Airborne Combat: The Glider War/Fighting Gliders of WWII by James E. Mrazek

By James E. Mrazek

  • Comprehensive look at the damaging international of glider warfare
  • Stories of elite glider troops within the thick of battle
  • Covers all major glider operations of the struggle, together with Eben Emael, Crete, Sicily, Normandy, Arnhem, Bastogne through the conflict of the Bulge, the jap entrance, and more
  • Details at the glider craft of either sides
  • Impressively illustrated with pictures of gliders and their crews
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    Additional info for Airborne Combat: The Glider War/Fighting Gliders of WWII

    Example text

    The Germans hit the defenders of the Vroenhoven bridge with such ferocity and speed that they overwhelmed the Belgians and disarmed the explosives set to destroy the bridge before the Belgians could set them off. Less than thirty minutes later, the bridge was open to German tanks and within three hours all significant Belgian resistance in the area was liquidated. Despite strong Belgian efforts to dislodge the glidermen, the Germans held firm. However, Schacht’s platoon paid a heavy price, losing 7 killed and 18 wounded.

    The wheels, once the glider was aloft, could be jettisoned, and the glider landed on a central ski-like plywood skid. It weighed 1,800 pounds and carried 2,800 pounds of cargo. A bench for passengers ran down the center. Hanna Reitsch, the test pilot, was soon test-flying it near Munich. A number of high-ranking generals including Ernst Udet, the World War I fighter ace, von Greim, Albert Kesselring, Walter Model and Erhard Milch observed an experimental flight of the DFS 230 and were enthusiastic about its possibilities.

    Eben Emael proved that the glider could be used with devastating tactical surprise. S. military leaders, appeared awesome. Gliders might change the character of war. Rivers were no longer formidable barriers to armies, nor would they run red with the blood of troops hit while they ran unprotected across foot bridges or tried crossings in defenseless assault boats. Gliders could form air bridges over the rivers. Gliders could simplify the supply of ground operations because, loaded with supplies, they could be towed to units in critical need of supplies and released.

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