le operations.!Iaml iOE' ~O~. ed thei r miss.·H'is kna-w~edge of ah'bonlc tactics and me ~hbds would g. Graybum won one of"the many Victoria Crosses awarded to mien o{ dl e 1smAirbcrne at Arubem during one of these attacks. Soon Septembe r ] 944·.sbal M ontgQmery ~aroe up ·\~th a. the Arnbem IJrid~ and a nearby pontoon bridge.clled.]~I""· j Yl. the paratroops managed to knock out a number afG erman tanks.S. the 1st 'Pol ish Parachute Brigade wou~d land. Il1.'S . powerful German forces I had escaped Irom France iruo Holland and were in the.dHtchule Cornpnny '[auk off to mark the drop zones.:gade (1st.~ ..Ku. '. The airborae portion o:fthfus plan. known.. advanciagon the bridge t from.:. 1\s the battalions moved au 1. the' U.~[. y. 82 nd and I ()Ist Ai.II o!i.. The .Parachute Brigade in three separate lifts.rt Srude.'.gh the German Armed U'ith this i. . attempt _p.':'':.cler Q'f the German Airbome Force'S.pa ny ['0 j ump in first tXl mark the d fOp '~H[(. C Company of the 20id.li.".'iI.t~ Batta]ionbegan.L. airborne iftrtil1ery.~orrn~' [) lr\ris.Aifhorne D ivtsion to se lze "key bridges alo ng: an inva sian route 'wb [ch would allow Mon tgo ffilCry'''S 2nd Army to flank the S~igfTI~d. . q uickly bega l'ijJ. By dawn on 18 September.5l the Gctmaru in 'UJU ntering the . Germanplaju. ~Ith .out into the North.his :H.LandingS" 011 'top of everything et'i~ a B'ritish officer a:board a shet dovm glider-was found to be carrying.{ ·Corp·s was known as Gi\RDEN·. On the second day. 2n~and 3~d.1Jite~l. rn evaluating the plan. they had a.g Ulrqfll.m." '. In. the RA. r.ed e:te :tQ Smd~Mt and re'~ayed tD h'igbe1' German headqv. Among' these G erman u nib weI'!!.po .e deadly house tohouse rng'hting within Anibem .rith.t dllis did not happe n. 0. plan named Op~l"ation 'MARKET G AltD EN. I' the 1s·tParach ute Itt rigade landed righ t an tau'get and. caU:eod..ndihe ~tl(lcb~dIst. ~irbo.Iiu TI ~". re E1J.OTni"n. L"I J.1'the 1·st' Airborne DIY"lon ·oheCk II'Iieir' harll&$lS and equipment prior to boar<Ung ·thelr .days to plan for the operation." '1'11. however.e operatlon to be launched on 17 September 1944:~ gi'Vln... U rquhart. The~e pJ an~ 'tVerep ass. King's Own Seotrish Borders).C hed I. Although.L' no ULILC WOiIJ. bor n e. . 1 eoo~ Members. pruce s. as well as Pathfinder. South Stafm ~nrd:. the Border Re:gi e ut. As the plan evolved! it called.• c.'ri"!. day.the Arnhcm 'Uddge from the south. Their drop metv. Inan a:me-m'pt to reinforce 'Frost the Isr Banal ion was .th """. ~ nl~ L'II~"'ii. a"n L deliver q UJ.Us ing and-tank guns. the bridge betore th·e .aHon appFoa.fuUy destroyed.QCompauy had reached the hll ge Arahem Bridge.S. ..l:pJ pIa 11:5 for t he operation.tf. F!n'·o&t'~.•.". Dutch civilians.e Germans 'moved in ror-ees strong en.avrllY from the Arnhem bridge! which \lN~S the divisionalobjective...:o [1_ Slnce it was a day] igb ~drop ~a large percentage' of 1ines to liIlk up' with tkem.8ritis h Ist .'!j.Clt'i 1!O'.. 'The plan called fDr th.AM·. LTG EN' Browlling' made hi s famous comment tb at he feared they were going a ''"3.y bridge..e:tthe m'ilwa. At th~ time the division cODsh.e lst'P arachute Brigade.The casualties incl udedj. tbe4th 'Parachute Brigade and the remainder of the 1st Air-Landing Brigade 'wall l. .d am ve.! of 17 S'epiember'! the men of" 2lst lndepcnde'Dl P. th.W. the Ist AirLanding Brigade (1st Battalion..ough to make su re [hu.a. . the House of Orange) greeted them a~ Iiberators.rb.t 'By 2000~Frost .o was Wounded and out of action. spearIn H .aTOU ad the bridge. patrattoops. As a result U rquhsrt had ~oplan on bringing in 'his d]·vi~iona. Frost bad be Lween 7{)} men in b uUldiug. bridge tOG' tar..Line and break. 2 nd 'Rld]:a lion.arRchute B.S.