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Airborne Troops of WWII

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: General History
Forum Name: Military History
Forum Discription: Discussions related to military history: generals, battles, campaigns, etc...
Moderators: Constantine XI, Byzantine Emperor, Knights, Sparten, Temujin
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=25240
Printed Date: 28-Jul-2014 at 07:13


Topic: Airborne Troops of WWII
Posted By: Al Jassas
Subject: Airborne Troops of WWII
Date Posted: 24-Aug-2008 at 08:52
Hello to you all
 
As everybody knows, at least they should know here in this forum, airborne troops were one of the most ingenious inventions of WWII and they had a great effect on the conflict. Airborne troops were one of the key components of the Blitzkrieg. Several major battles were decided by airborne involvement most notably the invasion of Holland and the battle for Normandy. However certain failures of airborne troops did raise questions about their effectiveness however the overall performance during the war proved these critics somehwat wrong.
 
My choice was the German 1st airborne or Fallschirmjager, their track record is almost flawless in the beginning of the war and only because the degradation in the quality of troops and planes affected them, in my humble opinion of course.
 
So the question is, which of these divisions were the best? What is your choice and why?
 
I hope that the list is complete, on the Russian forces, I only recently knew that they did have an airborne component in their army, thanks to one of our co-forumers who gave the name David Glantz, and I read some of their exploits from one of David Glantz's books although I barely started it. 
 
Al-Jassas 



Replies:
Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 24-Aug-2008 at 14:19
82nd Airborne; USA.
 
It should be remembered though that
 
1) airborne were essentially light infantry; when you look away from their "special skills".
 
and
 
2) Many of a divisions soldiers were not paratroopers. Indeed due to attrition the US 101 and 82nd were airborne in name only at the end of the war; they were unable to take part in OP Varsity in March 1945.
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 24-Aug-2008 at 19:51
What about the Chindits? The war in Burma was won because of Operations like that. In March '44 the British Army carried out the largest airborne operation in history, landing 65,000 troops behind enemy line, where they would operate with only air support for 8 months.
 
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Justinian
Date Posted: 24-Aug-2008 at 20:32
The only ones I'm familiar with are the US 101st and Germany's 1st Fallschirmjager, and to a lesser extent the chindits.  Sparten mentioned them and I might lean towards them, quite impressive their performance was.  Of course the germans operations in the low countries were impressive as well.  Tough choice.

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"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann



Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 24-Aug-2008 at 20:51

A whole Allied Army Group, 600,000 men fought for nearly a year, being supplied by air,. That shows if anything what won the war for the allies; superior logistics.



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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Gundamor
Date Posted: 26-Aug-2008 at 17:38
Originally posted by Sparten

What about the Chindits? The war in Burma was won because of Operations like that. In March '44 the British Army carried out the largest airborne operation in history, landing 65,000 troops behind enemy line, where they would operate with only air support for 8 months.
 
 


The actually amount of airborne troops used was not as many as the Normandy drop. I would have to do some reading but I'm not sure how many actually jumped in, I know for sure they used gliders to secure some landing strip objectives. The rest were flown in on secured landing strips. One of the brigades walked in as well. The total was about 18,000 men on the 2nd campaign which was the largest of the 2. Amazing operation but the dominance of the air really showed there.

There is German Appraisal of airborne operations that called it a rich mans weapon. They payed heavily in Crete in one of the few airborne only type operations.
http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/104-13/104-13.htm - http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/104-13/104-13.htm


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"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind"


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 26-Aug-2008 at 18:06
I got that number from Pak Army records. My dads regiment (or rather one of the regiments which were amalgamated  to form his) participated (they were an anti air arty unit and were glided in). You are right its possible that the 65,000 includes all persons including support staff at staging areas.
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Ahmed The Fighter
Date Posted: 27-Aug-2008 at 15:38
Germany's 1st Fallschirmjager division is my choice, regardless their heavy losses in the battle of Crete it was the first mainly  airborne operation ever, their records is impressive Denmark, Norway, Holland, France and Greece.
the Soviet airborne force was a big disappointment, they were from the first to develop this force and introduce it to the army, but their only large-scale operation failed and they used
the airborne force as elite infantry.
for the British airborne force, there was not any bold operation but this was a typical act from modern British military doctrine.
the American airborne forces during the war was gradually developed until it became one of the finest airborne troops in the late period of the war and the post war era till now.
the 101st division performance in Gulf war was very good.


