The Airborne Field Artillery: From Inception to Combat Operations
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In February 1942, the War Department established the first Airborne ARTILLERY Test Battery to conduct experiments and determine the feasibility of parachute field artillery. In just over a years time, the notion of airborne field artillery, which consisted of parachute and glider field artillery battalions, evolved from its inception to combat operations in Africa, Sicily and Italy. These campaigns would pave the way for what would be the biggest airborne drop and allied undertaking in history - D-Day, June 6, 1944. The challenge facing airborne field artillery forces was that its concept was new and evolving, but yet the greatest cross-channel invasion loomed just over the horizon. With these facts of history as background and given the 82nd Airborne Divisions previous combat experiences in Sicily and Salerno, what adaptations were made in the planning and development of the concept of operations with regard to the role the division artillery was expected to play in the execution of OPERATION NEPTUNE In order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, airborne doctrine as well as combat operations in Sicily and Italy was examined. Surprisingly, the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery did nothing different with regard to what was expected of them and their role in the initial invasion of Normandy.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics