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overlord644
08-16-2007, 04:06 AM
while looking at a map of the Varsity Drop zones it occured to me that Paratroopers dropped near the bank of the Rhine would be looking eastward at enemy gun positions a few hours after Sunrise, and as we all know since the sun rises in the east, wouldn't this make for a visibility problem for allied Paratroopers who would find themselves staring into the Sun

Dallas
11-09-2007, 01:59 PM
You are correct. This happened for several reasons. The most obvious being that when attacking eastward in the morning you always run the risk of attacking into the Sun (you can always hope for a cloudy day). But the primary reason for the drops being so close to the river was the previous Allied Airborne operations in Holland. The Allies and the British in particular learned that Airborne forces cut off from support for any length of time face difficulties and possible defeat. So the drops were made relatively close to the river so they could link up quickly with advancing ground forces and were for the most part inside the Allied artillery fan.

overlord644
11-13-2007, 04:41 PM
well yes, that was the main reason for drops so close to the river, although its a shame it took so damn long to figure that little battle tactic out. I'm just suprised they would make the drop so early rather than around noon or in the afternoon. Imagine this your a 17th airborne trooper whose just landed and your taking heavy MG fire, however you can't maneuver around it or call in artillery or air support because you cant see where the damned thing is.

pdf27
11-13-2007, 05:36 PM
well yes, that was the main reason for drops so close to the river, although its a shame it took so damn long to figure that little battle tactic out. I'm just suprised they would make the drop so early rather than around noon or in the afternoon.
Nothing to do with the needs of the airbourne troopers. They're merely a small cog in a big operation - and the big operation needs a lot of daylight to succeed. Hence, the airbourne lot go in at the crack of dawn.


Imagine this your a 17th airborne trooper whose just landed and your taking heavy MG fire, however you can't maneuver around it or call in artillery or air support because you cant see where the damned thing is.
And the difference from broad daylight is? No sensible enemy is going to jump around in dayglo clothing, mooning you and shouting "shoot me, shoot me, please".

Nickdfresh
11-13-2007, 05:47 PM
I imagine that by the time the men of the 17th had collected themselves, formed up as units, and rallied towards their objectives that the sun was already in the sky anyways and Eos was finished...

In any case, there was little choice regarding the sunrise blinding thing, since the Western Allies were attacking east and would always have the sun in their eyes in the morning. I don't think they often waited until late afternoon to initiate attacks...