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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.]


During raids on large tenement districts outside Berlin in the autumn of 1933, Nazi police officers are said to have found that they could make surprise raids better by parachute than by road vehicle. The Russians, to be sure, had already shown the way to mass parachuting. A military parachute troop, as mentioned above, was formed in Germany in the autumn of 1935. In the following year, an experimental staff at Rechlin was conducting serious experiments with parachute troops, commanded by the then Brigadier General Kurt Student. Then aged about 45, he had fought in both the German Army and the German Air Force during World War I and later had been an infantry officer in the "100,000 Army"; subsequently he had been one of the leading personalities in the creation of the new German Air Force. About 1936, from the General Goering Regiment was formed the German 1st Parachute Regiment, which had its headquarters at Stendal, 60 miles west of Berlin. By 1939 the three battalions of this regiment were expanded into regiments and along with the 7th Signal Battalion became the component elements of the 7th Air-Borne Division, called the 7th Air Division by the British. Serving as the divisional commander, Brigadier General Student was promoted to be Major General early in 1940, the year that the Divisionís regiments and battalions, operating individually rather than collectively, saw service in Holland, Belgium, and Norway. In Crete, the 7th Air-Borne Division operated as the main element of the XIth Air-Borne Corps, and by the end of May 1940 Student was a Lieutenant General.

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