Unit History

 

As can be seen on the left is a version of the Normandy D-Day landings

campaign map, the Unit that our group portrays in Normandy is the 1st

Demolition Squad who were part of the 101st Airborne Division.

As can be seen on the map the 101st were dropped in the Carentan area

{left of the map} but in reality were blown off course and were landed all

over the place.

The unit we portray the 1st Demolition section only comprised a few platoons

of trained Engineers attatched to the 506th Regt of the 101st Division.

Their job as Engineers were to clear the way for the main force of Airborne

troops such as destoying bridges, disrupting enemy communication by

destroying telegraph poles/lines and railway lines, basically stopping and

hampering enemy troop movement, they combat jumped into Normandy

but carried explosives and TNT to carry out their job.

The element of the 1st Demo squad were Red Indian decent "Choctaw Indian"

and prior to the Normandy jump some members applied war paint and had Red Indian "mohawk" haircuts {see pics}


The next portrayal our group shows is a generic element from the 1st British

Airborne Division, this Division had seen service in Sicily 1943 and were

being trained in readiness for D-Day but instead were held back for the next phase which was "Operation Market Garden" which took place in Holland

17th-25th Sept 1944 {see map on left}.

The plan was to drop Airborne troops near a series of bridges and were 

ordered to hold them until the Armoured contingent [50 Corps} met up 

with each bridge along the way, the 1st Airborne Division were assigned

the Arnhem bridge, the Division were led by Major Gen Urquart on the 

ground with General  Browning in command, the plan was formulated by

Field Marshall Montgomery.

Unfortunately the mission failed, there were a few reasons but mainly the 

Armoured Corps could not reach the bridge at Arnhem in time, also there

happened to be two SS Panzer Regiments that had been moved to the area.

In the end most of the Airborne troops managed to pull out one evening in

a covert op by rubber dingy across the Rhine, but sadly had to leave their wounded behind [see pics on left}


The last portrayal and newest is of the 1st Fallschirmjager Division [German

Paratroopers}, known as "Grune Teufel" green devils.

The 1st Division first saw action in Holland in 1940, their famous capture of

the fortress "Eben Emael" shoed they were a force to be reckoned with, later

the 1st Division were sent to the Greek Island of Crete in May 1941 when they

captured the island from British and Commonwealth troops there, losses were high as the men were parachuted in daylight some drowning in the sea, Hitler

proclaimed there were to be no more Airborne operations but still were carried

out. The next theatre of operations for the 1st Division was Sicily to stop the

Allied landings there in July 1943, other Fallschirm units saw service in Russia

and North Africa but the 1st Division were sent to Italy in Aug 1943 and stayed

there until the Wars end being moved from battle to battle, they were called

"Hitlers Fire Brigade" because they were moved from one hot spot to another.

Our group portrays elements of the 1st Division at Monte Cassino which took

place in Italy between Feb-May 1944 [see pic on left}