 I wonder why Hitler forbade any airborne operation after Crete?it was a Pyrrhic victory but
this was not reasonable, I don't think Hitler was so careful about casualties if he was he would allow a tactical retreat in the eastern front which might reverse the Germans defeat to a victory.


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"May the eyes of cowards never sleep"
Khalid Bin Walid


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 27-Aug-2008 at 15:49
Hello Ahmad, nice to see you again and hope your well.
 
About Fallschirmajer, I totally agree with you, they set the standard for all airborne forces to later come and their operations before the degradation of the quality of troops were outstanding. Had they been under the command of some one other than Goering's Luftwaffe WWII might have had another story.
 
As for the British, well I think Market Garden is bold enough, it was just not lucky, Varsity and the Chindits were some of the most successful operations ever.
 
Finally for the Russians, well there are many reasons for why the Soviets didn't perfect airborne operations but none the less they did have some successful operations, here is a link about Russian airborne forces:
http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/download/csipubs/glantz.pdf - http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/download/csipubs/glantz.pdf
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Ahmed The Fighter
Date Posted: 27-Aug-2008 at 16:40
Thanks bro I am good, nice to see you too.
I agree about Goering, he was incompetent but the Fallschirmajer were under the command of Kurt Student who was a great general, I know Goering was the head of the Luftwaffe but he wasn't  retroactive he was welcoming any new idea even though he was an idiot.
it was Hitler's decision to ban the airborne operation in large scale not Goering, if you take a look to the book "the other side of the hill" you will see exactly what I mean.
creative general like Kurt Studen would not consider Goering as an obstacle in his path, he
even made a plan to drop troops on the English shores after Dunkirk, Hitler act was so weird  from a man like him.
for the British I think saying it was a bad luck is  underestimation to the fierce German defenders who were outnumbered, the British just failed.
Varsity was a fully successful operation and so brilliant but not bold, with air and land superiority and a collapsing German army.

thanks for the link , very useful.


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"May the eyes of cowards never sleep"
Khalid Bin Walid


Posted By: Gundamor
Date Posted: 27-Aug-2008 at 21:32
Originally posted by Ahmed The Fighter



 I wonder why Hitler forbade any airborne operation after Crete?it was a Pyrrhic victory but
this was not reasonable, I don't think Hitler was so careful about casualties if he was he would allow a tactical retreat in the eastern front which might reverse the Germans defeat to a victory.


The Crete landing knocked their force down to about a third of their size. It takes time to retrain paratroopers. By the time the loses could be recovered the war had turned sour for the Germans. In the western front, including Italy, the total lack of surprise and the ability to establish an airhead made any large drops impossible. The eastern front was just to big a theater for airborne operation to make a difference. They also didn't have the abundant amount of transport planes the allies did.

I suggest reading the link I posted. Kesselring, especially outlines all the difficulties the Germans had with airborne operations. I was unaware they had a battalion size drop during the battle of the bulge until reading it.




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"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind"


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 27-Aug-2008 at 22:00
large scale operations like Merkur (Crete) and Market Garden prooved ineffective compared to the effort put into it. but small scale commando-type operations, usually conducted by gliders were quite efficient though. don't know about the Pacific theatre (like Japanese)


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 10:48
Hello Temujin
 
I beg to differ with you, Normandy's airborne component was decisive in ensuring the foothold of the allies on the beaches. Even though the American airborne troops weren't as effective as the British that none the less they helped in isolating the beaches till they were secure. Also, Market Garden was two thirds success, only bad luck and poor organization lead to the british disaster in Arnhem. Had the allies succeeded in capturing Arnhem things would have totally been different in the Western front.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: WolfHound
Date Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 14:26
Does anyone have info on the UK 1st airborne division. Actually I'm in England now and theres a little monument dedicated to the UK 1st airborne division.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 15:20
It was the unfortunate division that was badly mauled by the Germans in Arnhem during Market Garden:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Airborne_Division - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Airborne_Division
 
