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"The Last Airborne Deployment of WWII" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2020 6:49 p.m. PST

In the early morning hours of March 24, 1945, a massive WWII airborne operation known as Operation Varsity launched with an attempt to deploy 17,000 American and British Airborne troops across the Rhine River. It was the largest single-day airborne operation in history…


Korvessa16 Mar 2020 7:29 p.m. PST

And my pa was there.

But I've never understood why a 2 division drop was larger than the 3 division drop of Normandy.

Skarper16 Mar 2020 7:59 p.m. PST

Guessing they had to drop in multiple lifts over Normandy.

Given the shortage of lift capacity for Market Garden I'd be surprised if more were available in Normandy.

Apart from Operation Pegasus – did they risk night glider landings?

Green Tiger17 Mar 2020 1:54 a.m. PST

Operation Herring was the last airborne op of the war in Europe.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Mar 2020 4:36 a.m. PST

And of course Varsity was a needless screw-up…

Bob the Temple Builder17 Mar 2020 6:26 a.m. PST

My father took part. He was a member of UK 6th Airborne Division.

Legion 417 Mar 2020 8:29 a.m. PST

I have heard it said it was not really needed to hurry the end of the war. But as always hindsight is generally 20/20. This link gives a better more detailed history including maps than the first article, IMO … link

For those that don't remember Operation Herring. The operation included Italian Paras too along with the Allied Forces. link

My deepest respects to those who jumped/fought in at Varsity. Thank you for letting us know that information.

Murvihill18 Mar 2020 11:26 a.m. PST

IIRC after Normandy the US attached an additional regiment to each para division semi-permanently, that might explain the larger drop.

Legion 418 Mar 2020 11:31 a.m. PST

US WWII Airborne Divs were not as large as other Army Infantry Divs. As the Airborne units were very light having little rolling stock, i.e. trucks, jeeps, etc., and the maint. crews to repair them. Or large Hvy FA units either.

catavar18 Mar 2020 1:59 p.m. PST

Para's, cool.

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