Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Lone Star was a soldier company I avoided, they were based in Southgate paid bad wages Im told and produced cynically made soldiers for kids. So I never bought them.
Impressed by the success of German airborne operations, during the Battle of France, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, directed the War Office to investigate the possibility of creating a corps of 5,000 parachute troops. On 22 June 1940, No. 2 Commando was turned over to parachute duties and on 21 November, re-designated the 11th Special Air Service Battalion, with a parachute and glider wing.It was these men who took part in the first British airborne operation, Operation Colossus, on 10 February 1941. In September, the battalion was re-designated the 1st Parachute Battalion and assigned to the 1st Parachute Brigade.To fill out the brigade, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Parachute Battalions were raised by asking for volunteers from all units in the British Army.
The first operation by the Parachute Regiment was Operation Biting in February 1942. The objective was to capture a Würzburg radar on the coast of France. The raid was carried out by 'C' Company, 2nd Parachute Battalion, under the command of Major John Frost.
The success of the raid prompted the War Office to expand the existing airborne force, setting up the Airborne Forces Depot and Battle School in Derbyshire in April 1942, and creating the Parachute Regiment as well as converting a number of infantry battalions into airborne battalions in August 1942.The 2nd Parachute Brigade was then formed from the 4th Battalion, and two of the converted infantry battalions.[ The Army Air Corps was created as the command formation of the Parachute Regiment and the Glider Pilot Regiment.With two parachute brigades now in the order of battle, the 1st Airborne Division commanded by Major-General Frederick Browning was formed. By the end of the war, the regiment had raised 17 battalions.Most of them served in the 1st Airborne Division, 6th Airborne Division and the independent 2nd Parachute Brigade in Africa and Europe. In India, the 50th Indian Parachute Brigade and the 77th Indian Parachute Brigade also contained British parachute battalions.


The Parachute Regiment had their own distinctive uniform: the maroon beret at first with the Army Air Corps cap badge and from May 1943 the Parachute Regiment cap badge which is still in use today.Parachute wings were worn on the right shoulder above the airborne forces patch of Bellerophon riding the flying horse Pegasus.On operations, Paras wore the airborne forces pattern steel helmet instead of the normal British Brodie helmet. Initially they wore a 'jump jacket' modelled on the German Fallschirmjäger jacket. After 1942, the Denison smock was issued as the first camouflaged uniform for the British Army. In 1943, a green sleeveless jacket was designed to wear over the Denison smock when parachuting.British Paras did not use a reserve parachute, as the War Office considered the £60 cost a waste of money.
The Parachute Regiment were not issued any special weapons. Their small arms were the same as the rest of the army's: the bolt action Lee-Enfield rifle and the Enfield or Webley revolver or the M1911 pistol. For a submachine gun, they used the British Sten, which was issued in higher numbers than to a normal infantry battalion.Each section had a Bren light machine gun and a 2-inch mortar. The only battalion heavy weapons were eight 3-inch mortars, four Vickers machine guns and after 1943, ten PIAT anti tank weapons.

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