History 101st Airborne Division

Airborne troops were deployed for the first time in World War II. The Germans were the first who worked with gliders and parachutists, and the allies were also soon forming airborne units. Very well known are the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Division, which among others took part in the invasion of France and the Netherlands.

General Eisenhower talks to the men before D-Day
General Eisenhower talks to the men before D-Day

The 101st Airborne Division was founded in 1942 and trained at Camp Toccoa in Georgia, USA. Thereafter, these troops were transported to England to prepare for the invasion of the European mainland. In June 1944 they jumped by parachutes prior to D-Day , behind enemy lines in Normandy. Enemy targets were eliminated to allow a good flow of forces from the landing beaches.

101st Airborne Division in Engeland
101st Airborne Division in Engeland

The division was deployed for Operation Market Garden in September 1944. On Dutch territory they participated in the liberation of Veghel, Eindhoven and Nuenen. Important railways and bridges were captured. In the winter of 1944 the division quickly moved to Bastogne to relieve this area during the Battle of the Bulge. The division withdrew during the final phase of the war to the south of Germany and discovered the concentration camp Landsberg in 1945. Finally, the paratroopers captured Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, and then it became known that Germany capitulated.