World War II Glider Assault Tactics (Elite)
Gordon L. Rottman
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
From Eben Emael to Crete, Sicily, Market Garden, the Rhine, and Burma, glider-borne paratroopers brought extra firepower to bear using techniques that helicopter troops adapted for modern air cavalry techniques.
This book explains the development and organization of World War II glider troops, their mounts, and the air squadrons formed to tow them; the steep and costly learning-curve, as armies and air forces worked out the techniques needed to carry and deliver men and equipment safely to the chosen landing zones; and the tactics that such troops learned to employ once they arrived on the battlefield. All these aspects are illustrated by reference to famous operations, including the German assault on Crete (1941), the Allied assault on Sicily (1943), the Allied Normandy landings and Operation Market Garden (1944), the Rhine crossings (1945), and also the Allied operations in Burma to insert and resupply the "Chindits" behind Japanese lines (1944).
The major weakness of the military paratrooper is the limited load of kit that he can carry during the jump, making his combat endurance short unless he is quickly re-supplied. Military gliders came of age in World War II, when glider-assault infantry were the forerunners of today's helicopter-delivered airmobile troops. From the light pre-war sports and training machines, several nations developed troop-carrying gliders capable of getting a whole squad or more of infantry, with heavy weapons, onto the ground quickly, with the equipment that paratroopers simply could not carry. Gliders were also developed to carry light artillery, antitank guns, jeeps, and even special lightweight tanks. They made up at least one-third of the strength of US, British, and German airborne divisions in major battles, and they also carried out several daring coup de main raids and spearhead operations. However, the dangers were extreme, the techniques were difficult, the losses were heavy (particularly during night operations), and the day of the glider assault was relatively brief.
QSPCBCMZ CZ+VTPS)FTUIF+V %XBTBMTPNPEJöFEUPUPX
and research instruments; this would be the forerunner of German troop-carrying gliders. Gliding emerged as a sport in Russia in the early 1900s, with Soviet government-sponsored activities from 1923. The OSOAVIAKhIM (Union of Societies of Assistance to Defense and Aviation-Chemical Defense of the USSR) was formed in 1927 to provide youths and adults with all forms of pre-military training, and included a glider-training program. By 1934 the USSR had 57,000 glider pilots (hereafter, GPs), and in
flamboyant US volunteer paratroopers and the non-volunteer “gliderriders” was that the latter received no extra hazardous-duty pay, nor special insignia other than a glider cap patch (which in 1944 was replaced with a No. 344 Wing RAF No. 671 Squadron No. 672 Squadron No. 673 Squadron © Osprey Publishing • www.ospreypublishing.com universal parachute-and-glider patch for all airborne troops). Nor could they wear paratrooper’s uniform items, including (initially) the coveted jump boots.