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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 enemy was apparently satisfied with the success of the glider both in Belgium and in the Mediterranean. In Crete, however, it was found that the gliders were vulnerable if they came low near Allied troops. Their flight was very slow, and the crews could be killed before landing; hits in the forward part resulted in crashes, the pilot being killed or the reserve ammunition exploded. Where the ground was rocky, gliders were badly smashed on landing, and the crews and their equipment severely damaged. Some further disasters were due to mistakes by pilots; tow ropes snapped, owing, for instance, to the towing aircraft's making too short a turn, and gliders were released prematurely. This last mistake cost the lives of Major General Sussmann and his staff. In 1941-2, the construction of German gliders and the training of glider pilots was increased, and gliders were extensively employed for conveying material to North Africa. Their use is not restricted by any lack of air bases, for standard types of tow-planes like the Ju-52 do not require especially long runways. The latest gliders have been seen on some German airdromes which not only are small but which have no runways at all.

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