The important role of parachutes and parachuters in war times are not to be taken lightly but as this article from 1944 shaw us they are not be taken too seriously either.
Suppose, for a minute, that you could see an airborne division land. In less time than it takes a crew of circus roustabouts to fill a vacant lot with tents and animals, a field would be filled with warriors and weapons. Brightly colored parachutes, popping out of low-flying planes like flags from a magician’s hat, would briefly cover acres of sky. Fleets of boxcars beneath wings without motors would coast over tree-tops and land in rows like parked automobiles. Out of parachuted bundles, and out of the noses of gliders, would come cannon and ammunition wagons, jeeps, motorcycles, trucks, and nearly all the other paraphernalia of a modern mechanized army.The inspiration of the writer of the original article named Volta Torrey by the possibilities in the use of gliders and parachuters was certainly shared by many many people in the army. Well he got some of the possibilities right and the military use of gliders and paracuters is really important as means of delivering food and supplies to areas that can’t be accessed by foot, of getting people deep into enemy lines for secret missions and for many other tasks. Still the optimistic expectations of the writer were really really over optimistic, read for yourself
ADDITION of a vertical flank to America’s armies has hastened victory. Napoleon could not cross the English channel, but General Eisenhower could—with the help of airborne divisions. In the Orient, too, these “sons o’ guns with tons o’ guns” have literally leaped forward. Flying infantrymen are one of this war’s most spectacular and significant developments, and may be a means of preventing a third world war. “The day will most assuredly come,” says Maj. Gen. F. A. M. Browning, commander of Britain’s first airborne division, “when airborne armored forces will control the world, and the inhuman, though at present inevitable, bombing of women and children, inherent in strategic bombing, will be a barbaric relic of the past.”
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