and assuming that there were sufficient DFS230, tugs, and trained tug pilots for the 40-50+ gliders per battalion required.
Hi Rich, IIRC both Callum MacDonald and James Lucas note that gliders were actually in short supply after operations in Holland
Hence I assume gliders only being slated for one element of the entire airfield operation, the landings inside Lympne's chainlink...this op plus the assaults on the coastal batteries would soak up the available supply.(Have to see what more I can dig up on numbers...)
It's as well to recall the glider countermeasures the British had carried out; the staking of open spaces within a radius of five miles of important objectives, all straight roadways of a certain breadth, etc.; as well as this - the flightline at Lympne would likely have been ploughed up.
MacDonald also notes that another major training
gap was the attrition of trained FJ despatchers
- two per Ju52 - that the Ju52 losses in Holland and Norway entailed.
Overall I suspect that eight parachute and three glider battalions may have been provisionally ready for operations by the end of September, with probably on the order of 4,000 to 5,000 effectives all told, plus another 1,400 airlanding capable divisional troops in the rudimentary artillery, antitank, reconnaissance, and service elements of the division.
Again, both MacDonald and Lucas note that while blank files were
made up by volunteer replacements - time was needed to train and exercise these new arrivals into the sort of cohesive, high-performing light troops 7th Flieger had been....especially
to fight for x-hours (or days!) without support behind enemy lines.
It's interesting to note how late
in the Sealion preparations Goetzel and others were even tasked
to identify airfields for the FJ in Belgium and Northern France - the 7th/8th of September! Goeztel was ordered to prepare the identified 8 bases some days after
that...and a concentration plan was drawn up to timetable travelling/mustering etc. so that the FJ arrived at the eight locations from their depots in Germany within two days. Maybe it's just me - but that brings all the FJ's preparations perilously close to the mid-September Go/No-go decision point for invasion! I wonder if that's a reflection of just how long it took to get 7th Flieger into some
sort of fighting order...
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