Operation Ladbroke: First Steps In The Allied Invasion of Europe - World War II



This WebQuest highlights the difficulties faced by the Allies' initial attempt to invade Europe during World War II. Information found during this WebQuest should support the following Georgia standards for U.S. history.

SSUSH19 The student will identify the origins, major developments, and the domestic impact of World War II, especially the growth of the federal government.

f. Compare the geographic locations of the European Theater and the Pacific Theater and the difficulties the U.S. faced in delivering weapons, food, and medical supplies to troops.

Operation Ladbroke's objective to secure a foothold in Sicily by landing a force of 144 gliders south of Syracuse met with disaster. 

Keep in mind, while you will often see Operation Ladbroke referred to as a British undertaking, the actual mission was a joint effort between the British and Americans. As their early war-supply manufacturing focused on producing bombers, the British did not have enough cargo planes to serve in a glider towing capacity and drew upon their American allies to provide the bulk of the need force.

Comprised of American piloted C-47 Skytrain cargo aircraft towing the 136 American-manufactured CG-4A Waco gliders, and 8 British-made Airspeed Horsa gliders towed by British-piloted and retrofitted Abermarle and Halifax bombers. Mostly newly-trained British glider pilots manned the consoles of the CG-4A Waco gliders, but some 22 American glider pilots who had familiarized their British counterparts with the Waco glider, volunteered for the mission to help fill vacancies in the pilots' seats. The troops transported via glider from Tunisia to Sicily were all British, but American glider pilots fought alongside if they made landfall.

As you proceed in this WebQuest, keep in mind the amount of resources required to manufacture the required aircraft, as well as the distances covered in delivery of the aircraft before they were even used in operations. Also consider the conditions in which the aircraft were used in carrying out their missions.





Please visit the following websites:

Boeing - http://www.boeing.com/history/products/c-47-skytrain.page

Tinker Air Force Base -  https://www.tinker.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1095869/tinker-history-douglas-c-47-skytrain/

National World War II Glider Pilot Association - https://ww2gp.org/Sicily.php

Watch this video: Interview with Frank Slane - 

Watch this video about the American war industry- 

Watch this video, Campaign in Sicily?

Find two more websites:

1. Find a website showing the route of Operation Ladbroke from Tunisia to Sicily.

2. Find a website showing the geography of the Mediterranean.


Create a Google Slides presentation.

1. Create an introduction slide.

2. Summarize the information found in the websites.

3. Answer the following questions:

  • What manufacturing capabilities did the United States bring to the Allied war effort? What is the "arm" behind the army?
  • What geographic challenges did the Allies face in the invasion of Europe? Name one method of overcoming those challenges.
  • Why did the British depend on American logistical aid?
  • How did World War II impact America domestically? 
  • Describe the dangers glider pilots and the troops they carried faced during Operation Ladbroke.

4. Explain why you think Operation Ladbroke is not included in the video Campaign in Sicily? Can you find supporting documentation for your opinion?

5. Create a biography of your sources.

Criteria Needs Improvement Acceptable Proficient
The presentation includes a summary of information found on the websites.      
The presentation includes correct answers to the five questions.      

The presentation includes expression of an informed opinion pertaining to the 

Campaign in Sicily video. Bonus for any supporting documentation you include.

The presentation includes a bibliography of sources.      
The presentation is free of spelling and grammatical errors.      

During this Webquest, you have examined how World War II impacted American manufacturing, and how the United States contributed surmounting obstacles of time and distance in conducting combat operations. You summarized your knowledge in the creation of a Google slides presentation.

Now, you should be able to compare and contrast American efforts in the European Theater of Operations with future research endeavors regarding the Pacific Theater of Operations.


WACO CG-4: The Most Used Military Glider Of WW2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNMMJGCSlG8

PublicResourceOrg: Campaign in Sicilcy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlPdn5Xcx4E

At of Manliness: Interview With Frank Slane -- WWII Glider Pilot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h52teIZCiQ&t=660s

M44Brigade: M44Brigade Dustch Open 2017 - Ladbroke - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XucqUjn84s

National World War II Glider Pilots Association: Dear Mrs. Yates: https://ww2gp.org/Sicily.php

The Best Film Archives: How did American INdustry Help Win World War 2|US Army Documentary - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgL0qv2Dus0