World War II Vertical Envelopment: The German Influence on U.S. Army Airborne Operations

Sheehan, Thomas J.

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This study traces the development of the United States Army’s airborne concept during World War II. More than any other precedent, German airborne operations against Crete influenced the evolution of U.S. Army airborne doctrine, organization, and utilization. Consequently, the author compares the U.S. and german airborne experiences, with an emphasis on the former.<p> The formative period ran from 1940 through May 1941, while the expansion period extended into 1943. A major point of departure