Airborne(Parachute) deployment rules?

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Valen is my name
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Postby Valen is my name » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:29 am

not if you were going to parachute into an enemy held LZ. A higher percentage of Americans who landed in the French village full of German troops on D-Day died than Paras who took Pegasus bridge in Gliders on D-Day.
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Postby emperorpenguin » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:42 am

Valen is my name wrote:not if you were going to parachute into an enemy held LZ. A higher percentage of Americans who landed in the French village full of German troops on D-Day died than Paras who took Pegasus bridge in Gliders on D-Day.
there were other factors involved than just parachutes or gliders there though.
There is terrain, alertness of German troops etc

Gliders have been obsolete for decades, if they were safer than paratroops they'd have stayed in use
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Postby Pietia » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:53 am

Snowdog - the entire Winter War blunder, as well as huge during the rest of the WWII were caused more by Soviet internal politics than anything else. After the revolution Russians had to build their military practically from the scratch (some experienced former White officers joined the Red Army, but not enough of them - and they were not trusted with important positions). Their officer corps at that moment was completely green - this is the main reason for which we managed to stop the Russian invasion in 1920. When their officers finally managed to figure out how to run the military, Stalin killed or imprisoned almost all experienced officers and the Soviets had to start from a scratch again, as company commanders often found themselves in command of regiments or divisions without going through all the intermediate steps.
The Stalin demands during the war itself also did not help... When Stalin wanted a particular city "liberated" by certain date, the commanders in the field has no other choice but to comply - failing to do so meant certain death, trying gave at least a chance of survival and success. This often meant hasty assaults with unnecessarily high level of losses.
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Postby SnowDog » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:18 am

Pietia:

Yes, that's true. Stalin's purges stripped the Soviet army most of it's competent generals and anyone else that seemed to be dangerous. That was one fortunate factor for us during the Winter War.

Come to think of it, Stalin's ... wishes could have caused enough panic on the officers that they took desperate measures when given enough time they could have possibly taken the objective with far less casualties. That sounds plausible. After all, most of us are mostly interested in saving our own hides although extraordinary circumstances bring extraordinary behaviour (exterme courage and self-sacrificing but also cowardice and sheer over ambition).
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Postby SnowDog » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:27 am

Valen:

OK, thanks. Using one roll per plane sounds good to me.

About gliders. I believe they were replaced by helicopters. On the other hand I don't see why there would not be sort of "assault landers" in future based on new materials (compared to WWII). I am thinking of some sort of gliding APCs here. I don't know if they are really realistic physics and logistics wise but at least they would be silent and able to insert non-paras behind enemy lines pretty much undetected (if you only could add some sort of stealth ability to it as well).

Gliders had their uses in WWII but had problems too.
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Postby Valen is my name » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:50 am

its possible that a new, safer glider could be developed i suppose, and is still a quiet method of landing troops. There could be a few times when it is the best method.
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Postby Neil » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:13 am

Glider attacks had mixed success in WW2. The Germans used them very well in Belguim. Quote below from

http://www.2worldwar2.com/fallschirmjager.htm
Their second operation, which this time included parachuting and glider landings, was a month later in the invasion of Western Europe. They did what paratroopers do best, and captured vital river bridges behind enemy lines which the advancing German armor needed to cross, and a formidable Belgian fortress, Eben Emael, which guarded other key bridges.
Eben Emael was manned by about a thousand Belgian soldiers and was strongly fortified. It was a set of seven large fortified artillery positions, with 18 artillery guns, surrounded by many machine gun positions, mine fields, barbed wire, a moat, and connected via underground bunkers and tunnels.
On May 10, 1940, at dawn, this fortress was attacked by just 78 Fallschirmjager troops which landed on top of it with 10 gliders. They were equipped with light weapons and with several 100 pound armor piercing explosive charges. Before the raid these 78 paratroopers trained on a full size model of the Eben Emael fortress. They landed precisely on the roof of the large fortress in total surprise, and with their far superior fighting skill over the shocked Belgians they were able to quickly take over the roof area and confine the defenders to their fortified bunkers which they cracked one after the other with their special explosive charges. The German losses were just six dead and twenty wounded. A day later, when the paratroopers were joined by German ground forces, the hundreds of remaining Belgian defenders inside the fortress surrendered.
The small elite force of just 78 German paratroopers defeated a greatly larger force in a mighty fortress. It was a great success which remains one of the most daring and successful raids in history, a model of what elite soldiers can achieve in properly planned raids.

Germans again used Gliders in the invasion of Crete to great effect although that was more in a transport role than a direct assault like Eban Emael above. Once on the Ground the highly out numbered paratroops and Glider troops (Fallshirmjagger (FJ)) fought a very bloody battle that all but wiped out the FJ core. Hilter was never to use them in a full scale airdrop again.

The Next major use of Gliders was by the Allies in July 43 Operation Ladbroke. They were to be landed during the invasion of Sicily. This turned into one of the worst blue on blue events ever recorded and is perhaps the reason a lot of people do not know much about the airbourne side of the invasion of Sicily.

Basically the British first Airlanding Brigaide was to land in Sicily in 137 Waco and 10 Horsa gliders. These were towed by mainly American pilots in C47’s who had no combat experience. The flight line took them over the assembled invasion fleet who promptly fired on them. This caused many of the pilots to panic and release their tows early.
Of the 147 gliders that had left Tunisia that evening. 69 had crashed into the sea, drowning 326 of the British “Red Devils.” Of the others, just two had been shot
down—by friend or foe—several had been towed back to Tunisia, and fifty-nine had landed somewhere in Sicily, though they were spread out across an area of twenty-five square miles. Resentment against the American tow pilots was so severe that when they got back to Tunisia, British troops there had to be confined to camp to avoid a lynching. In fact, two gliders even landed on different islands, one in Sardinia
and another in Malta.
The operation got worse though when the second and third waves (American Paratroopers) came in. The second wave (505th) did not get fired on by the ships but the pilots did panic when the Italian AA opened up.
The American paratroopers were scattered over a thousand square miles, many dropped at too low an altitude so that their chutes failed to open and they were killed outright, or broke bones. Some pilots ordered their men out over the sea, while others simply turned around and flew straight back to Africa. The American paratroopers who fell into the British sector found in the early hours of July 10 that the British troops. not expecting to see Americans there, opened fire on them. Nobody had given the Americans the British passwords, and accidental casualties were common.
The final wave the 504th had a much worse time of it as they landed the next night and the friendly fire incidents were much worse. The allied fleet had been hit by stuka’s during the day and were very trigger happy when the transport flew over that night.
During the initial drop, 33 out of the original 144 C-47s were shot down in minutes, while another 60 were so badly hit that they would never fly again. A total of 318 paratroopers were killed or wounded, over one in five of the men involved in the operation. And all were victims of friendly fire.

By the next morning, the full extent of the catastrophe was clear. Of a total of 5,307 paratroopers who had flown in the previous day, fewer than 2,000 were still fit for combat, and more than 1,200 of them had died from acts of amicide. General Eisenhower was shocked by the outcome of the whole airborne operation. Essentially, the elite troops of the American Eighty-second Airborne Division and the First British Airborne Division had been frittered away as the result of what came to be known as the Sicily Disaster.
Parts of the above were from BLUE ON BLUE...A History of Friendly Fire...by Geoffrey Regan
Avon Books, New York.

Finally we have the Allies using gliders on and around D-Day (Pegasus Bridge was a success) and at least two more major operations. I will not detail them here as I have rattled on enough. What I have tried to show is that gliders work well in small planned raids Eban Emael, Pegasus Bridge for example. They can also work well in large attacks, Crete DDay and crossing of the Rhine etc. But finally they can also suffer badly eg Sicily.

All that said I think modern gliders would be the perfect delivery vehicle for a Stealth style raid as the concept of a glider would lend itself to stealth construction nicely. All that is left is extraction or catch up by the main body.

Sorry this is so long hopefully some of you will find it interesting.

Neil
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Postby SnowDog » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:34 am

Yes, it was very interesting. Thanks for posting it. I saw a documentary about those gliders some time ago and I got a bit interest in them but I have not had a chance to do a proper research on them.
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Postby cordas » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:47 am

Intresting reading, and it just goes to show that just because something fails once doesn't automaticaly mean that it isn't used again. If Hitler could have taken Malta then he could have cut the Med in half and made the battle for North Africa much harder for us.

Without the use of Air borne units on D-Day then we might have never gotten a foot hold in Northern France. The use of them in Market Garden also caused the Germans considerable problems, yes the mission failed and yes a lot of very brave men where killed not meeting all the mission objectives but it still advanced our lines quickly. Both of these drops where done into enemy controled zones that could be considered hot.
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Postby Valen is my name » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:18 pm

Was Operation Market Garden as bigger failure as people seem to remember it being? It didnt completely fail and it did have several positive effects on the war, and it still help the Allied Armies advance closer to the Rhine.
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Postby cordas » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:48 pm

Valen is my name wrote:Was Operation Market Garden as bigger failure as people seem to remember it being? It didnt completely fail and it did have several positive effects on the war, and it still help the Allied Armies advance closer to the Rhine.
It failed in its ultimate goal, but it was otherwise a success, the Germans where pushed back a long way and lost a fiar amount of men and even more materials and resources.
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Postby kodiak155 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:00 pm

The Army had a tank which was deployed with the 82nd almost 20 years ago, the Sheridan. I'm not sure if it was air droppable - but you could put two on a C141 or 4-5 of them on a C-5.

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