What World War II paratroopers can teach us about how to respond to active shooters
By Nick Perna
The rule of LGOPS:
“After the demise of the best airborne plan, a most terrifying effect occurs on the battlefield. The effect is known as the rule of LGOPS (little groups of paratroopers). This is, in its purest form, small groups of pissed-off, 1-year-old paratroopers. They are well trained. They are armed to the teeth and lack serious adult supervision. They collectively remember the commander’s intent as, “March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you” – or something like that. Happily they go about the day’s work…”
This is what happened during the Normandy invasion almost 70 years ago during World War II. Over 13,000 paratroopers from American and British units parachuted into France and landed as far as 18 miles from their designated drop zones. The initial plan, which was essential to the success of the overall invasion, appeared to be falling apart. Fortunately, airborne soldiers from all types of units banded together and took objectives such as French cities and key road intersections. The confusion alone caused the Germans all kinds of headaches, tying up much of their manpower dealing with the mayhem the paratroopers caused. Follow-on forces arrived by sea, eventually relieving their airborne counterparts, but not until the paratroopers had seized most of their objectives and had put a significant hurt on the Nazi war machine.