Gliders were used by both the Allied and German forces to transport men and their equipment. The most widely used was the British Airspeed Horsa which has not been used in combat since the Second World War.
Three hundred Horsa gliders were used in Normandy by the 6th Airborne Division. Each highly-adaptable aircraft could carry up to 28 soldiers or a jeep and trailer of a jeep and 6 pounder gun.
Six gliders were used to capture the River Orne and Canal bridges – now known as Horsa Bridge and Pegasus Bridge.
After the war, the majority of the remaining gliders in Normandy were broken up by the French civilians for fire wood. A full-sized replica of the first Airspeed Horsa glider to land in June 1944 was constructed for the 60th D-Day commemorations and can be visited in the park of le Mémorial Pegasus.
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