Silent Wings

2007, History  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 8.05/10 from 66 users.

World War II, was the most brutal and devastating conflict in the history of the humankind. It is said that about 62 million people or 2.5% of the world's population died in the war.

Its consequences brought a new era of weapons of mass destruction and changed the balance of the world powers - for generations to come. The Second World War is thought to be the most documented incident in the archives of the human history.

Countless of books, films and testimonials have been produced about the war, yet one unnoticed and unvoiced chapter remains - the story of the gliding pilots of America. Leading almost every allied attack during the conflict there was courageous bunch of 6,000 American pilots whose deeds and achievements withstand as proof to their important service.

These bold American aviators flew troops and essential cargo on silent, one-way, transport missions deep behind the enemy lines with each enemy-gunfire-obstructed landing likely being their last. What remains is an extraordinary story, graphic in the recollection of the American glider veterans and memorable to men who flew with them.

At the beginning of the war Belgian Fort Eben Emael, safeguarding the Belgian-German border, was largely considered as "the most defended fort in the world", impenetrable by ground and secured by almost 1,000 Belgian gunners. However, the fort became an obstacle to one of the most lethal and boldest attacks in military history.

Operation "Granite", carefully outlined by Adolf Hitler, was about to utilize the fort's single weakness - it's roof. With a horizontal, field-like surface almost 1000 yards long, Fort Eben Emael's covering made the ideal natural airstrip. One morning, 40 attack gliders lifted off from the airports near Cologne and 11 of those headed to Fort Eben Emael.

The airborne Special Forces were well armed with flamethrowers and a top-secret 110 pound hollow charge bomb. The unaware Belgians would soon undergo more devastating force in a shorter time span, than had ever been observed in warfare.

More great documentaries

16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jim Bunion

    Notice that Walter Cronkite says the inside of the glider was
    "louder than a Grateful Dead concert" in his case, he was friends with Mickey Hart, drummer for the Dead, so he liked the Grateful Dead.

  2. justme2001

    The airborne and glider troops had balls of brass. Hats off to everyone of them!

    1. JohnG911

      Some of the greatest displays of battlefield courage during WWII were made by average men of modest stature. Audie Murphy was 5'5" tall and the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. Barely one inch taller than Murphy, Jimmy Doolittle led the Tokyo raid. Lt. Garlin Murl Conner was the second most decorated American solider in WWII and he's a man of meager stature. One of the most deadliest jobs in WWII was a ball turret gunner, requiring men of short stature, nerves of steel, and most were volunteers.

  3. goldenpipewrench

    Great video and fascinating interviews.

  4. brianbigelow

    This isn't a bad documentary. I thought it was well researched and it was interesting to see the interviews with those who had been there. Just note though that war is looked at as something rather glorifying.which I don't agree with.

  5. Nasilno Pokršten

    what is so admirable in D-day ? by that time germans had allready lost the war, so it was only done because of limiting soviet advance into western europe, Thousands of americans have essentially died for nothing much except limiting expanse of russians into europe.

    1. fuekme

      We should rename "D-Day" ... call it "Dumbass Day" .... After YOU!!!! We HAD two ENTIRE Powerful Countries' ARMED FORCES on a damm ISLAND!! How do you get that into a freaking war on the CONTINENT of Europe? Should we have asked Hitler for a "timeout"?

    2. justme2001

      The Russians love to throw that piece of BS around. If the US and UK weren't kicking the German's asses in Africa,Greece and Italy the Germans we tied up there and on the West wall would have been in Moscow.

    3. JohnG911

      History has already proven Stalin and communism were infinitely worse than Hitler or Nazism. If what you propose is true, which I seriously doubt, stopping Stalin would have been a more "admirable" reason for the D-day invasion than defeating Hitler. Stalin supported Hitler's early conquest starving his own people to feed Hitler's army.

  6. Lastviewer

    As long as there will be that sort of men on planet earth, I don't worry.
    History tells us that through all eras, about 10 to 20 % of human beings have crooked minds. Race & religion has nothing to do with this.
    Wasn't it the same some 10,000 years ago, so ?...
    If some maniacs takes over the Elite in USA, the rest of the 90 to 80 % of humankind will see to it. The very same as seen everywhere in history. Some will only suffer for a couple of years of decade at most.
    Thus, give those men credit ! My 2 cents.

  7. spidermongo

    World war two is kindergarden stuff compared to what the united states has planned for the world.Has anyone been really listening to the news lately.

    1. Geoffrey de Visser

      So what are they planning?

    2. JohnG911

      He hasn't thought that far ahead yet and I don't expect he ever will.

    3. Fabien L

      What does that comment have to do whatsoever with the documentary? There is a whole section of the site devoted to conspiracy documentaries, no need to pollute every discussion threads on the site with unrelated conspiracies plans.

    4. Guest

      really?"conspiracy!..."you yell at current news?what that has to do with this documentary????mmmh,EVERYTHING!
      understand what your conveying & you're somewhat right but the way
      you chose to deliver is as much worth as what you try to
      criticize......sorry,do not wish to offend but pretty ironic!
      to the documentary.........can't stomach 'auto-glorification'!

    5. Fabien L

      Here is the definition of a conspiracy on Dictionnary. com: an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons.

      merriam-webster. com has this definition : a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

      The United States (I assume he meant the government of the U.S.A.) having a plan for the world fits the conspiracy definition in my opinion. It indeeds seem unlawful, treacherous and harmful for the Government of the U.S.A. to elaborate a plan to try to control the world.
      Having a plan worse than World War 2 is indeed evil.