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Airborne Operations: A German Appraisal. Historical Study

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Airborne Operations: A German Appraisal. Historical Study
  • German Report Series
  • Dept. of the Army Pamphlet No. 20-232
  • This pamphlet was written for the Historical Division, EUCOM, by a committee of former German officers. It comprises a review of German airborne experience in World War II, an appraisal of German successes and failures, the reasons for the apparent abandonment of large-scale German airborne operations after the Crete operation, the German experience in opposing Allied and Russian airborne operations, an appraisal of the effectiveness of these operations, and the probable future of airborne operations. It was believed that the contributors to this study represented a valid cross-section of expert German opinion on airborne operations. Since the contributors include Luftwaffe and Army officers at various levels of command, some divergences of opinion were inevitable; these were listed and, wherever possible, evaluated by the principal German author. However, the opinions of Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring are given separately and without comment wherever they occur in the course of the presentation. This study is concerned only with the landing of airborne fighting forces in an area occupied or controlled by an enemy and with the subsequent tactical commitment of those forces in conventional ground combat. The employment of airborne units in commando operations, or in the supply and reinforcement of partisans and insurgents, is not included in this study, nor is the shifting of forces by troop-carrier aircraft in the rear of the combat zone. Such movements, which attained large size and great strategic importance during World War II, should not be confused with tactical airborne operations.
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