Fallschirmjäger drop

HansK

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Guys,

American/British paratroopers approaching a drop zone were getting ready for the jump when a light on board the Dakota/C-47 went on and next, helped by a jumpmaster, dropped on a green light. Or at least, that is the basic idea (more or less).

How did this work with the German Fallschirmjäger? Did the Ju-52's also have a lighting system for this purpose? Did they use the same procedure as the Allies?

What orders were given while preparing for the jump and getting out of the aircraft?

I tried to find some information on this, but unsuccessful sofar. (btw, I can read German, so being pointed to German language sources on this would not be a problem.)
 

Bob Walters

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One thing cool about AH's Air Assault on Crete is that it included a bibliography that listed sources. It also had some interesting background information on the Fallschirmjager.
 

jrv

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See https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/104-13/104-13.htm, search for "absetzer".

"Next to the pilot, the most important man in the flying crew was the airborne combat observer, or, as the troops called him, the jump-master (Absetzer), that is, the man who gave the signal to jump. The jumpmaster should be an extremely well-trained observer and bombardier. In the German airborne forces he was just the opposite. The jumpmasters were not taken from the flying personnel of the Luftwaffe but from the airborne troops; from time to time, the various parachute units had to release one or two men for training as jumpmasters, and with the inherent selfishness of any unit they naturally did not release their best men but rather their worst, who for some reason or other could no longer be used as paratroopers. If this reason was a combat injury, the men might still have served their purpose, but more often than not the reason was lack of personal courage or intelligence. The jumpmasters selected in this negative manner were trained at a jumpmasters' school by instructors who had been detailed from the flying personnel of the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe did not release its best instructors for this purpose. After this deficient training the jumpmaster waited in some troop-carrier unit, like the fifth wheel on a wagon, until he was needed for an airborne operation, meanwhile forgetting what little he had learned at the school. For, like bombing or firing a weapon, dropping paratroops is a matter of practice, of constant uninterrupted practice. The German jumpmasters were completely lacking in this practice. In almost every airborne operation the consequences were disastrous. During the Crete operation at least one platoon of each battalion was landed incorrectly; at Maleme entire companies were dropped into the sea because the jumpmasters-out of fear, as the paratroopers afterwards claimed-had given the signal too early; during the Ardennes operation one company was dropped on the Rhine north of Bonn instead of south of Eupen, and the majority of the signal platoon of that company was dropped south of Monschau directly in front of the German lines."

JR
 

jrv

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HansK

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Thanks for the help, guys. Much appreciated!
 
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