• Pardon the dust while the boys rebuild the site.

    The board will be in a state of disarray as I get things sorted out, for a little while at least.

    The new incarnation is using Xenforo as the system software. It is much like what we are used to, with a few differences. I will see about making a FAQ to help point out the differences for the members.


    One IMPORTANT difference for all of us old timers is that the 'mail' system is replaced with what are called 'conversations'/

    There is no 'Inbox' or 'Out box' or 'Sent' folders anymore.

    Think of Conversations as private 'threads' or topics that don't exist in a forum, that you start with another member. NOTE: Conversations can include more than one member if you or someone else in the conversaion, likes.
    Takes a little getting used to but I am sure you all can get a hang of it.


    Only a slightly modified default default Xenforo style is available for now. Once the new SAG style is ready it will be available.

    All existing users should be able to login with their usernames and passwords once the site goes up.


    If anyone has difficulties logging in please contact me at sixthvanguard@gmail.com.


    Thank you for your support and patience. I know it has been a loooong road.

british glider infantry question


What was used by the British glider infantry, the small oack or the larger bergen?
Any photos or references would be much appreciated.
The short answer is both. I have seen pictures of Airlanding Brigade troops with Bergens, as they carried larger loads than Airborne but I have also seen pictures of Airlanding with small packs. It was probably dependent on role, with those in pure infantry roles using the small pack and those in fire support, engineer etc units being issued the Bergen.

Here is a pic of glider troops with small packs on the ground before lift.


Whereas there are two guys on the back of the jeep clearly wearing Bergens in this pic.

Last edited:
On reflection both is right , since they would carry a small pack ( rations, messtins) even with a Bergen, by carrying the smallpack at the hip. I rather think everyone in a glider had a Bergen, even if they didn't wear it after landing.. my father, a glider pilot, was certainly issued with one : we had it in the barn at home .
I believe that the rucksacks were used by the Glider Pilot Regiment mostly, if not exclusively, in the air landing brigades. It makes sense that the pilot and copilot could not wear their webbing at the controls, nor could they toss them aside behind the seats. I think they would have to stuff all their gear and weapons into the large rucksack, then extract them later. There would be no need for a small pack, since the partially emptied out rucksack would serve that purpose.

The jeep photo above has been credited to the 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles Regiment, serving with the 6th Air-landing brigade at Normandy. Authors David Orr and David Truesdale, authors of "The Rifles are There", the RUR's recent history, note that the two men in the photograph (Plate 14) wearing rucksacks are identifiable as the pilot and copilot, specifically because they were wearing rucksacks, as opposed to everyone else who is wearing standard webbing. It doesn't look like they had yet pulled their gear out when the picture was taken.

British glider pilots were all elite soldiers, all volunteers, taken from established infantry units, whose minimum rank after graduation as pilot was that of sergeant. Most volunteers didn't make the cut, so those that did were the cream of the crop.

Author Harlan Glenn writes that either they were all saddled with the awful Sten Mark III's, or that some carried some rifles and others stens, of which the latter were all mark III's.

It's true that Glider Pilot Regiment men were trained soldiers, for D-Day and Market Garden, and something of an elite.
But for Varsity in March 1945, a very large operation , such had been the previous Glider Pilot losses that RAF pilots were drafted in to replace them, including my father. He was , and would freely admit, no kind of a soldier, and they were not expected to fight after landing.

They resented the job to a degree, and refused to wear the supposedly coveted maroon beret, keeping their own blue RAF one , which they all wore instead of the official fibre helmet. He carried a rifle, and a Colt revolver, had a full set of webbing AND a Bergen.
Needless to say he dumped all the non-essentials once landed.