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

By James E. Mrazek

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

    Sample text

    Gliders came into their own somewhat by default. Although Churchill had directed the equipping of a 5,000-man parachute force, it was discovered that due to lack of aircraft, only 800 men could be lifted for a parachute mission. Looking around for a solution, planners turned their attention to the glider as a means of increasing the number of soldiers that could be airlifted, while minimizing the drain on the already heavily committed powered aircraft available to the nation. They saw that gliders could fill the void.

    Actually, it is likely these Hitlerjugend had a better reason for being in England: to collect information on the terrain and on military objectives, especially in southern England. Most of them soon reported for flying training with the Luftwaffe, where this knowledge could prove invaluable in any future conflict. Whether the British learned anything about German military gliders is not known. In fact, it is not known whether information leaked out of Nazi Germany about the closely kept secret of that country’s military glider program at any time during the 1930s.

    Gliders would supplement the meager number of powered aircraft available to the airborne establishment and help to get the 5,000 men “off the ground” as per the prime minister’s wishes. This led to the production of the eight-passenger Hotspur, the thirty-passenger Horsa and the Hamilcar, a first-rate competitor to the Gigant. They also developed the fifteen-seat Hengist as insurance against the Horsa not proving satisfactory. The size of the first glider to come off the production line was to a great extent dictated by a number of the exigencies of the time.

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