6. Understanding of following definitions is necessary to study the subject in detail:-
a. Air Assault. Is an attack against a terrain feature or other objective held by enemy forces executed by a force carried to the place of the attack by aircraft or by a helicopter .
b. Airborne/Airmobile/Air lift Operations. These are the operations characterized by an assault on enemy forces immediately after the respective dedicated troops have landed from aircraft .
7. Airborne forces can be divided into three categories which can be defined as follows:-
a. Paratroops. These are the forces landed by parachute from an aircraft .
b. Air Landing Troops. These are the forces landed usually by glider .
c. Airmobile Infantry or Air Assault Troops. These are the forces transported to the battle field by helicopter or by an aircraft.
8. Early History
a. Individual Contributions
(1) Benjamin Franklin. An American inventor, Benjamin Franklin, (17 January 1706 – 17 April 1790), envisioned a time when soldiers would be delivered from the sky, with a crude, rudimentary understanding of parachutes .
(2) Napoleon. When Napoleon was massing his barges at Boulogne, it was suggested that balloons should be used to carry assault troops, across the English Channel .
(3) Brigadier General Billy Mitchell . The first modern consideration of the use of what we now call a Paratroops force dates back to 1918. Towards the end of World War I, Brigadier General Billy Mitchell suggested dropping elements of the United States 1st Infantry Division behind German lines near Metz.
b. Development of the Airmobile Force Concept – Involvement of Nations
(1) Italy – The Pioneer in the Field. The first true paratroops drop was carried out by Italy in November 1927 . Within a few years two elite Forgoer and Nembo divisions were formed.
(2) USSR Joins the Race. To train enough experienced jumpers, parachute clubs were set up all over Russia with the aim of being able to transfer skilled members (or at least the men) into the armed forces if needed. The plan had progressed to the point that their large drops were demonstrated to foreign observers in 1936 .
(3) Germany Makes Advancement. In 1936, a parachute school was established. The German army had already purchased large numbers of Junkers Jug 52 aircraft which were now modified (slightly) for use as Paratroops transports in addition to their other duties .
c. Employment of Airborne Concept – WW II. Air mobility has been a key concept during World War II. Various operations conducted by Axis and Allied forces are as under:-
(1) German Operations
(a) Operation Weserübung – Invasion of Norway . In 1940 a company of paratroopers was dropped to seize Oslo’s undefended airstrip in support of impending naval operation. Owing to sheer
PART-I THE CONCEPT Definition 6