Use Of Paratroopers During World War Ii

3067 words - 12 pages

Wilhelm Bittrich, a German leader during Operation Market Garden, once commented on the British paratroopers at Arnhem saying, “In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard.” This is just one instance of bravery and dedication that paratroopers exhibited on a consistent basis throughout World War II. Paratroopers were an elite infantry force that went through some of the toughest training their military had to offer in order to perform well during any and all operations. They were new, experimental divisions with little real experience or support from their superiors. Because of this, they were used to complement and assist the army most of the time, but there were still some decisive battles that were the work of solely paratroopers. The men involved were at the top of their game by the time they got to the battlefields. They had the best training and equipment their country could provide and were utilized efficiently and effectively. Because of these factors paratroopers were some of the most important fighters during the war. Paratroopers played a big role in the outcome of World War II.
Each county had different standards to be accepted into the paratrooper program and different training regimens. The German paratrooper divisions were called Fallschirmjäger and were a branch of the Luftwaffe (Nazi Germany Air Force) and were involved with their army as well. The division was created in 1935 – one of the first paratrooper divisions in the world. They were searching for young, athletic, quick-witted, and aggressive young men to fill their ranks. In other words, they were amassing the best they had in an attempt to make them even better. This selection criteria would bring together a group able to put up with not only the physical strain, but the mental strain as well. During training, the German Army taught the men “to believe that his is the most important of all jobs – that he is even more valuable than the aces of the German Air Force.” This imbued them with a sense of pride and self-worth that they would carry with them throughout their careers as paratroopers. Along with this they were taught to take pride in everything they do and place emphasis on exact procedures. The idea was that if a man knows that he himself is going to use a parachute he’ll pack it with special care. Another big part of the training, both mental and physical, was practicing jumps. The men learned this essential skill from practicing on a jumping tower in all sorts of conditions. This built confidence in their own abilities while also teaching landing techniques (so they wouldn’t break legs or anything else when they hit the ground for real). The German paratroopers had a code they were expected to live by, called The Parachutist’s Ten Commandments, which basically said that they were the elite, they should be incorruptible, cultivate true friendships, and never surrender.
The British paratroopers were based off of the German...

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