The First Allied Airborne Army was part of the Allied Expeditionary Force in North West Europe in 1944 and 1945. It was the largest all airborne military force in history.
The First Allied Airborne Army was part of the Allied Expeditionary Force in North West Europe in 1944 and 1945. It was activated on August 2, 1944 and commanded by USAAF Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton, second in command was British Lieutenant General Frederick Browning
The First Allied Airborne Army consisted of
- US 18th Airborne Corps
- British 1st Airborne Corps
- 9th Troop Carrier Command USAAF
- 38 Group Transport Command RAF
- 46 Group Transport Command RAF
Although elements of what was to become the Allied Airborne Army (US 82nd and 101st and British 6th Airborne Divisions) took part in the D-Day landings this was prior to the Army's creation.
The first and most famous combat operation of the First Allied Airborne Army, in September, 1944, was Operation Market-Garden during which the British 1st, US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade, dropped in the Netherlands as part of a plan to outflank the Siegfried Line cross the Rhine and enter Germany.
Elements of the Airborne Army took part in the Battle of the Bulge although without aerial delivery.
The next and final airborne operation conducted by the First Allied Airborne Army was Operation Varsity, during which the British 6th and the US 17th Airborne Divisions landed in Germany helping to secure the crossing of the Rhine.