Airborne Thesis

Airborne Thesis - Imms 1 Although some may argue that the...

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Imms 1 Although some may argue that the invasion of Normandy was a massive struggle between colossal standard infantry forces, many of the crucial victories were won by airborne troops. Despite being perpetually surrounded behind enemy lines, outnumbered in manpower and outgunned, paratroopers used surprise and confusion to inspire fear in the ranks of the German defenders of Normandy and complete their objectives. After analyzing opposing arguments which refute the idea of airborne forces crucialness to the success of the Normandy invasion, the following essay will show the weaknesses of paratroopers are actually strengths which helped them secure their objectives. On the early morning hours of June 6, 1944 the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions, comprising six regiments and numbering more than 13,000 men, loaded onto 925 C-47 transport planes. 1 They were flown from bases in southern England to the Normandy peninsula where they were dropped behind enemy lines. Their objectives included to secure the causeway exits from Utah and Omaha beaches as well as prevent German counterattacks from storming the beaches and wiping out the entire invasion force. The 101 st and 82 nd Airborne Division worked in conjunction to secure the rear area of Utah and Omaha beaches and prevent German counterattacks. The objectives of the 101 st Airborne Division called for the capture of four inland exits and causeways. 2 This would allow for easy invasion into France from Utah and Omaha beaches. In addition to capturing the causeways, the division was supposed to seize Carentan to prevent any kind of German counter-attack from wiping out the landing beaches. Another objective was to knock out any German artillery guns firing on the beaches. The 1 (No Author: U.S. Military Website) “The Airborne Assault,” The Airborne Assault: D-Day to Cherbourg , http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/wwii/utah/utah2.htm (accessed March 4, 2007) 2 Ibid.
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Imms 2 objectives of the 82 nd Airborne Division were to secure the town of Sainte-Mère-Église and to protect the western flank of the invasion. 3 By securing the eastern and western flanks of the invasion, it would fully protect the main force from any counterattack. Due to the panic of flight crewmen, most of the airborne forces on D-Day were not dropped on their respective zones. Despite being dropped in the wrong places, groups of paratroopers worked together to achieve the objectives to make Operation Overlord a success due to the determination and leadership of the airborne troopers. Major battles were fought by the airborne forces in Sainte-Mère-Église and Brécourt Manor. The forces fighting in these crucial battles knocked out major German artillery and prevented a German counterattack from forming as well as driving the defensive forces from Normandy. The most notable battle of the airborne troopers was the battle of Brécourt Manor fought by E Company of the 506 Parachute Infantry Division of the 101 st Airborne Division. In this mission a major artillery emplacement
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HST 290 taught by Professor Obrien during the Spring '07 term at Franciscan OH.

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Airborne Thesis - Imms 1 Although some may argue that the...

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