Best/Most Sucessful Glider of WWII

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yeah i wudda put a vote but i couldn't be arsed to compile a list of gliders..........
The Horsa gets my vote too... although it would have been impossible without the German DFS230. This was the glider that stormed Eben Emael, and arguably gave the Allies the idea for the Horsa, D-Day and Market Garden (not to mention the Rhine airlandings)
I would have to go with the General Aircraft Hamilcar.

The Hamilcar entered RAF service in 1942, and was the largest wooden aircraft the RAF ever operated. With a wingspan of 110 feet, the Hamilcar was the only Allied glider capable of carrying a light tank. 40 troops or artillery pieces could be carried as alternative loads. Hamilcars were used on the 'D' Day landings and at Arnhem, as well as on other operations.
I don't think they ever carried tanks though, unless it was them who dropped in the Locusts on the Rhine crossing.
Yes, it was for Operation Varsity (Northern Rhine Crossing), part of Operation Plunder. The Hamilcars did carry tanks, not sure which. You know more about armor than I do.


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The light tank in the pics is the Locust, an American design designated M22 by the US Army. It was armed with a 37mm cannon. The British had thier own equivalent called Tetrarch, with a 40mm gun, and I believe both were used during Op Varsity.
The 'tank' in the second picture appears to be a Bren Gun Carrier or some variant of it.
The first picture I have in a book, it's a M22 in British service during training, 1944. The US never used the M22 for any airdrop because it lacked any feasible way of transporting it. Only a few were used on the Rhine Crossing by 6th Airborne but I don't know the exact number.

The Tetrach was carried into D-Day by the Hamilcar Gliders along with the Universal Gun Carriers. Small in number, they provided little assistance.
The Hamilcar itself was solely designed around the idea that it would carry the Tetrach into combat. Soon proving capable of carrying the Locust too.
They didn't build alot of Hamilcars, but the ones they built seemed to do fairly well. I don't have the number of armored vehicles they used in Plunder/Varsity either, but I would think you are right, not very many. I have seen the number of 440 gliders used for Varsity, but that was both Hamilcars and Horsas. That was the British gliders anyway. The Americans were using the Waco CG-4s for their landings.

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