[ the war~ Field :Mar.. Arnhem . At '1015 Oft the.rfly~trighl hOlirs~ {he ':[fIDoroo 0:0 ]0 t headed bY' LTG·EN Brian Horrocks' xx.itkut:ttUy.e engirne:e. t'O s~jz.. of regrouping arou nd Arnhem. Parach ute 'Battalion was det~cJ~edJ.t~ of th.'By the seennd day. drive aro ~IO. huwevee. BRTG G".gmund portion.kxl of the l$~ Parach u~eBri.e 9th and 10th S8 PanZer D~islons." The i.8i'rcraft mr Opemtlon MAAKJE:T GARDEN! their o:bJectiive 'was the ~ptUire oI'1he road bridge at Arnhem.Polish.H.ioo sand tfu e .~ ·h·.Parach ute Battalions).:!i. each was repulsed 'by fierce German fire. The. the north.Lathbury.1haort and his: 8t~ff only sh~.engaged In 'heavy 8it reet ngb1(i ng th roug'bout the 18th buteould not b rea k til ~~Ulgh.. O<!" 1iliLU. CO of th. airborne divisions received priority on the transport airer aJc due to the' rae!· that they had to .. the Ililajorit:y of the: :lId.and lS{lth Parachute Battalions).. end.

By the rnorni H. T e paratroops around the bridge now began to run lowon ammunition The other p arachu te banal ions trying to re ach Frost ra n into hea 'v)" resista Ice' rom Panzer uen adi ers supposted by armor and quickly bogged down. a t grea t ] 088".g. To identify each other. Communications became a major prohler with the commanders being out of touch with most of the paracbute unlts in the house to house fighting.parachu te troop s often fQ. Septem . ~\\'Fdb~ Mallonuued'" which the Germans had trouble pronouncing. Tbe a~rc. but. "S1. Bntish 151Alliborne [DIVIsion t:rcops . tb~ buildings sheltering his force. With. MG EN Urquhart was OIJ t.st Urquhart's force was already in deep trouble as. for their drop oyetl' Holland during OpeJ".drop from three Arnetiean C-4.'ere in German hands. Frost's.s. Here rhc)' were stopped and none managed to link ]IP with Fro. and HRIG Hicks oftbe lst Air-Landing Brigade assumed command. D cspite hea vy rrre~BRIG Hackett's 4th Parachute Brigade jumped in and prepared (fJ occupy the rugb ground at Kuepel. \8 th.ay. the bridge was open to.I I 41 .Dund has just dropped fOllr eqlUipment eonta: ners. however. The 4th had the rnissioa of securing the perimeter around the airhead. Germ an t ra lfRe which poured ac res S towards th c rema ining po ckets of resisrance.. The Germans. and by nigh. on the second dayitbecame obvious tbatmen of'this brigade would have to be committed 1!O tilt!. Frost's 1 h eroic fore e was be iiilg burned ou l of thei r positions by 'Germ] an tl a me' fh rowers and phosphorons sh ells.. During the ~.it was held up by s~HIGerman resistance some miles aJwa.enJoy a quick meal-' -·flore boar Ing AIliIerlcan C . great difficulty. Corps pushed across 'the'Waal river at N'ijime·gen aud "tel re ready 10 drive toward Arnhern. Members of the 1 Sf AirbonUI Di'ri8iol1~ we·arlng ma roan berets and Denlson SJltlOC'k.r_aftIn 1he backg . since the resupply drops had been made into LZs that ". The' captured plans had detailed the arrival times and drop zones for the drops and the GerInans had si ted these areas with heavy an ti-a ircraft defe nse s. were in rubble and Tiger anks were attacking his positions. Frost's position WB~~ deteriorating rapidly. Yet the relief'colamn was nowhere 'in s~gbt. of '2] September. day progressed. while bad weather prevented the drop of the Polish brigade to reinforce the eutnumbered 1st Airborne.. . Urquhart managed Io retum through German Iines [0 his:HQ and take control of the battle. arly on tile n10 rn-ng of 20.Frost's battalion was barely holding the bridge. some troops man aged to fight within a halfmile of the bridge.: battle' 'or the bridge.. but the). already driven Frost' . of comm unication and p' nned down in Aenhem.. had.t1an On 19September.Itl'on MIARKET GARDEN. Addi:ti.Sr .The Ist-Air-Landing Brigade had spent the first day guarding the LZs.7 tTan~. On Tuesday. Wben the secon d lin arri ved over the DZ~ the Germans were 'Ulaiti ng tot' them. BRlIG Hac kelt's 4Ul Rri gadc came under heavy German attack. although [belie was little be could do 101"' Frost. The fig:hling in th e 'western parts of Arnhem 'vas especially confused and. So confu sed was th e