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Airborne Equipment: The Welbike

Posted by WETSU Airborne Community

The Welbike. It didn't have suspension or mudguards and had only one brake in the rear. An underpowered engine that could hardly carry a fully loaded soldier, and tiny wheels that struggled with the rough terrain. After the container was been dropped, the paratrooper had to find and then make this mini-motorcycle operational, which in good condition would only take 11 seconds.

However, it was a feat easier said than done, as the difference in weight usually meant the bike dropped some distance away from the troopers meant to operate them, sometimes falling into the hands of the enemy or lost altogether. The motorcycle was primarily dropped over Italy but also in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord. ⁣

Many found it more hassle than helpful which led to them being abandoned at the roadside as troopers found it easier to proceed on foot.