We Speak from the Air - Broadcasts by the R.A.F.

54 WE SPEAK FROM THE AIR The Royal Air Force has had to produce the parachute equipment, the methods o f dropping and training, and to teach the troops all their air technique. Meanwhile, the Army have had to study die special organisation for fighting on die ground, the weapons and tactical training o f the paratroops. Starting widi the men themselves, they must be picked specimens, keen and determined and intelligent. It’s going to cost a packet to get them onto the job, so when they get there, each o f diem must give the best possible account o f himself. So, your parachutist is not the ape-faced all-in wrestler with a cauliflower ear, abut daring and clever man who feels that the only way to get the Germans down is to take the offensive, and who wants to do it as soon as possible. He must be physically very fit. The effect o f reaching the ground on a parachute is about the same as jumping from a io-foot wall, the height o fan average ceiling. And if there’s some wind and the parachute is drifting and swinging a bit, it’s as if he were jumping onto the deck o f a ship that is steaming full speed and rolling and pitching as well wr ith its deck covered with fences and hedges and trees as well as fields. Pretty exciting !The actual jump from the aircraft is specially important. The machine maybe travelling over the ground at a couple o f miles a minute. So, unless the men pop out o fit very quickly, you can imagine that they’ll land along way apart from each other, and some will not be in the right place at all. Jumping in quick succession means careful drill. The job o f flying the troops into the exact position for dropping is a Royal Air Force responsibility, as well as the whole organisation o f die air side o fan operation. Skilful piloting and accurate judgment are needed, and this is what makes an air-borne attack the perfect example o f co-operation between airmen and soldiers. Our omen, f course, always wear uniform. They are normal soldiers as much as the cavalry o f the last generation,
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