h OUI!! e to hous e flghting th at th e .. were out offoud and waiter.lf"iVOTS from !the bridge area and by 0900.41 Skytmln tmtlspon. &Jrce at the bridge fought off repeated German counter attacks.p:ol1s IOn the DutSkf:rts of Arnhem. the time they had expected to linkup Mlh }C'I{J{COrp5 arrived.er. there appeared to be surne hope for relief iID5 armored troops ofxx:x.ornal y! the Germans had captured one of the divisinu's main supply dumps. the men began using their "hitltlecry from North Africa. taking heavy casualties.y" Supplies became critical fUT the airborne troops.11 n d themselves firing ill each other..

)ID breaking th:roOughduring the evacuation. the Ist Polish Parachute I3rigade jumped in under heavy anti-aircraft fi rei 'ill owever. 'On the 21st. j n the face ofoverwhel I~ in~ opposluoo -Urqu hart wanted to at least 'hold the 10 ridge he flJd.omeand crashed. :xXX 'Co-rps hselfw'as..c OpposiL~ bide. been.n e orUle 'first 91ideB to.'i:gUe contested road ~1Hioveresti mated and the' drup if~ elf was too far from rhe obj ective.or 'Ia.ying down communlt:atk:n~s land IIInas. sectlollof an ar1i11:eryunit disemba rk.. pos~~i. I. "a bridge too far".\o. 1 The drop had.l~erla_n.@JDOg a s il. touch tkM"n at Amhem._. Ao out 1.Finally. a few' Poles made it across the river by rubber rafts to Link up with.. Ith. The He~!dq.100 men of the lsf"Airborne and over 400 Glider Pilot Regiment members made it across 1:h rive r dure ing the night. pa:ratl"QQps and glwemfiia n oonverge om .u:arters.one of the drop1landlngl ~nes Qutside "The g. or Arnhem. The three day incremental drop squandered the division~ strength and never allowed them to cons solidare their posHiol1S. heavier initial casualties in order to land right on '!be objective.1l1ong·1:'hteiroute of advance. food. r Finally.U:ll ber of reasons.. indeed.. Shortages of" ling water. th e. The 'Germ an strength in the area was underesti mated . lEI parent DIm: the land IlIlg roll of the 'Horsa w. The 2nd Battalion's stand 'WOuld become legendary.Stive glFd'ers ba¥e overshot f tbe. P8Ii' f. on the night of 24 September.From tilt) wh_I' marks ~n theffl~1 l d~It Is q u'lte.of the 'Ne'der Rij'n river _Durin g th e night of22 September. Urquhart signaled thetthe 'l st Airborne could no longer hold the ir posi I:ions a nd would. at xxx: Corp s close to 3.lready Ihad 'their tail sections removed so' that vehlQI~ and 8qwI.~s short and that !Elf. Gnder-glitter t~e l:BInd Irnwgooe' Ofl the Q!utsldl1'Sj.W the next WOOD tu rejoi n th e~ir ] nits. . the British airborne troops! but their numbers and the supplies they brnught were insufficient 'to change the outcome of the battle. T1~ pullout begs n late on·24 e September and carried on into 23 'Sep tember.dl p ngs were mu gh. of Amllu.the speed that X XX Corps could advance .pnife'n1i' eou'ld !be qui'ckly' unloaded and I:i t-ouglflt Into action.. Hartenstein \vi~l"l. ir. al though very few from F rest's battalion mad e it back.lld~er!J have a.. they j umped on. blocks ~ndhea vy Germanresistance '1 st Airborma. .I'. At 1~1I.s from O.. less than ten percent of the resupply drops iIlCluaUy reached the troops they 'WereinteJ"uJed for. Hundreds more escaped.opposite' river bank beca U se 'of TIU merous road. limo' tIfle 'tree's. This last factor tau ce unter ~obasic airborne tactics t}) at accepted. th'rough the German tines O. under increasing pressure.still delayed in reaching.a118 of telephone wire mDUlntedl to fne front bum . at a time to prevent the Germans iU. The Jeep is &qtlli 1lP6d 'Wif:h r.blelink UPI bu 1: H1 e Germans a tracked 1~'tJ'~ their pn s:l:tion.tm. The paratroops had held out twice 'as long asexpected. The 1anding failed: [or a ]]JJ. The-men pun~d ou l a few. medical supplies and ammunition were the major problems fur the rem"Janis of tllil e di vision ftghiting 'Wi~thintheir is hrinking defensive pocket. pull out ttl at fl j'~llt. lalndirlill :z.

