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Who came up with the idea of paratroopers?

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Sgt. Barger, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Sgt. Barger

    Sgt. Barger New Member

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    I thought the Russians came up with the idea of paratroopers. They would hang on to the wings of a plane and jump off (the planes would fly down really low, and they had parachutes). I read this somewhere on the internet a while ago and forgot where it was. Do any of you for sure know who invented paratroopers?
     
  2. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    The Italians used airplanes and parachutes to insert some sabotage type units behind the lines at the end of WWI. Also in WWI US Gen Billy Mitchell devised a plan to parachute the 1st Inf Div behind Germans lines to capture Metz.
    Basically all the major armies experimented with paratroops between the wars. It would be hard to say who actually invented paratroops.
     
  3. alephh

    alephh Member

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    Problem is: What do you count as a paratroopers and paratrooper-operation?

    There has been 'soldiers from sky' ideas from 1700 onwards. But I think Italians were first to actually train couple of smaller paratrooper units in 1920s. In 1930s Russians had quite large scale paratrooper-forces, which inspired other nations (Germany, Britain, Japan, Poland, France).


    _
     
  4. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    If I remember rightly, the USSR had around 1 million paratroopers in service by 1941.

    But who was the first...

    Well, ok, let us refine it to 2 seperate questions.


    Which country had the first unit who were trained and equipped to arrive by parachute?

    Which of these units was first used in combat?
     
  5. Commando

    Commando recruit

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    I had a dream last night that the Aztecs invented paratroopers. Where on earth I got that from I'll never know!! :cool:
     
  6. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Good for you.

    Anyway...... :roll:
     
  7. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    usually paratroops are small groups of highly trained soldiers dropped ( and scattered ) well behind enemy lines where they are promptly destoyed by enemy infantry supported by tanks and artillery .does anyone even use paratroops anymore ?
     
  8. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    meh, theyre more or less considered elite ground troops here. Parachutes are a lot more accurate these days, though
     
  9. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    i know we still train usa rangers to jump out of airplanes but i think its mostly for the building of moral and esperit de corps .of course halo insertions of A teams and seals makes perfect sense but this is more like an oss operation than a 82nd airborn infantry assault .


    btw , has there ever been a successful airborn infantry assault ? i know the japs grabbed some dutch airbases ( with pistol and grenades only) and the german parras did capture crete ( at hidieous cost ) . were there any other successes ?
     
  10. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    How much of Market-Garden do you count as successful?

    Also, the three airborne divisions in Normandy and the drops for the Rhine crossing
     
  11. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Didn't Germany make good use of paras in capturing objectives ahead of the main land forces during the invasions of Norway and the Low Countries?
     
  12. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    what about the rescue of mussalini by germans paratroopers? Was that real or was it in a film? I get so confused

    FNG
     
  13. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    It was real, but Skorzenny's boys used gliders not parachutes. In any case it was more of a special forces/commando raid.

    The initial phase of Dien Bien Phu where the French used Paras to capture the objectives was an example of a successful airbourne infantry assault.
     
  14. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Most airborne assaults were actually succesful, the only problem is that the cost was always very high. This is why the concept was mostly scrapped after WW2.
     
  15. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    I suppose increased and improved ground based AA and fighter cover means that the cost of such assaults would now be prohibative especially given that most western countries have no stomach for seeing cofins being shipped home.

    The idea of dropping at night would give little additional cover for the troop planes either

    However once on the ground light airborne infantry would still be a force to be reckoned with as their man portable AT weapons would be quite potent against even the most powerful MBT's

    also the use of heavy artillary is falling away as often the battles are too quick and the forces too mobile for them to be effective.

    FNG
     
  16. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Yes, most notably in capturing the big forts in Belgium. It caused a huge fear of German paratroops in the UK post-Dunkirk.
     
  17. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    And of nuns :D
     
  18. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Weren't the Belgian forts captured by glider-borne troops rather than paratroops? I know Eban Emael was.
     
  19. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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  20. Commando

    Commando recruit

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    Cool I'll have to go there some time.

    Just joking. I live in Australia! :grin:
     

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