a. Introduction

A good many American fighting men have said that they would like to get a clearer mental picture of German parachutists—what they look like, how they train, what their standard tactics are, and in general how they do their job.

A common mistake is to imagine that the German parachutist is an ordinary infantryman who, on landing, goes into combat as a guerrilla fighter operating by himself, with help from any fellow-parachutists he may have the luck to meet. Actually, a German parachutist is a thoroughly trained specialist who fights as part of a well-organized unit. The German Army teaches him 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. After he has had a long, tough training in a parachutists' school, he is prepared not merely to jump well, but also to fight well. In fact, teamwork is the German parachutist's guiding principle.

b. Training

In choosing men who are to be sent to a parachutists' school, the German Army selects candidates who are young, athletic, quick-witted, and aggressive. Many of them are chosen with regard to certain special abilities (medical, engineering, and so on) which are just as much needed in parachute operations as in any other kind. During the training, emphasis is placed on exact procedures; for instance, a man packs a parachute with special care if he knows that he himself is going to use it. After proper physical conditioning, the candidate works from a jumping tower, practicing landing methods under different conditions. The school also requires, and develops, fearlessness; to illustrate, in a transport plane any sign of hesitation at the command "Jump!" may cost the candidate his membership in a parachute company.

However, parachute jumping is only a small part of the candidate's training, inasmuch as the German Army hopes to make him a useful member of a crack combat organization. He must know how to take part in what is called a "vertical envelopment"—that is, the capture of an area by air-borne troops.[1]

c. Tactics

Airfields and railway and highway junctions are likely to be among the foremost objectives of vertical envelopments. Usually they begin at dawn. To make the parachutist's task less difficult, the Germans send out bombers, dive bombers, and fighters ahead of time to place fire on the defenders' gun positions and to drive gun crews to cover. Special attention is paid to antiaircraft batteries.

Different German tactics may be expected, however, when a parachute unit is dropped on an area which in itself may not interest the Germans, but which may be reasonably near an airfield, a junction, or a communications center. In this case, whatever units are dropped will quickly try to assemble as a coordinated fighting force and then advance to carry out their mission.

The German method of releasing parachutists from transport planes over any given area is so carefully worked out that very little is left to luck. The planes are likely to arrive in flights of three. Arriving over their objectives, they may circle, and then fly at an altitude of 300 to 500 feet across the area where the parachutists are to land. Jumping is carried out in formation. An officer in the leading plane shows a yellow flag[2] two minutes before jumping as a sign to get ready. Half a minute before the jump, he shows a red and white flag. When the planes are over the area he pulls in the red and white flag. This is the signal to jump. If he waves both flags, crossing them back and forth, he is signalling "Don't jump!" At night, signals are given by colored flashlights, in which case red may mean "Get ready," green may mean "Half a minute to go," and white may mean "Jump!"

A leader in each plane gives the signal to jump by sounding an instrument like an automobile horn. Before jumping, the parachutists attach the ring of their parachutes to a wire running along the interior length of the aircraft on the right-hand side. The jump is made through the right-hand door, the ring yanking the cord of the parachute, which opens automatically after a 5-second delay (equal to a drop of about 80 feet). Equipment containers are dropped through the door on the left-hand side of the plane. Each container includes the equipment of three or four men, and is thrown out when, or just after, the men jump. The twelve men and four containers carried by each plane are supposed to be dropped within 9 to 10 seconds. When there is a delay, or when all the parachutists cannot jump while the plane is over the desired area, the plane will swing around in a circle and make a second run across the area.

Jumping at an altitude of 300 to 500 feet, the parachutists will reach the ground within 20 to 30 seconds.

The Germans have found it useful to attach parachutes of different colors to different kinds of loads. For example, a soldier's parachute may be a mixture of green and brown, to make him less conspicuous on the ground and to serve later as camouflage for captured motor vehicles. On the other hand, white parachutes may be used for equipment containers[3] and pink for medical supplies. The Germans are likely to change the meaning of these colors from time to time. Since parachutists can request extra supplies by laying strips of white cloth on the ground in certain formations, there is always a possibility that the opposition will find out the code, and deceive German aircraft into dropping such supplies as ammunition, food, and medicine.

d. Organization of Division

A brief discussion of how the German Flight Division VII—nicknamed the "Parachute Division"—was organized at the time of the capture of Crete will show some of the elements that may be expected in a German parachute attack. In May 1941, Flight Division VII was composed of the following units:

Parachute supply unit

Captured loading lists indicated a standard organization of 144 parachutists per company, carried in twelve aircraft, arranged in four flights of three aircraft each.

Before an attack, a parachute regiment may be reorganized to make its fire power more even. An exchange of platoons may be made between rifle companies and machine-gun and bomb-thrower companies so that, after the reorganization, each company may have, for example, two rifle platoons, a heavy machine-gun platoon, and a platoon of heavy bomb throwers.

e. The Parachutist's "Ten Commandments"

Here is a translation of a document captured from a German parachute trooper who was taken prisoner in Greece. Its title is "The Parachutist's Ten Commandments."

1. You are the elite of the German Army. For you, combat shall be fulfillment. You shall seek it out and train yourself to stand any test.

2. Cultivate true comradeship, for together with your comrades you will triumph or die.

3. Be shy of speech and incorruptible. Men act, women chatter; chatter will bring you to the grave.

4. Calm and caution, vigor and determination, valor and a fanatical offensive spirit will make you superior in attack.

5. In facing the foe, ammunition is the most precious thing. He who shoots uselessly, merely to reassure himself, is a man without guts. He is a weakling and does not deserve the title of parachutist.

6. Never surrender. Your honor lies in Victory or Death.

7. Only with good weapons can you have success. So look after them on the principle—First my weapons, then myself.

8. You must grasp the full meaning of an operation so that, should your leader fall by the way, you can carry it out with coolness and caution.

9. Fight chivalrously against an honest foe; armed irregulars deserve no quarter.

10. With your eyes open, keyed up to top pitch, agile as a greyhound, tough as leather, hard as Krupp steel, you will be the embodiment of a German warrior.


































5. 滑翔机和飞机

DFS 230是德国最早也是使用最频繁的滑翔机。这种滑翔机像它的运动滑翔机原型一样狭窄。这是一种由用钢管和帆布制.造的轻型滑翔机,拥有良好的滑翔性能。后期型号加装了一个阻拦伞,有些甚至在机鼻装上了阻推火箭。机轮在飞行中会被丢弃,降落时依靠机腹中间的滑橇。这种飞机可以运载驾驶员和9名士兵。乘员坐在机身中部,最后四个人面向机尾。唯一的门装在机身后部,但是两侧都有用于紧急离机的侧面出口。最后的型号在机顶安装了一挺机枪,由第一位乘员使用。这种滑翔机总共生产了超过2000架,牵引机主要是Ju-52,有时也使用亨克尔He-111。

GO242时作为一种容量比DFS 230大的滑翔机来设计的。首次服役是在1941年夏天,当德国伞兵的空降行动已经到了尾声阶段的时候。这种滑翔机和后来美军的C-119不同,它拥有一个货舱和两个小机身,货物经过机身后部的一扇向上开的活页门装入。每侧有两扇门,另外机舱前面也有一扇门。该种滑翔机由金属管、木板和帆布制.造。载重量最大4吨。可以运输20名以上的士兵或者轻型野战炮以及牵引车。GO 242滑翔性能不佳,脱离牵引后必须迅速着陆。总产量大约1500架,由Ju-52或者He-111来牵引。



6. 降落伞


7. 炮兵及特种装备


最成功的伞兵火炮也许是81mm K(Kurz,短)迫击炮,截短的炮管并没有影响它的威力。有些工兵部队使用46型一次性火焰喷射器(Einstossflammenwerfer 46),后来很多移交给党卫军使用。


8. 补给







1. 你是德军精锐,对于你来说战斗就应该是一件惬意的事情。你必须找到方法,训练自己抵抗一切困难。



4. 冷静而且谨慎,强壮而且坚定,英勇和好战精神将让你在战斗中无往不利。



7. 好的武器可以帮助你赢得胜利,所以请好好的照料它们。第一是武器,第二是自己。

8. 全面理解你的任务,这样如果你的指挥官死在半路上,你也能冷静的完成任务。

9. 带着骑士精神与敌人作战,对于背后放黑枪的人,不要做任何怜悯。















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