took such heavy casualties that they 'Were unavailable a few months Iater when the Germans needed them for the Ardennes Offensive.sn g'u nlSi.n.ound Al"nhe. increasing the pressure against the German.. Despite all of these problems.g au l at least sixty Genna n 'umK:s. . and kn(x"kll1.803 rift .they had been expected to. largest a fliH-tanJ( gun avallabJe to the Airborne FQrces~ Amu~d wHh.p-s pre . chapter in British airborne history. trented ttl: Arnhem captives well ~out of re sped for their hero ic performance. th ei r stand h a (1ena bte d xxx:. par. the me 1o.1Emn ' ' gunner:s of the 1st Airborne.ith.IltIlough RlMt (ff! 'the men are w'Hring' fI1e r' 'st_ tl8lmaM! the second man from tfle riglht wears only 1y'15 beret.n1. l:orps [0 drive to be banks of the NcderRi·. Division landed at Amhen'i and qu Ickfy fDOY&d toward tile ftght~ng:. gWInS" On 19 Sep.e Ist .De weapon Is a 6-1Pounder anU-ta nk gu n. . .pistols and St. holding for more than three times as long a:s G Idar-borDe'troo. the. Even the S8 troops. . AI though th e lst Airborne had failed to ta ke t!heir objective. inn lenng .heavy Ge rman cas u alties. irbome Iandings.atroops' n10~ th rough tile ruins 01'Oostefbeek dur:ln:g the 'lighililng a:r. and 9MM!ten Mk V submactJ[ne.. The strongGerm8nIe~erves which were committed against the-a. not known for their humanity mwo!lWS prisoners.A.A1rbor1Icl'1il1d: written.a bloody" but heroic.:e'10 move out toward 'thrall'objectives attie-I" ndJng nsat Arnhem.homeLand. Th ·1a-'8 armed with Enrfl Id I k 4 ..

.ged 'to' fa-_'wtthi'n t.!.object on Me ground iA U\e doofWilly is: an abandoned iii lDutt'h Two 11iIE! rnbers gf tile 'G.he.schaaJ for G:&rnlan snipers d u_Tlng Bue 'flgRting around Ar:n:heffi.irline-5_. L(.ttgu' pme nt oontai Airoorne troops prepare to a. the rel1l!3ll"der were 'captured by th tI.. GerrRani!ii~ .nder Pilot' Reglmen:t seamh n er .ss 'then tefl 1>9fC9nt of 'tile su ppjies dropped al Arnhegl .ttitlJany ended up' In Driittish hang. .f the resu pply basket$ wt1ich mana.pen one (I. The .

5tAJr'bome Division are dug in an th 9.IATa.lvar al NilJmegan~ Ho.. I'. The man on the. dl&fensivB pell1meter am und 'th air bwgitlde Head'qua netS at Atn h 19m 011118 September 1944.ett is iii communicator and Is wearing a racUo Iilea. These' lour BnrEsh afrborne troops were captured at AfRhe1'n but managed te e5Calpe' an cI reJoln. ' side of the r.dset. an'J.of DIe roads I'eadlng Inta Arnhern.. their unit on 'the ott. tank weapon~ ProJector~ Infantry An'ti-tan'k (PlAT) .chl'ne! gun ner silang Qille .Jlan d..ke up a posltlonl to cover ill Bran ma.p' rat'll' and his ~5slstant m. A P. The PlAT was extremely v_'uable as a light.Two pSI Jrcop8 of tllG 1.

retu rued an d related their experience to their commanding officer COL StaimsiawS osabowski.1I1\Var= saw. to pres s for du~formation ofa Polish P[1..p at Arnhem~ dropped into Wa:rs'aw in support of the Pious b.e portion of Operation MJ\. confers WltIl o 1 At the end of 1943~Sosabowski.B rigade was assigned.a.waS 1Jhelargest a. . The brigade wa s alerted for various operations after .1the 2nd Independent Parachute' Brigade was g[ vert the objective.to Great 8ri t.ke ofthe Germanpullout and w prevent a cIvil war b etween C9mmllni~t~ and the Roy:alists.L. the 1sf h.17October. ool1llt1aru::l~r f1he '1·..M the brigadeb egan to l. Over 'the next few i da~ s~tilfte remainder uf the brigade. Parachu te Battalion wa So sent ~]l. arrangements were made with the underground to have the brigade QO]OIrS made i. The Brl ti:sh forces in G reeee were unable to prevent ll.Alrborn.S.from becoming a no ther Comm un lsi s ~te.heybmd been hoping fUr pass by. he de-cided. the 2nd Independent Parae hute .J"Yj they acted :~ a reserve fa rce fo r the !British 8th Armyuntil the enduf'thc war . Additionally the frustrated men bitted 'j" watched the oPlJ'Qrtu ni~y ~[. when they were not .e:ad by ship" alorrg with ~9 Commando. . tbe i.l9~·7 the 4th Parachute Battalion 0. Thrace. along wi~h the 2300 Armored Brigade..s at rborne troops.ni.m~ss'io~l..l 'Was detac ked an d se nt to pu rsue the rethuze ion reati rig G erman forces.Jike shape.. roo a drop into Poland to help Iiberate their homeland. lh~ missin nj.~..r. 0.Although composed primarily Canadians of PDH. 'The 2nd I ndependent Parach ute Brigade remai ne din Greece 1. would be to dlstribure rand).Mer the ~··i1r he:r joined the 6th AirbQme DiviL sion for 'peacekeeping cluty in Palestine. As UJ.E. result. to Salunika and then to M acedonia and. because part of1the . The npeir.~tii. On .(Communist guerrill as). Polish Perac. although it was notpossible to smuggle them out until 1944.:(" securing the Mega-fa Airfield. the brigade stood down and did not see action again during the war. a few brigade members w'e:re Americans ill BrUlsh a nd IPaiiSh 'QfflOIiB befol"e the9 brig_de dep'JQyed 'for the jurn..on as planed to 'rapidly occupy Ai.cinriq'Ues.MM paei( howi:tz:er. The 75MM pack.D-Oa)'~ but in each Case the operation was cancelled..atrCo-'0ps found themselves in combat with the .1fH initial j.~:in7 Sosabowski found his bTIrgade lu be th~ focus of political maneuverings between the Palish Gcvernment in Exile and the British.howit-zer.D most o-flhe members' thoughts was t Operations In Greece After being pull ed out of Southern France. Atlef f{:fuming. After they . chosen. The 5th.Ist Polish. Polish Airborne Brigade 'missed the Normandy ju·mp.~.tt.N N.tI:c B !ffi. Over the next three months. The brigade finally received their baptism of rue dUfh]g Operation ~fARKE.:r·j 'and atraining ce nte r was established at Largo House. With a 7·§J.e:gunners EU'jlgageG'ennan targets.·ad ned the Germans. Airborne Brigade During February of 1941 . and 'the par.T GARDEN'" during which they suffered almus t 400 (. ]1{)W a Major General. in the w~.1nttl 'tb.y airbornE!! Units. airbome comfi1JH no 'tn dete rmi ne W~10 should contro I the' l"'Dli. Launched On ]:2 October . 1n 1']. took over the thankless i ob of policing the cUy.rty in February of 19'45.e·y were :reJieved and pll. arrived illnd.S1a1'!!1Is1ifw'Sbu~I:. PoI1i sh instruemrs were trained at Ri]I}.h~ns. ahe paratroops tried to ..hut8·B rilgad.~eep order and prevent Greece .. The battal ion successfully captured the ~d:ne 1d de'sJpite a substantial number of injuries due to 'high winds.tttchute ~ rigade. MGEN.shdescent oJ Poles who b.A ~n Greece (it is b elieved th i1l the code name was.t:e~.J lled back to h. the 4th PlIJ. 'Visited the U nited State's and Canada where lt~ gained insight into Amertcan alrbnrne trsiniag tt. uprising.1gbting between '[he rival factions.a.Mer 're turning to '0 re at Bri tain after Arnham.fllltBry' pl&C9 used b. As an Important symbolic gesture.'ttmqm.)on[j:ngeI1~ oI"[~wtHyPolish officets auenrled the 'parachute course ·at RiQg\Vay.A.ua1nies.

