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Thread: Paratroopers

  1. #1
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    Default Paratroopers

    In most films of WWII i've seen , all the paratroopers , they carry some rope . From the movie i think the rope is to thin , so probably it's not for climbing , i guess. Does anyone knows what was this rope for ?
    Respectfully Kall

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Paratroopees

    Quote Originally Posted by kallinikosdrama1992 View Post
    In most films of WWII i've seen , all the paratroopers , they carry some rope . From the movie i think the rope is to thin , so probably it's not for climbing , i guess. Does anyone knows what was this rope for ?
    I believe it was to give them an escape rope to climb down on if they were caught in a tree or church steeple or something.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Never saw nor heard of such a thing.

    My father was 506th PIR in WW2 and I went to jump school in 1967.
    I was on jump status 3 1/2 years.
    I have seen one million paratrooper movies and clips and lived the real thing.
    No ropes.

    One method of climbing down from something is to deploy your reserve and climb down it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    A length of rope, called a 'toggle rope' was standard issue for Australian troops in Vietnam.

    The toggle rope, originally made of hemp with a timber toggle, was intended to be linked together for a variety of purposes. It was issued during the Vietnam War as 'Fibre rope assembly, single leg, polyester fibre, 1-in circ. 9ft long'. Although the timber toggle was no longer attached it was still universally known as a togle rope.
    http://www.remlr.com/roseworthy/issued_kit/index.html

    My training at the time, which was derived from field experience, was that the toggle rope could be linked with other toggle ropes for various purposes, including turning over enemy bodies from a safe distance to avoid booby trap injuries.

    Another use was to put a number of canteens on a rope and send one man to refill them, thus avoiding reducing the section / platoon effectiveness to any great extent.

    A mate of mine found that this wasn't the best part of his service in Vietnam when various factors resulted in the wrong smoke being thrown as an air strike was called in when his platoon should have been out of the firing line. He saw what was coming but felt he was running in slow motion until he realised that he was dragging a swag of canteens he'd just filled. He moved a lot quicker when he slipped the toggle rope holding the canteens.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    And here is a toggle rope wound as I remember it, but the ones I knew didn't have the wooden toggle but otherwise were wound the same way.
    http://cas.awm.gov.au/heraldry/REL34788
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    We used the toggle ropes also, RS. The two main use we put them to were: linking any number of them togetherr to form a rope for river crossing; and to wrap around a log for log racing.

    http://www.army.mod.uk/images/image-..._Course307.jpg

    We normally carried them wrapped about our waists, fastened at the front by the toggle.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


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  7. #7
    johnd Guest

    Default Re: Paratroopers

    thanks for that information. i didn't know much about paratroopers really.
    Last edited by Procyon; 11-16-2009 at 12:59 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Quote Originally Posted by forager View Post
    Never saw nor heard of such a thing.
    Scroll down this site. Here's a famous picture of Ike in WWII. Look at paratrooper on left. What's that hanging down?? A rope! Every paratrooper carried one.
    Didn't anyone see "Band of Brothers"??
    Google "paratrooper letdown rope" and see all the repros being sold.

    http://www.olive-drab.com/od_soldier...ratroopers.php

    WWII Brits carried a toggle rope to make rope bridges in jungles.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Quote Originally Posted by bltjr1951 View Post
    Scroll down this site. Here's a famous picture of Ike in WWII. Look at paratrooper on left. What's that hanging down?? A rope! Every paratrooper carried one.
    Didn't anyone see "Band of Brothers"??
    Google "paratrooper letdown rope" and see all the repros being sold.

    http://www.olive-drab.com/od_soldier...ratroopers.php
    As I share the pilots' view that it is insanity to leap voluntarily into the sky from a perfectly serviceable aeroplane, I don't know what the letdown rope was intended to do.

    Was it to enable a stranded paratrooper to descend from a tree etc?

    Or did it carry the equipment bag suspended below him during his descent?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Maybe they ment to throw it around a limb and swing from tree to tree like Tarzan.

    After all, they were one tough bunch of fit men.

    Deaf

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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    what the letdown rope was intended to do.
    Was it to enable a stranded paratrooper to descend from a tree etc?
    Yes, yes it was. After jump, you never see them in pictures. They are dumped with chute and harness.

    Ya know, it's amazing with this thing called "google", that you can search the WWW to see what a "let-down rope" is for. I had to buy books to read and look at pictures to see what WWII soldiers wore and used. "Band of Brothers" book doesn't mention rope in it's jump equipment info. Yet, the movie/series shows them with rope all over the jump field, one para calls it "this BS".
    You should go to WWII reenactor's sites and read what some say. "If there's no picture, it never happened." Even Vets can't remember what they wore or used, unless they have a picture of themselves. After 65 years, I don't think I could remember what I wore or used either. One guy said he didn't remember what stuff was called, he was just issued it and everything was OD green. What did you have for lunch last month? People are even now trying to figure out what camo was worn in Desert Storm.
    My first backpack, when I was 5, was a musette bag one of my family brought back.

    BTW, that picture of Ike, in two of my books, it's been "cropped" so you don't see trooper with
    rope.
    Last edited by bltjr1951; 11-26-2009 at 12:00 AM. Reason: BTW

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    And here is a toggle rope wound as I remember it, but the ones I knew didn't have the wooden toggle but otherwise were wound the same way.
    http://cas.awm.gov.au/heraldry/REL34788
    And I saw one as I remember it this weekend in one of the many excellent displays of Vietnam gear at the Vietnam Veterans' Museum http://www.vietnamvetsmuseum.org/default.asp
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    People are even now trying to figure out what camo was worn in Desert Storm.
    We wore "chocolate chip" in Desert Storm. Combat performance showed us that the camouflage wasn't really the best for desert warfare, so design went into the later "DCU" that was more similar to the woodland BDUs of the day

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Don't want to hijack thread, but I've got a set of "chip" camo.
    Some folks say that "woodland" camo was worn during "Desert Storm".

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Paratroopers

    Most of the chemical-proof gear was printed in woodland BDU, so you see a lot of that in pics from Desert Storm. Then again, when you're in the desert, there's not much that can hide you anyways

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