AL-Jassas


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 20:17
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Hello Temujin
 
I beg to differ with you, Normandy's airborne component was decisive in ensuring the foothold of the allies on the beaches. Even though the American airborne troops weren't as effective as the British that none the less they helped in isolating the beaches till they were secure. Also, Market Garden was two thirds success, only bad luck and poor organization lead to the british disaster in Arnhem. Had the allies succeeded in capturing Arnhem things would have totally been different in the Western front.
 
Al-Jassas


well Crete was eventually a German victory too, that doesn't change the heavy casualties.


Posted By: Maharbbal
Date Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 23:14
I'd go for the English over the Germans because, although the Germans had good troops and extraordinary sucesses, they did so in front of enemies totally unaware that they were threatened by paratroopers. The victory over the forts on the Meuse river in Belgium is a good example: the forts were formidable against tanks and ordinary infantry but could do very little against a airborne assault. The same goes for Krete where the Brits hardly had time to prepare their defence.

On the other hand, in Africa, Sicily, in the numerous ops in occuped terriritories, during the Normandy assault, etc. the 6th UK AD faced well fortified troops perfectly aware that paratroopers may attack them etc. That's why they are more impressive in my view.


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I am a free donkey!


Posted By: Mercury_Dawn
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 13:49
the US 101st was unfortunately involved in Market Garden as well. I know this, cause my old regiment was in it then (1-501st Geronimo) I do not know alot about the British operations, but the best were likely the Italian Special Forces.... who ARE considered a part of the airborne community, as well as American Ranger regiments.... americans have three kinds of paratroopers. The Italians specialized in R&D.... they even had a parachute designed for them to land on their back so they could take a larger jump load, and had up armored rowboats for marine landings, and shields for thier weapons, and would be a formidable force in even today's era..... the axis were just silly in using them.... but I consinder them the standard of what to look for, cause they prepared themselves for greatness, everyone else just sorta stumbled upon it.

The 101st was involved in the Normandy and dutch operations, and was surrounded at Bastonge, where it was under siege from every direction. In Vietnam, it was the only airborne division immortalized with the battle of Hamburger Hill. After that, the airborne regiments left the 101st, and they became a air assault corps..... still recognized as a airborne force by the military, but NOT by any parachutist. The real airborne went off, disbanding or going to the 82nd, or isolated posts with individual regiments like the 501st up in Alaska, who unfortunately discovered that yes, indeed, a parachute can open in -60 F.

I know there is a Russian Airborne regiment with a parachute that is overlaid by a yellow tiger that is growling. I can't remember thier name. The Russians, British, and Germans developed their airborne forces after the first American demonstration jump, and years later, the British retrained the 1-501st in jumping out of aircraft.... hence why the American Airborne wear lobster socks on their heads. I always hated my beret.

Does anyone know of a Russian airborne operation in WW2?


Posted By: WolfHound85
Date Posted: 04-Sep-2008 at 11:49
Ok the UK 1st Airborne Division was actually stationed at the place I am at now for college. Which is pretty sweet.  But I would have to go with the German airborne troops they were very successful in Crete and in other operations.

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College Student


Posted By: U.S.A. 4EVER
Date Posted: 10-Nov-2008 at 02:01
I cannot believe that all of you forget when the 101st Screamin Eagles defended the town of Bastogne. Repelling continuous assaults from German Units. And whoever said that the British launched the largest airborne assault in Burma, whatever. It was your Generals that came up with operation market garden. Yes the British are a good people and i do like the show MI-5 but The british did not have the best paratroop divisions. The best were the Americans and the Germans.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 10-Nov-2008 at 11:27
The defence of Bastogne was heroic, but what was airborne about it?

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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 10-Nov-2008 at 13:28

Not much. In addition by that time due to attrition the screaming eagle had a large amount on non-airborne troops assigned.