g of'Ihe Rhine River and the drive into the heart of Ge rma ny.. the 6~h Airbo me Divis ion returne d to England from Belgium to prepare forth eir next airborne operation .d. During the third week of February. and glld8t'9~ wHti 'fol'ty-four b1Insports and elVh1ty gild Ill$- MGEN it. under MG. A·rm.. Bols. exercise.AJtny during Oper. on 24 March 1945.EN . the pI an called for the -airborne troops to land just across the Rhine within range at' friendly . Althougf General Lewis Brereton. Co. BoI8. Commander' of the 6th :Airborne DMsio.~tborne.. The plan called for the British 6th Airborne and the U.rlJual'Y of 1945. which had been in train 1ng for the upcoming Rhine crossing. A little over a week after completing this exercise. the listAllied.n VAFlSITYt the RhJn ' AWeI crossllng. the airborne troops moved into defensive positions covering the Me!Jse river crossings between Dinent and Namur on 26 December. 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. unlike pret ious airborne.n 16' Man:h 1945. Air [Foree .S.s eventually approved in October of 1944 was some-what scaled back.S. the British 6th Airborne Division also conrribuzed to halting the German advance. the Rhine crossing.enal. Wic1!S ordered to southern. Just before Christmas ~9#~ til e 6th Airborne..a numberofplans. Belgiurn ill response to the German offe nsive. during Operation: VARSITY they would not be cnmmitted un ti h ours after the Rhine e10Sg ings by grou nd lTOUpS bad begun. operations in which the parachute.Tstron was very c0511y'ln transport'. the 6tb Airborne carried out a corps-sized exercise along with the 17th A. Americans and C anadian gru und "roops . drwes hJs )eap tour of IIItttstI kWees etlgagad rn Oper'81bn VARSm.atlo. Army COlll m ander of C·41 Skytr:aln Ira n sponsi 01:the U"S. m r 01121 February 1945.\.AirbomeAHllY.star p&il:tqlJ _ 9 an . and glider troops hadgoae in first.:i s a operation.ditionall)l. had su gges ted.S. The a·· . The Division was pulled back to Holland during late Ja. where they continued to carry out aggressive patrols across the Mass River. o. Transported by sea. Just before Nerw Year's Day. Ttle jeep is marked and an Airborne foroea pennantE w" d· I inspection a two . I ttl sty wUh pSf. The.3chutu of the " st AUied Airborne ..As I~ r1 of ts intensi ve trai Ding for th.alfctaft: being lOst· 'to.til e Cf'OS8 in. tb~ division returned to Bngla nd to prep are Ior thefin al m ajor airbor ne operation of the war.E./tmhem.flj I'tiUcry s U PP ort from the 21 st Army Gru up an d under an umhrel Ia of friendly air support Ad. 17thAirbornetnjrulnp in support of an Allied ground oifeflsivc aimed at securing bridge he ads over the Rhine by British. anti-a "n:ra:fi fire. ·U. the plan which wa. including one to drop six airbomedlzisions along with four air-landed infantrydivisions behind the Rhine defenses'.lJ18_EXercise 7bk«tl was a success find 'the 6th Airborne. was declared ready for acti 0 B. the paratroops oftbe61h Alrbornewenron the offensive and for the nextthree weeks theypursued the retreating Ge rrna n forces. tbe Allied airborne forces took' off for Germany Having learned from the disaster at .The Ardennes Although the German Ardennes offensive ('Battle of'the Bulge) is best remembered for thestand of the U.

