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.

The Story of Glider 46 – Kicking the Hornets’ Nest

Glider 46 landed in a hornets’ nest of Italian defences. For good measure it kicked the nest first by trying to land on the roof of a pillbox. Glider: CG-4A Waco 46, serial 246587. Tug: C-47, 41-38705, Nose (Sqn) No. … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Glider 52a – Out of the Firestorm

Glider 52a landed close to its LZ, descending out of a firestorm of searchlights and anti-aircraft fire. Glider: CG-4A Waco 52a, serial 42-73623. Tug: C-47, 42-23473, Nose (Sqn) No. 82, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier Wing USAAF. … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Glider 29 – A Tough Nut to Crack

Unlike most of the glider troops in Operation Ladbroke, the men in Glider 29 reached their objective and attacked it. Glider: CG-4A Waco 29, serial 277232. Tug: C-47, 42-23473, 11 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier Wing USAAF. Lead aircraft … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Glider Z – No Business Being There

Glider Z only flew in Operation Ladbroke because a senior officer wangled an extra tug plane. More than one commentator thought he had no business being there. Glider: CG4-A Waco Z, serial no. 277185. Tug: C-47, “Boy’s Boys”, serial no. … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Surgical Strike – the Bombing of Syracuse in Operation Ladbroke

Airborne assaults were vital to the invasion of Sicily, and the troops wanted shock and awe in the bombing of Syracuse. But the air forces kept them in doubt until the last minute. The plan for the bombing of Syracuse … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery Plane – Wellington Bomber Wreck off Cape Murro di Porco

For over 75 years the fate of a lost Wellington bomber remained a mystery. Detective work on land and in the sea has confirmed its fate and that of its crew. In September 2017 a friend of mine sent me … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Battlefield Visits, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Story: SAS SRS & Airborne – Agony & Ecstasy in the Med

While men of the SAS SRS assaulted a deadly gun battery, glider troops drowned in Operation Ladbroke. Returning later, the SRS remembered both the excitement and the horror.     .  There is a well-known photograph of SAS troopers of … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943, Photo Stories, SAS Special Raiding Squadron (SRS) in Sicily | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wilf Oldham – Ordeal by Water

Wilf Oldham risked being swept away crossing the River Rhine, as British troops escaped the destruction of 1 Airborne Division at Arnhem. It was not his first airborne fiasco, nor his first ordeal by water. First came Sicily. UPDATE – … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943, Veterans' accounts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Glider 57 – The Cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco

Waco glider 57 landed in the sea off Sicily, near the forbidding cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco. As the men floundered onto the wing, they came under fire. Glider: Waco 57 Tug: C-47, 41-18446, 7 Squadron, 62 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lt J S D Hardy, RSO of 1 Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke

Lt J S D Hardy was Regimental Signals Officer of the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke. This is his account. Lt J S D Hardy was part of the Battalion HQ team of 1 Border Regiment … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Archive Documents, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943, Veterans' accounts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Operation Ladbroke, Fustian, Glutton, Bigot, Husky – or not?

Operation Fustian or Marston? Glutton or Snowboots? Husky 2 or Mackall White? Operation Ladbroke or not? A wry look at the confusion caused by codenames. Codenames and codewords are designed to confuse the enemy. Unfortunately, they often also confuse their own … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Operation Husky - Sicily 1943, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Glider Y – Bayonets & Threats of Execution

Waco glider Y was posted missing in Operation Ladbroke. A recently discovered Italian report has the details: Y’s men were captured and interrogated. Bayonets were brandished, executions threatened. Glider: CG-4A Waco Y. Tug: Albemarle AC, P1557, 296 Squadron, 38 Wing … Continue reading

Posted in Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in All Posts, Battlefield Visits, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in All Posts, Archive Documents, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943, Veterans' accounts | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Chatterton vs Hopkinson – 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 there is no evidence … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in All Posts, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in All Posts, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in All Posts, Archive Documents, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in All Posts, Battlefield Visits, Glider Stories, Operation Ladbroke - Sicily 1943 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments