This is coolbert:
Allied and German forces both during World War Two [WW2] extensively employed gliders for their airborne operations. Glider-borne troops, following an initial parachute assault would bring reinforcement, supplies, heavier weapons, etc. right to the target consolidated in a unit, intact! A big advantage over parachute drops, which had a bad habit
of dispersing paratroopers over a wide area, sometimes far from the intended drop zone. Airborne troops, that when landing and dispersed, had a much more difficult time of accomplishing their mission.
The German did have a well thought out protocol
for parachute assault and further landings of airborne troops by glider. A lot of emphasis was placed on selection of suitable landing fields for gliders, and improvement where necessary.
Here thanks to the LoneSentry web site
. Reprints of intelligence bulletins from World War Two [WW2] as published by American G2:
"'How Paratroops Clear Fields for Gliders
from Intelligence Bulletin"
"The Germans are well aware that troops dropped by parachute must be supplied rapidly with sufficient reinforcements, equipment, ammunition, and rations . . . the Germans stipulate that the first mission
of certain designated paratroopers, on landing in the jump area, is to improvise a landing field for gliders."
Subsequent to an initial assault by paratroopers, glider landings are prioritized
* "Reinforcement by air-landing troops [glider-borne] is the first use
to which an improvised field is put."
* "Supplies which cannot be dropped are landed next
"RECONNAISSANCE FOR SUITABLE FIELDS
."An ideal field
, the Germans specify, is one which:
* "permits gliders to land regardless of the direction in which the wind is blowing."
The German preference is for:
* "a field near a road or path leading to the fighting troops."
* "It is regarded as essential that the surrounding obstacles permit a glide of at least '1 in 15.'"
[This means that the length of the landing field must be at least 15 times the height of the trees or other obstacles which fringe the field.]
* "provide each regiment with one glider landing field having at least two landing strips."
[American Special Operations troops employing gliders for long-range missions would not be landing in regimental force, perhaps only in company grade strength at the most.]
* "allow a number of gliders to land simultaneously."
The Germans regard the following as unfavorable features
* "very rocky, uneven ground"
* "stony ground where the stones go deeper than 2 feet"
* "swampy or wooded ground"
* "ground with thick vegetation, ditches, stone walls, hedges, wire fences, etc."
The following . . are described as favorable features
* "moderately soft ground with grass"
* "ground with tall grass and even a little vegetation"
* "farm land, even if furrowed"
* "corn fields (which are fairly easy to clear)"
* "sandy ground, even if it is somewhat pebbly"
Besides the above [preferences]:
* "the prevailing wind direction also influences the German choice of a field." CONSTRUCTION OF LANDING FIELDS
* "All obstacles are removed, not only from the landing strip, but from a zone 65 feet wide on each side of the strip."
* "Uneven ground is leveled."
" Although normally every precaution is taken to lessen the danger of crash landings, the Germans follow an interesting procedure"
Under these circumstances [unfavorable], if time is very short or if the terrain presents great difficulties:
* "the Germans clear at least one-third of the landing strip"
* "Just off the landing strips, parking areas are prepared for the gliders already landed."
* "These parking areas are so arranged as not to hinder further development of the landing strip"
* "Vegetation stripped from the landing field is saved, and is used in camouflaging the parked gliders."
* "The center of the landing strip is marked
with identification panels for air recognition"
* "the wind direction
is shown by a large T made with panels and, indicated when necessary, by smoke as well." NO!
A thousand times NO! DO NOT
mark the landing strip with identification panels made of cloth or similar substance. Mark with paint if possible. Use smoke to indicate wind direction - - YES!
With regard to marking a landing field for gliders with cloth identification panels or similar markers that might get thrown up into the air, again - - see too this previous blog entry of mine.
If and when the decision was ever made by the U.S. military to again employ military gliders, the experience, lessons-learned, doctrinal considerations are already on the books and ready-to-go! Re-inventing the wheel is not