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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: chean
Date Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 15:57
2nd Ox and Bucks Wink
 
Their operation to capture the bridges over the Caen canal and the Orne river was one of the outstanding operations of D-day. One of the first units in action, their gliders landed in the dark within 40 yards of their target, they captured the bridge within 10 minutes with the loss of just 2 men and held the target with assistance from men of the 7th Bat  the Parachute Regiment till relieved by forces coming from the beaches.


Posted By: Klaus Fleming
Date Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 20:15
Military commanders everywhere had high expectations regarding airborne operations prior to WWII - at the time such operations were really seen as the way of the future. However, in my mind airborne troops failed to make any lasting impact as an armed force in WWII. Many of the airborne operations of the war were either partial or utter disasters: German airborne assault on Crete was a Pyrrhic victory if there ever was one; both the Soviet airborne assault across the Dniepr in September 1943 and the Allied operation Market Garden in 1944 were unqualified disasters. Americans tended to have more success in airborne operations than anyone else, and 101st and 82nd divisions always survived their airdrops - however even their casualties during Overlord were, if not crippling then at least unsettling. Some historians (Max Hastings at least) have also argued that the use of airdrops in the crossing of the Rhine was redundant, and that instead of contributing to the Allied victory these airdrops only contributed to increase Allied casualties.
The real, and lasting tactical innovation of WWII was in my mind amphibious warfare. The scale of these operations was immense, and the difference that Guadalcanal, Overlord or Leyte Gulf made to the course of the war was decisive.  Not all amphibious operations succeeded, of course. Anglo-Canadian attack on Dieppe is a well-known calamity, and the Soviet landing at Eltigen in November 1943 is a less-known military disaster.


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Quae ante pedes


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 20:44
Hello Klaus
 
I both agree and disagree with you in your post above.
 
I agree with you in that more was expected from the airborne troops than what they coud do because no one actually seen them in action and because of their above average training commanders who knew little about airborne operations committed them to suicidal mission.
 
I disagree on the other hand on the effect of airborne troops. On a tactical level they were superior to any other traditional force. Tactical small scale operations, like the capture of Eben Emael fort and the bridges in Holland or the major naval guns on D-day were a success and it was hard to imagine the succes of the entire strategic operation without those tactical operations.
 
On the other hand large scale strategic operations failed mainly because of planning not because of any problem with the concept.
 
AL-Jassas


Posted By: Sun Tzu
Date Posted: 01-May-2009 at 03:10
Why the 1st Falshimjager division? they took Crete with heavy losses and defended Normandy, unless there is something else.

the 101st's defence of Bastogne was pretty heroic althought not anything airborne related. My grandfather recalls when he was in the 7th armored that he saw some of the men (101st) leaving Bastogne (after battle of the Bulge) and they were bedraggled missing boots; they had the thousand yard stare.

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Sun Tzu

All warfare is based on deception - Sun Tzu


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 01-May-2009 at 10:49
Paratroopers are light infantry, they don't have the best fighting capability, its pretty hard to face up to regular infantry or armour. For a paradrop to succeed, well you need a linkup, fast.


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 02-May-2009 at 16:27
Originally posted by Sun Tzu

Why the 1st Falshimjager division? they took Crete with heavy losses and defended Normandy, unless there is something else.


defense of Italy, can't recall them being in Normandy at all.


Posted By: Sun Tzu
Date Posted: 04-May-2009 at 05:05
there was one if not the 1st Fallshirmjaegar, it's in one of my books and they talked about them in Band of Brothers the mini-series.

I remember reading about the Italians and their airbroen endeavors, I wanna say they were the first country to invent them.

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Sun Tzu

All warfare is based on deception - Sun Tzu


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 04-May-2009 at 17:48
1. Fallschirmjäger-Division was established in 1943, they never fought anywhere else other than the Med. Theater, most famously at Monte Cassino. and please don't take crap like BoB as reference.


Posted By: Sun Tzu
Date Posted: 05-May-2009 at 03:09
The German paratroopers, the ‘Fallschirmjaeger’ “were perhaps the best-armed infantrymen in the world in 1944. “So in any encounter between equal numbers of Americans and Fallschirmjaeger, the Germans had from six to twenty times as much firepower” [The Victors 194]. There were also about twenty-six divisions, some armored, in Normandy, while the German Fifteenth Army was still intact in the Pas de Calais, meaning the German ability to reinforce its army was greater than the ability of the Allies [The Victors 210].

