By James E. Mrazek
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Extra info for Airborne Combat: The Glider War/Fighting Gliders of WWII
Panzer Aces Panzer Aces II Panzer Aces III Panzer Commanders of the Western Front Panzergrenadier Aces Panzer Gunner The Panzer Legions Panzers in Normandy Panzers in Winter The Path to Blitzkrieg Penalty Strike Poland Betrayed Red Road from Stalingrad Red Star under the Baltic Retreat to the Reich Rommel’s Desert Commanders Rommel’s Desert War Rommel’s Lieutenants The Savage Sky Ship-Busters Siege of Küstrin, 1945 The Siegfried Line A Soldier in the Cockpit Soviet Blitzkrieg Stalin’s Keys to Victory Surviving Bataan and Beyond T-34 in Action Tank Tactics Tigers in the Mud Triumphant Fox The 12th SS, Vol.
The leaders encouraged him to build model aircraft and gave him frequent opportunities to exhibit his workmanship and fly his models. The principles of elementary aerodynamics were gradually instilled. When he reached the age of fourteen, a boy became qualified to join the flying branch of the HJ. He then started primary flying instruction on straight flight and lateral control, using the Zegling glider, an open cockpit single seater. The youth then advanced to a closed-cockpit single seater, such as the Baby Grunau, and learned to make turns.
They made their hazardous flights in these fabric-covered, motorless and unprotected craft, while buffeted by gusting winds and their tow-plane’s propeller blast; flew so slowly that they became sitting ducks for enemy antiaircraft weaponry; and finished their one-way ride skidding or crashing into enemy strongholds. Americans appropriately called them the “towed-target” infantry. Their story has few antecedents and fewer residues. It is contained in a five-year span of history. The glider had no wartime predecessor, in contrast to many weapons used during World War II.