The landfng of the 6tlh Air-Landing Brigade 'was assisted bythe chance off-course drop of .. was to scire and hold the bridges o ver the Issel.OC()men. the. and gu arding G erman prisoners.t'famben of the Bth . read th e !OilY s'ign on the outsldl"b . The troopl!r at the left 'lsi ann ..ad f!:Dw. 30 :March. Artillery and other specialized tru ops wou hi land in 'til e cen ter of the ~Je3 so that th ey could support either force as needed.:g ~h. ectives as pes sible... on the northeruflank of tbe Dine' of ad vance was as signed to the 3td and 5th Parachute H. the pararrcops rode the Gray's ranks across the Elbe on .. 'With this 808 ststance. the G Ildet P Hot Regi ment suffered s ome twenty to !h:~ rty perc.lon the morn in g of 24 M arch afte r All ied fighte rs and hom't~ ers h.toll. the men of the 6th Airborne helped Iead the advance of Allied forces into Germany. end" the Ist Airborne.~si!ned divis io n all obj ectives were ] n 6th A.ce thi s i]"l it ial su rprise had worn. 6th Airborne troops turned. advancing ground troops 1ate r that a fie rnoo n.en t eMU 21]tti es .h gu.ttllurting UrleIblcycles and hand 'trailer' thatcwere drop'pad wlDI them duri'ng Operatlo n VARSll'"'t i secured.000 casu al ties on the' Briti sh Airborne forces.e'r m an fl a k. German opposition quick]. hunting \\. Led by the 8th Parach ute 'Battalion.tb.p p ly dropThere W'~I llittle . Linking up with the Royal Soots Greys. pa n in 0 peratl:o:nVAASrrv In Ma l1?'h011' 945. the Russians at Whs.Jr. . 011. however. the war Came to an. However. Cha tterton.. holding of key ai rfields. the airborne forces were needed to seize a fwd h a.c pfl.~ c ri tid cal objectives a].ehas the Ems crossing taken by the Ist Canadian Parach u te Battal ion on. past a r'O-8d block near Brenf:lg8!~.TIle painlul lessons from the Al-nh:em operation Ri:'IJdbeen especially studied by BRIG Charterton of the G lider Pilot Regi ment. This high ground. the Division had pus hed some 350 miles to the B alric coast.dlUf" 'Ing . The 6lli Airborne's objectives bad been defended by German paratroops who inflicted <DVe!&' 1.ft number uf American :5 13lh Paraeh U'~~ Infant!')' troops. The 6th Airborne's objectives would be the bridges a cross the River Issel a nd the high grou nd O'V"e'rh:U.e deli vered in Q ne massive a Irli i~ ~11 woul d '1) e followed 'up qldckly by a ]arg~ scale [c.n nu merous sorties to $lIP" ress the (j.tvlsf. . As it turned ou r. their berets inside out so that the black lining made them appear to be armored troops. At approxirna t. order and to prevent 'Getman sabotage of N orwegian fa-eil itie s. Til e 5th Par at hute Brigade too k u ntil 1530 to secu re thei r objecti yes and m"~"IDe contact with the 6th Air-Landing :Brlgaejc.. Germ i1us :h(:l been d caught completely by surprise by the airb orne operation since th e grou ad attack: had.mer.r±gades. p artially re built after Arnhem to..The.gnJun d forces would he able to force their crossings of the Rhine. U nlike previous airborne operatic 115. 'I 'he 6th AirLanding B:rignde using the new H. th e .la troops sm· s.y 1945. al ready attacked the German defenders when the glider troops came in.or. Even.dAirborne Brigade had seized Schnappenberg Ridge by 1345 and successfullytinked up with. seizing important towns and river crossings .h Ma~' 1945 to link u:p vvlli. was airlifted to Norway.. This airlift took.) stiffened. off.A]]ied. all "Er.i rborne hands.eroad leading out of the bridgehead.of the airbornB troops oUtUE!' 6th .of Htull m ink'&ln! Germ8n:t.on m~1 .r. 'Thes-e tTO~ ps bad .lkio.dou bt that the .Sueeessf 111 gli de r landings right next to the b ridges allowed. alo ng: with 'his staf~ worked out new tactics ai me d at delivering the me ill of the 6th Air-Landing Brigade as close to the~i"f. d wUh an FN/Browll1l'ng eMIl Hl Power automatf. go ne in t1rst.ely' 1:CCl. the troopers of the TWo . find. Otbe r ass ignmen ts included. On 26 March. sUl.[[uri ng thel andl ngs.. the airborne] an dings j I Royal UlsterlRlfl es and 'fu e Oxtords h irea lid B uckingham shire Lig 11 Infantry to quickly t capture their objectives and by 1100 the bridges and the v]Uage of Hamminke ln were began . place between '9 and 13 May 1945 and was intended to restore ~8W and. a J:\s strength of"abO:l1t 6. howeve r. By:2 Ma. using whatever transport til ey could. Gerl'1lQn~.AJ'rbome DIvision 'who tQ~. W3lnting to have Ute honor of linking up with the Russians. hot 11divi s iDBS 'WOuld ob] b..April of 1 9451. By late atterneon.~c~ Mark II gliders.'anted Nazi war criminals.Airborne D.rrfirgth e route of advance fro m fh e hri dge heads.

