Category Archives: Operation Ladbroke – Sicily 1943

Operation Ladbroke buttonPosts and articles about Operation Ladbroke, the mass glider assault that opened Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.

Operation Ladbroke Sites – the Coup-de-Main Objectives

Ever wondered exactly where the Operation Ladbroke sites are in Sicily? Here’s a handy battlefield guide to the South Staffords’ coup-de-main objectives.  Please note: it may not be safe or possible to visit some of the Operation Ladbroke sites. See the warning at the bottom of … Continue reading

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Italian Cavalry Attack British Glider Troops on the Ponte Grande Bridge

The source was impeccable: the BBC. The news was incredible: Italian cavalry had charged British airborne troops holding the Ponte Grande bridge. In the middle of WW2, could it possibly be true? The thunder of hooves, clods of earth flying, weapons … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 52 & Gozo in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 52 had one of the more unusual stories of navigation failure in Operation Ladbroke. Uniquely, it landed on the tiny island of Gozo. Glider: CG-4A Waco 52, serial 245690. Tug: C-47, 41-18334, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier … Continue reading

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Hopkinson vs Chatterton – the Facts

There is a story about Lt Col Chatterton and Maj Gen Hopkinson and the genesis of Operation Ladbroke that is so pervasive that it has almost become gospel. Certainly it seems to go completely unchallenged. But is there any evidence … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster? Part 3

In his post-war book, the CO of the glider pilots blamed their ‘limitations’ for the ‘near disaster’ of Operation Ladbroke. Is the accusation true? In Part 1 we saw how the use of gliders in Operation Ladbroke, the opening assault in … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 70 – Disaster for Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 70 landed in the sea off Sicily. So did the other two gliders full of medical men attached to 1 Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke. This was a disaster not just for the medics, but also the men … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster? Part 2

The CO of the glider pilots blamed their ‘limitations’ for the ‘near disaster’ of Operation Ladbroke. That was later. What did he say at the time? In Part 1 we saw how Operation Ladbroke, the glider assault that opened the invasion of … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 26 – Combat Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Glider 26 carried a surgical team in the invasion of Sicily. According to contemporary reports, the medics not only saved lives, but they also fought to do so. Glider: CG4-A Waco 26, serial no. 243811. Tug: C-47 or C-53, serial 41-18418, nose (squadron) … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster?

After the failures of Operation Ladbroke, recriminations flew in every direction. The glider pilots were not exempt. Surprisingly, their own commander later blamed them the most. “It was … the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life”, the … Continue reading

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South Staffords near Syracuse – rare photograph

South Staffords glider troops photographed near Syracuse on the day after the epic battle for the Ponte Grande bridge – a unique picture, a dramatic story. Photographs of airborne troops taken during Operation Ladbroke, the glider assault that began the Allied invasion … Continue reading

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Unpublished shot of a tank on the Ponte Grande

A previously unseen film shows what the heroic defence of the Ponte Grande bridge by British glider troops was all about – tanks and vehicles crossing, headed into Syracuse. This is the remarkable story of how that footage came to be taken. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 126 – Operation Ladbroke

Glider 126 made a good landing not far from the LZs, a rare occurrence in Operation Ladbroke. This is the story of the men who flew in her and fought for the Ponte Grande bridge. Glider: Waco 126, “Lil Miss-Take”, serial no. … Continue reading

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The Lost Photos of Operation Ladbroke

Somewhere somebody has an album with some unique, unpublished photographs of Operation Ladbroke in it. Historians have seen them, but nobody knows where they are now. A plea for bringing them to light. I’m hoping readers may be able to … Continue reading

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Nothing Is Impossible by glider pilot Victor Miller – Book Review

‘Nothing Is Impossible’ is the best account we have of Operation Ladbroke by somebody who was there. Now the second edition greatly expands Victor Miller’s account. Review of ‘Nothing is Impossible – A Glider Pilot’s Story of Sicily, Arnhem and … Continue reading

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Battle plans for Staffords glider troops in Operation Ladbroke in Sicily

The 2nd battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment was chosen as the leading glider assault troops for Operation Ladbroke, the opening move of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. These are the orders they were given just days before the battle. … Continue reading

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Terror off Terrauzza – Operation Ladbroke gliders in the sea

 A peaceful beach today was once a scene of death. Its horror was painstakingly photo-graphed by the cameramen of a US film unit. Their images reveal a harrowing truth about Operation Ladbroke. In the corner of the bay where the cliffs of the Maddalena … Continue reading

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Galpin’s Glider – New photo of Operation Ladbroke’s star landing

Staff Sergeant Dennis Galpin’s glider landing during Operation Ladbroke was famously perfect. But where was it exactly? And is that his glider in the well-known photo? There is a well-known photograph of a Horsa glider taken in Sicily after Operation Ladbroke (see it … Continue reading

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Operation Ladbroke, Sicily: Tugs to blame for releasing gliders?

American tug pilots in Operation Ladbroke were roundly condemned for unilaterally releasing their gliders, many of which landed in the sea off Sicily. Is there more to the story? Previously unpublished evidence helps clarify an enduring mystery. Squadron Leader Lawrence Wright was … Continue reading

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German predictions for Operation Ladbroke & airborne landings in Sicily

German General Kurt Student’s June 1943 report reproduced in full.  One month before Operation Ladbroke, the opening glider assault in Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, the leader of Germany’s airborne forces produced an intelligence report. It predicted with startling … Continue reading

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Greatest Feats, Feats Forlorn: Jim Wallwork, Pegasus Bridge & Operation Ladbroke

The Horsa glider coup-de-main landings in Sicily and Normandy are umbilically linked. The one gave birth to the other. Glider pilot Jim Wallwork, justly remembered for his extraordinary feat at Pegasus Bridge, was also present in Sicily, although with somewhat different … Continue reading

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