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Operation Varsity

   
 

Operation Varsity


C-47 cargo planes release hundreds of paratroops during Operation Varisty:

C-47 cargo planes release hundreds of paratroops during Operation Varisty
Operation Varsity was the Allied (British, Canadian and American) airborne operation that took place at Wesel, Germany on March 24th 1945. The purpose of the operation was to gain a foothold across the Rhine, so that Allied forces could cross into Germany and bring the Second World War to a successful conclusion.

The operation was the largest airborne operation in history, and involved the British 6th Airborne Division (which included a Canadian Parachute Battalion), and the US 17th Airborne Division. The troops were deployed using 540 C-47 Skytrain aircraft, 72 C-46 Commando aircraft, and 1,300 gliders.

All objectives were achieved within 24 hours, including capturing bridges over the river and linking up with Allied ground troops. Allied forces did however suffer heavy losses; 1,111 dead, 1,625 wounded, and 50 aircraft and 11 gliders shot down.


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