today. In November of 194. oo1o·ny after the Japanese surrender had Ieftan administrarive vacuum.. The 16m Independent Parachute Brigade consisted of the Ist.~ the brigade deployed to Palestine whe·re . the division saw service in Iraq. Airborne had been.. \V~lfu.1 joined the 6th Airborne o ivision. involved with liberating a mumher of concentration ea m-ps ]n lle rmany . which wes "fighting to establish an mdependent state.December of 1945. and the Sudan. "the brigade was involved in a relief o-peration in Northern Malaya and then spent three months in Singapore restoring order 0 the former "British. 2nd~ and 3rt] Parachute Battalions and was farmed in April of ]948 for servi ce :c n til c OU~l pation forces assigned to Germany.sioll for operations against the Japanese. r n Pa lcstine they saw bitter combat agai nst the Jewish underground. a:rachUIte. Later tl C' brigade was reduced ins ize to a regimen t which..eD~the brigade tool part in Operation POUNCE on Java in.The Post-War British Airborne Mte:r'VE-Day. The Indonesian nalioluaJ. Theoperation was designed to disarm the surrendering Japanese and restore orderto the islands while awaiting the' return of Dutch troops 10 relieve them. The brigade arrived" 11 In dia on 7 August] 945~only at few days before the Japa nese surrender ended the war in the Pacific. Transjonlan. RegIment bumre P emball'kln9 on tra1nl'ng operatbRS durirlg the 1910'. I n September of] 945~the 6th Airborne D ivi skm arri ved in Egypt for deployme n It to Palestine for internal security d uti es. carri es on till e proud British ai rb 0 r n e traditinn. as.5 1st Airborne Division. rUler leaving J3Va.a anti-tank gunner of -: . rhe 5th Parachute Brigade was deployed to Malaya where itwas to join troops of the 2nd Jndmn Airborne Uh1. since a few months earlier the 61t. 4. 5 A team reader ·C1leckslheequl pment of.rrumty to begin a guerrilla war to gain their independence and the brigade h eea mncinvolved i11 combat agai nst 111 e 1il a tionalists 'Until Dutch trnops reUe~d them in April of 1946.e ho 111~ on in the SU(7 operation of L956 and in the Falkland Islands·War. This was somewhat ironic. Eie'men ts of the 6th Alrb orne rem ained in the M idjl1e EaB l unn 1 1C)48when it returned to E ngl a nd and Was disb a nded.earni ng new batt[.aITeCtidy a Iegen d was disb aaded.itS SUi yin 'the' Middle East. only one parachute brigade remained in the Britssh "Ann)' to maintain the airborne tradition. Besides Palestine.the disbandment of the 6th Airborne Division. during.lsts seized th is oppo. their exploits at Arnhern . Fulluwing this a~silnm. III early September.9 . th e Parach \J te Regi ment of the F3ritish Army.

rossUla Rhine.slv mum' .~ A 1'UI.These paratroops 'from the 'h Parachute Sa '~ 'fallon.m 1th.inchUgh1Mc1r" a~ tar "nng high Bxplo.n~r.ARS1W.aI""I:II"'~"""·- IISB • 9 '47-23 -0 ._'"g 9 . til first' on I thl gro I1d dlulng 0. ~wn . 'omon g. In . f'ott::ll!i mo recDnn.} . tlDn V.enemy 81' ~se range Wfth'thelr 2.

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