Militairy Gliders

Today it is the 4th of May – the day we remember the people that died during second world war in the Netherlands. So today I watched the classic movie called A Bridge Too Far which is about the military operation called “Market Garden”. The objective was to siege and hold bridges in Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem. To do this the plan was to fly into enemy territory and caught them by surprise while the front-line will push to reach them as soon as possible for back-up and supplies. Once the bridges were secure they could march directly into Germany.

I always thought they did this operation with paratroopers only but this is not true. They also used air-landers, those are troops that were landing by gliders. Military gliders (an offshoot of common gliders) have been used by the military of various countries for carrying troops (glider infantry) and heavy equipment to a combat zone. These engineless aircraft were towed into the air and most of the way to their target by military transport planes.

Once released from the tow craft near the front, they were to land on any convenient open terrain close to target, hopefully with as little damage to the cargo and crew as possible as most landing zones (LZ) were far from ideal.

They created around 3750 gliders during the war. Not a single one made it in one piece. The main advantage of this above paratrooper is that the whole troop wasn’t scattered around the LZ.

There is a nice video on youtube about these gliders

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