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Enemy Air-Borne Forces, Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 7, December 2, 1942
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the wartime U.S. War Department publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The standard German arms containers are all dropped in a more or less similar manner. The parachute is attached to one end, which has a cylindrical projection slightly smaller in diameter than that of the body of the container and is 4 inches deep. Inside this ring there are two brackets or handles for the attachment of the parachute lines. It is not known for certain what device is used for obtaining a quick opening of the parachute, but it is believed that there is some small explosive charge fitted with a fuze giving a few seconds delay. The other or lower end of the container is reinforced by radial stiffening ribs which end in a circular flange about 1½ inches deep by 15 inches in diameter. The size of the parachute is such that containers fall at an approximate speed of 26 feet per second (18 miles per hour). To take the shock of falling on hard ground at this speed, they are provided with a shock absorber screwed into or clipped to the circular flange at the lower end. This is a cylinder, 15 inches in diameter by approximately 18 inches deep, made of some light metal of the appearance of aluminum and corrugated. When the container lands, this metal cylinder is crushed and thus absorbs the impact; it can be replaced if and when the container is dropped again.

For transporting on the ground, the containers are provided with four carrying handles, two on each side. They can also be mounted on a pair of balloon-tired bogie wheels and two or more can be towed one behind the other. For this purpose a trailing arm is fitted, which, when not in use, folds back into the container. The bogie wheels are apparently carried in the container itself ready for use on landing.

The containers are equipped on the inside with special devices for holding various types of equipment and supplies. A special carrier which hangs inside of the main container on straps is used for delivering small arms. All these carriers or holders are designed for quick release to facilitate recovery of arms and ammunition from the container by the parachute soldier in the shortest possible time.

The standard containers are carried inside the plane and released probably from a specially adapted bomb rack, at the same time as the parachutists themselves. The faster rate of fall of the containers insures that they arrive on the ground first.1 In dangerous areas, however, some containers may be carried by aircraft less defenseless than the Ju-52, such as the Ju-88 or the He-111.

1 It is also contended that containers are either dropped as bombs after parachutists have dropped or else one container is dropped after every third parachutist.


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