Airborne All The Way! 20 Fantastic Photos of Paratroopers in Action!
Paratroopers are a common part of modern warfare, it’s hard to imagine a modern army without an airborne or air assault element. This form of combat was developed in the 1930s and the first use on a large scale was by the Germans during the invasion of Norway, the Netherlands, and Crete during World War II. The Allies learned from the Germans and paratroopers were used in large scale during the liberation of Western Europe and on a smaller scale in the Pacific.
Their drops often look breathtakingly artistic. For some, they were a sign of doom, for others paratroopers were the angels bringing hope for a quick liberation and the end of the world.
The Soviets were one of the first countries to take the concept of airborne infantry seriously, developing the tactic during the 1930s. In the photo Soviet Airborne are disembarking from the wings of a Tupolev TB-3 ( Image).
Paratroopers over Moscow dropped from Li-2s. Photography by Yakov Rumkin. 1940’s ( Image)
1960s. USSR Airborne drop in Fergana, Uzbekistan. Paratroopers jumped out from An-12 ( Image).
German propaganda photo of the invasion of Crete ( Image).
German paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) landing on Crete, May 1941 ( Bundesarchiv, Bild 141-0864 / CC-BY-SA 3.0).
More German paratroops landing on Crete from Junkers 52 transport planes, 20 May 1941 ( Image).
Fallschirmjäger during training ( Image).
German paratroopers were an inspiration for the Western-Allied Forces ( Image).
Teishin Shudan (Raiding Group) paratroopers landing during the battle of Palembang, February 1942. Two photographs were used in this montage created by Ogawa Toraji using an airbrush. It was not possible at the time to take such wide angles in one shot ( Image).
Probably 509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team during Italian Campaign ( Image).
C-47s dropping paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division over England during the preparation of D-day, 1944 (by Rodger Hamilton, Image).
Polish paratroopers are dropped near Overasselt, Netherlands while livestock graze near gliders that landed earlier. This was near the end of Operation Market Garden during World War II, which resulted in heavy Allied losses. 23 September 1944 ( Image).
British paratroops drop from Douglas Dakota aircraft over Oosterbeek, just outside Arnhem, during Operation ‘Market Garden’, 17 September 1944 (IWM, BU 1162, Image).
A fleet of Allied aircraft flies overhead as paratroopers of the Allied Airborne Command float groundward near Veghel in the invasion of the Netherlands, still another step towards the liberation of Europe ( Image).
Parachutes open as waves of paratroops land in Holland during operations by the 1st Allied Airborne Army in September of 1944. Operation Market Garden was the largest airborne operation in history, with some 15,000 troops were landing by glider and another 20,000 by parachute ( Image).
C-47 transport planes release hundreds of paratroops and their supplies over the Rees-Wesel area to the east of the Rhine. Operation Varsity was the greatest airborne operation of the war. Some 40,000 paratroops were dropped by 1,500 troop-carrying planes and gliders beginning on 24 March 1945 (By US Army Signal Corps, Image).
Korean War. Men and equipment being parachuted to earth in an operation conducted by United Nations airborne units ( Image).
Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar. Munsan, Korea, March 1951. 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Teams ( Image).
French Union paratroopers dropping from a C-119 transport during the battle at Dien Bien Phu ( Image).
Dwarfed by and silhouetted against clouds of smoke (created to provide concealment), C-47s from the USAAF drop a battalion of the 503rd at Nadzab, New Guinea. A battalion dropped moments earlier is landing in the foreground (US Army, Image).
Damian is a history geek that’s working for War History Online for almost a decade. He can talk about the history and its chain of events for hours and is 100% legit fun at parties. Aside of history, geography and etymology of all things are no less exciting for him! An avid video game player, meme distributor, and your comment section moderator all in one. Mythologies of all cultures are fascinating to him, Greek, Nordic, Slavic – you name it, and he’s in!
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