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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 first task of parachute troops is to collect and assemble weapons and munitions dropped separately by parachute, for the men are comparatively lightly armed for the drop. (While they are getting out of their harness and collecting arms and equipment from containers, parachutists are by no means defenseless, for they have their carbines, pistols, and grenades). In Crete, however, those who dropped in areas occupied by Allied troops suffered such heavy casualties that their inclination was to hide and take no active part in proceedings for several hours. Experience showed that parachute troops were most vulnerable for the few minutes after they had landed, but if they were given time to assemble into organized bodies, they recovered their morale. The enemy has learned the lesson that it is disastrous to drop parachute troops actually among the defending troops. Also, in the future the enemy will probably make every effort to drop even heavy equipment complete and ready for action, if possible without containers.

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