Airborne Soldiers from around the world gathered in Normandy, France last month for the Anniversary of the Allied airborne drops that spearheaded the invasion on that “longest day” 70 years ago. Rangers travelled to Normandy and jumped from a Dakota onto the sacred ground of Normandy’s drop zones…
In this video we see some of the 68 Swedish Army Para Rangers, age 23 to 64, doing refresher training in Sweden and then jumping in Normandy to honor the airborne soldiers who fought for freedom all those years ago. For many of these guys, this was their first jump in more than 30-40 years. The Dispatcher (‘Jumpmaster’ in American jargon) seen in the video is the legendary Ian Marshal – of the Pathfinder Parachute Group.
Click on the picture below to jump to the video.
(hat tip to Alex Moodie)
(Hat tip to Jack Murphy for bringing this very good article to my attention.)
” Foreign Intrigue is pleased to provide an article from Guest Contributor Dave Coughran that was previously posted at the Harvard Kennedy School Review. The article examines unconventional warfare.
Dave is a 2014 Master in Public Policy candidate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, currently studying diplomacy and international affairs. Coughran completed two tours to Iraq as a Green Beret in the Special Forces. He speaks Arabic and has served in numerous advisory posts to militaries and governments from the Middle East.”
Read it here.
“Bastille Day” is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called Fête nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July).
The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.
The Bastille Day Military Parade is the French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880. Previously held elsewhere within or near the capital city, since 1918 it has been held on the Champs-Élysées, with the exception of the period of German occupation from 1940 to 1944 (when the ceremony took place in London under the command of General de Gaulle).
The parade passes down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand.
This year some troops marched in WWI uniforms (to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI – seen here flanking airborne soldiers of the Troupe de Marine fresh back from operations in central Africa.
President Hollande also invited detachments of troops from 72 other countries to take part in the parade and attend as guests this year.
David Axe of the “War Is Boring” blog has written an excellent article about the career of legendary French mercenary “Bob Denard”, and the rise of the modern Contractor industry.
Check it out: One Man Private Army
Just past midnight on the morning of June 10th, 71 years ago, an Airborne force comprised mainly of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division led the largest parachute assault by American forces to-date, into Sicily, as part of Operation Husky.
45 mph winds blew troop carriers off course and spread Paratroopers from Gela to Syracuse, Italy. By July 14th, about two-thirds of the 505th Regiment had managed to concentrate, half the Paratroopers failed to reach their rallying points.
In spite of these mishaps, the widespread landing of airborne troops had an overall positive effect as small isolated units, acting on their own initiative, attacked vital points and created widespread panic.
*Update* I had originally made the incorrect statement that this was the first airborne assault by American airborne forces in WWII. I’m afraid I didn’t remember my history as well as I thought I did – the FIRST airborne assault by American force in WWII was actually conducted by the 509th P.I.R. during the invasion of North Africa (“Operation Torch”). Thanks to LTC. RXXXXXX of the 101st Abn. Div. for bringing this to my attention.