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AMERICAN Airborne invasion

Saturday 6 January 2001

The objective of the American air drop was to protect the west flank of the landings and cut off the Cherbourg peninsula· There were several spécial objectives such as taking bridges on the river Mederet, controling the roads across the floods behind Utah beach and taking St Mere Eglise.

The operation was devided between two divisions of paratroopers. The 82nd division dropped in the area around St Mere Eglise to form a bridgehead around the Mederet and take St Mere Eglise. The 101st div came down to the east nearer the beach and was to gain control of the marsh roads and take a battery at St Martin de Varaville.

The drops were even more chaotic than the British drop. As the planes carrying the paratroops crossed the coast, they ran into low cloud. Many of the planes went off cours in the cloud and others were confused by the sight of some floods that hadn’t shown up on photographs.

image 213 x 158

Out of 6,600 men in the 101st division only 1,100 regrouped by dawn of the 6th.Some men found them selves 40 miles away. This great dispersal surprisingly enough helped the allies. Enough men fell in the right places to carry out their objectives, and the sight of odd groups of american soldiers over an area of 100 square miles threw the Germans into confusion. The Americans knew what was happening but didn’t know where they were. The germans knew where they were but didn’t know what was happening.

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