This German-made film which was captured by U.S. forces and then released by the United States War Department as Sky Blitz (1944) shows the airborne branch of the German Luftwaffe known as Fallschirmjäger (Literally “Huntsman”) re-enacting the paratrooper operations which led to the German conquest of the Netherlands in May 1940.
The Fallschirmjäger were created and commanded by Colonel-General Kurt Student (1890-1978) of the German Luftwaffe.
Student was a pioneer in the development of airborne forces. He commanded major operations such as the Battle of The Hague in May 1940, as well as the Battle of Crete a year later. He also supervised and approved "Operation Eiche", the plan to rescue Benito Mussolini, which had been devised by Major Harald Mors, a commander of a unit of the Fallschirmjäger.
Mass airborne operations were discontinued by order of German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler after the costly success of the invasion of Crete. Thereafter, they were deployed in smaller formations. Also, as the war developed, they became an infantry body which participated in many land battles including the Battles of Anzio and Monte Cassino.
© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).
Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.