General Aircraft G.A.L.49 Hamilcar
1942
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General Aircraft G.A.L.49 Hamilcar

The Allies' largest and heaviest glider in World War 2 was the General Aircraft Hamilcar which could carry a seven-ton tank. Towed by Halifaxes and Stirlings, they were used in the D-Day landings in Normandy. Twenty examples of a version with two Bristol Mercury engines were built for use in the Pacific theatre but VJ-Day made this unnecessary.

Comments
Klaatu83, 17.08.2012

This glider was designed to carry a tank. however, the only tank it was designed to carry was a specially-designed light tank, called the "Tetrarch". Unfortunately, the little Tetrarch was too lightly armed and armored for the battlefield of 1944, and would have been of little use. I believe most of the Hamilcar gliders were employed for the transport of more useful items, such as jeeps and anti-tank guns.

The whole concept of military assault by means of gliders died out not long after WW-II ended, largely due to the introduction of helicopters. By the time of the Vietnam War glider-borne infantry had been replaced in the U.S. Army by so-called "Air Cavalry", which were essentially helicopter-borne infantry.

, 12.06.2011

I Like the DD's at Omaha beach only less wet. Takes the romance out of being a tanker.

Taffwob, 01.04.2010

Landing tanks in a glider whilst being shot at. You just can't imagine how terrifying that must be.

leo rudnicki, 25.04.2009

I read about the light tank designed for airborne deployment. Went right thru the floor during the Rhine crossing. Whee. Like the DD's at Omaha beach only less wet. Takes the romance out of being a tanker.

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