So Yea the Fallschirmjaeger did serve in Normandy...

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Sun Tzu

All warfare is based on deception - Sun Tzu


Posted By: Sun Tzu
Date Posted: 05-May-2009 at 03:10
The German paratroopers, the ‘Fallschirmjaeger’ “were perhaps the best-armed infantrymen in the world in 1944. “So in any encounter between equal numbers of Americans and Fallschirmjaeger, the Germans had from six to twenty times as much firepower” [The Victors 194]. There were also about twenty-six divisions, some armored, in Normandy, while the German Fifteenth Army was still intact in the Pas de Calais, meaning the German ability to reinforce its army was greater than the ability of the Allies [The Victors 210].

So Yea the Fallschirmjaeger did serve in Normandy...

Belchem, General Major David. Victory in Normandy. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd., 1981].


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Sun Tzu

All warfare is based on deception - Sun Tzu


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 06-May-2009 at 20:43
but not the 1. Fallschirmjäger-Division. i never said there were no Fallschirmjäger at the Normandy Landings.


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 07-May-2009 at 12:55
Actually the first person to concieve Airborne operations was during WW1 in 1918 when the Allied Command toyed with the idea of dropping thousands of troops by parachute. It was actually concieved by Brereton who would play a part in Market-Garden.
 
Of course no-one figured out how to do it and the war ended before the plan ever got anywhere, but it showed the basic doctrine of airborne warfare - an air deployed envelopment to be used in conjunction with land forces.
 
I would also dispute the claim that the Italians carried out the first airborne exercise as the Soviets were conducting airborne exercises of company and battalion level at the same time. Also the US Army conducted small parachute tests just after WW1 including dropping an MG team by parachute and seeing how long it took the men to get into action.
 
However it was from the observation of the Soviet Airborne Forces that the Germans decided to develop their own arm after witnessing the Kiev District Exercises of 1935 and the air drop of almost a division of men. The following year the school at Stendal was set up.
 
All operations of a tactical level (Bruneval, Pegasus Bridge, Eben Emael, Corinth, Gran Sasso, Bordueax) in WW2 are generally successful, in part due to the surprise effect and also the high levels of training usually given for small tactical drops.
 
Of the strategic operations (Norway, Holland, Crete, Normandy, Drvar, Market-Garden, Varsity) it is a mixed bag. All the Germans operations suffer from poor planning and all sustain heavy casualties. None of them were remarkable success'. The Allies have better luck and tend to learn from their mistakes and their final drop, Varity, learns all the lessons of Normandy and Market-Garden and is a success as it works in close concert with ground forces... Of course it is against a worn out enemy. The less said about Soviet airborne drops in WW2 the better...
 
What WW2 proved was that the concept of air mobility was sound and that specially trained forces could achieve objectives that would previously have required large numbers of men by utilising surprise as a key factor. It also showed that large scale parachute drops were very difficult to coordinate and plan correctly. It proved the viability of glider troops but also the vulnerability of the glider that delivered them - Hence the development of the helicopter.
 
Oh, and 1st FJ Division didnt do many drops...
 
 
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 07-May-2009 at 13:07
I had thought that all German parachute formations (Luftwaffe) fought as infantry after Crete.  The only para ops were then commando type such as Skorzeny's.  Yes?  No? 
 
 
 


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 07-May-2009 at 19:05
Red Baron, apparently there was some issue while posting your reply which got multiplied excessively. i've deleted all redundant one's.


Posted By: WolfHound85
Date Posted: 08-May-2009 at 03:17
Airborne troops were used under Hitler in the invasion of crete and Norwat however I doubt they were the Fallschirmjäger division. I thought the Fallschirmjäger division was an SS division ran by Goering? 

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College Student


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 13-May-2009 at 12:12
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

I had thought that all German parachute formations (Luftwaffe) fought as infantry after Crete.  The only para ops were then commando type such as Skorzeny's.  Yes?  No? 
 
