Supply drop for "Varsity" 1945

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by alberk, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Bedee, that's quite amazing! Two towers were built in the 30s to carry a high voltage power line across the Rhine. It could be one of those. I was not aware of these - so I stand corrected! Good job!
  2. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Judging by the following chart they were definitely a bit too far south...
    Route 24 March.png
  3. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Well-Known Member

    Great detail from everyone , all very interesting keep up the good work
  4. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    According the planned turn this could be aircrafts who supplied the US troops ?
    Another remarkable thing is that the Liberators fly from West to East when you go to 2:28 of the video.
    OR for me it looks like an airplane with a hooked Glider, coming from England ?

    But don't forget PLANNING and REALITY can be different.
  5. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Hi Bedee - yes, the Liberators are in the air on March 24th to supply the airborne troops on the ground, flying in from the southwest, flying back southeast. And you are right, the editor of this film at 2:28 put in towed gliders in flight towards or over the Rhine. That looks impressive in the film - but that was not the real story: When the Liberators arrived between 13.10 and 13.30 hrs all gliders had been released and had landed (or crashed) … so the narration in this film at 2:28 is making statements that are somewhat inaccurate. If you look at edited and narrated films of that era (and of other eras, too, I should add) these inaccuracies happen quite a lot - either they are deliberate or accidental. Remember - the guys who scripted and edited the films were far away from the action… so they on the one hand could be forgiven for getting some things wrong. On the other hand, wartime propaganda is really not all that reliable as far as the facts are concerned.
  6. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    This is a full film in colour (of sorts) and no sound that was made after the war - supposedly showing the Wesel mission. Not sure about the briefings and the take-off, but I believe the Wesel part only starts at 8:54. In between there is a flight over what I think is Cologne (with its cathedral) and some other footage that does not seem to belong here. Excerpts from this film of the Wesel supply drop were posted here further above but in even worse quality. The crash of two (in fact I can see three) Liberators is quite stark - as are the Liberators landing back in England at the end of the film, one of them making a crash landing sliding along the runway...
    Chicago Film Archive Catalogue
    BrianHall1963 and Cee like this.
  7. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    From the US Eigth Air Force Report on the supply drop:

    "Possible obstructions to low flying, such as high tension wires, towers, etc., should be carefully charted and described. On this mission the 445th Bomb Group reported that its lead Squadron' s bomb run was disrupted by a 'high tension wire suspended between two 400-foot towers' - yet the information, as provided, was that the only power line in the area was no higher than 90 feet or 100 feet. According to tho Commanding Officer of the 2nd Combat Wing, who flew in the lead aircraft, the Squadron was on course from the IP to the dropping zone. Tho two towers, one on each side of a road, were approximately 400 feet high, and located just east of Xanten between that town and the river. He believes the towers were used to carry the wire, of which there were five strands down and one strand still up, over the highway."

    Bedee - so far I have found not information regarding those towers near Xanten - the maps (1:25.000 from 1936 and 1944) do not show any power lines. And a search on the web did not turn up any references or pictures.

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