 
 
 
No.
 
After Crete the Fallschirmjager conducted a number of airborne operations on all fronts. The attack on Leros was one, Operation Strosser another, there was also a number of glider reinforcement operations.
 
Skorzeny only conducted the Gran Sasso raid and the personnel in that were mainly Fallschirmjager drawn from available units, indeed the operation caused a great deal of ill-feeling between Skorzeny and the FJ involved as they felt he stole the glory.
 
 


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 13-May-2009 at 12:24
Originally posted by WolfHound85

Airborne troops were used under Hitler in the invasion of crete and Norwat however I doubt they were the Fallschirmjäger division. I thought the Fallschirmjäger division was an SS division ran by Goering? 
 
What? Sorry but thats wrong.
 
Crete and Norway were conducted by 7th Flieger Division, the nucleus of the Fallschirmtruppe. All personnel were Fallschirmjager and were trained at the Fallschimtruppe school at Stendal. This division was reformed into 1st FJ and many of its personnel used as cadres to form new FJ divisions.
 
Goring never ran an SS formation of any description having relinquished control of all Police formations when taking charge of the Luftwaffe. Their was an experiemental parachute unit controlled by the army that had a police codename but this was merged with the Luftwaffe unit in 1936 to form the Fallschirmjager.
 
The SS did have a Fallschirmjager battalion, never a division - SS-Fallschirmjager 500/600 - which was originally formed from a Penal battalion and only made one airborne operation, Knights Leap, against Tito at Drvar in Yugoslavia.
 
The operation against French Resistance in the Vercors region was conducted by the Luftwaffe commandos from the 3rd Staffel of KG200. It is likely these men were drawn from various Fallschirmjager units and possibly from Kurstenjager and Brandenburg formations.


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 13-May-2009 at 12:30
Originally posted by U.S.A. 4EVER

I cannot believe that all of you forget when the 101st Screamin Eagles defended the town of Bastogne. Repelling continuous assaults from German Units. And whoever said that the British launched the largest airborne assault in Burma, whatever. It was your Generals that came up with operation market garden. Yes the British are a good people and i do like the show MI-5 but The british did not have the best paratroop divisions. The best were the Americans and the Germans.
 
 
And your post clearly shows how little you know of WW2 airborne operations...
 
You might want to take your head out of the nationalistic pile of sand its buried in and have a look at the nationality of the planners for Operation Market-Garden.
 
Without 6th Airborne operations in Normandy, D-Day could never have happened. US forces did not have the experience to be able to carry out the operations conducted at the Orne bridges.
 
You can be patriotic if you like, but try and have some facts.


Posted By: WolfHound85
Date Posted: 16-May-2009 at 04:48
Originally posted by TheRedBaron

Originally posted by WolfHound85

Airborne troops were used under Hitler in the invasion of crete and Norwat however I doubt they were the Fallschirmjäger division. I thought the Fallschirmjäger division was an SS division ran by Goering? 
 
What? Sorry but thats wrong.
 
Crete and Norway were conducted by 7th Flieger Division, the nucleus of the Fallschirmtruppe. All personnel were Fallschirmjager and were trained at the Fallschimtruppe school at Stendal. This division was reformed into 1st FJ and many of its personnel used as cadres to form new FJ divisions.
 
Goring never ran an SS formation of any description having relinquished control of all Police formations when taking charge of the Luftwaffe. Their was an experiemental parachute unit controlled by the army that had a police codename but this was merged with the Luftwaffe unit in 1936 to form the Fallschirmjager.
 
The SS did have a Fallschirmjager battalion, never a division - SS-Fallschirmjager 500/600 - which was originally formed from a Penal battalion and only made one airborne operation, Knights Leap, against Tito at Drvar in Yugoslavia.
 
The operation against French Resistance in the Vercors region was conducted by the Luftwaffe commandos from the 3rd Staffel of KG200. It is likely these men were drawn from various Fallschirmjager units and possibly from Kurstenjager and Brandenburg formations.


Sorry my mistake. I thought Goering was in charge of the SS Fallschrimjager division.


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College Student



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