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Special front-line unit of the Atomic Era.
- Special abilities:
- May Paradrop
- No Movement Cost to Pillage
- Paradrop (When inside friendly territory, this unit may Paradrop up to 9 tiles away. After doing so, it will still have movement to perform other actions.)
The Paratrooper is specially developed to breach enemy lines. This specialized infantry unit acts coupled with transport airplanes that allow him to use a Paradrop maneuver to instantly move up to 9 tiles into enemy territory, as long as he starts in friendly territory. He can then use his remaining moves to take up a suitable attack position. (He may not, however, attack on the same turn that he is paradropped.) This allows the Paratrooper to literally jump over enemy positions and destroy road networks, pillage vital resources and so forth, wreaking havoc behind the enemy's lines. The Paratrooper is at great risk when on such missions, so make sure the target is worth it!
Alternatively, Paratroopers may be used to attack vulnerable parts of the enemy line from behind, just as your main army attacks in the front. They are almost as powerful as Infantry, so they are very effective against enemy artillery, for example.
The Paratrooper's Paradrop ability also makes him a great candidate for the Medic I and Medic II promotion, allowing him to get to the center of your wounded troops in a single turn.
Paratroopers are light infantrymen trained to jump into battle from airplanes behind enemy lines. Of necessity lightly-armed and carrying limited ammunition, paratroopers rely heavily on the element of surprise to overwhelm their opponents. They also need to be quickly reinforced by ground units breaking through the enemy lines or they risk annihilation as the enemy regroups and surrounds them.
Paratroopers were used with limited success in World War II, with German paratroops taking part in the invasion of Denmark in 1940. German paratroopers assaulted and captured the island of Crete from the air in 1941, however, the troopers' casualties were so horrific that Adolf Hitler forbid future large-scale airborne assaults. The Allied forces deployed paratroopers with moderate success during the Normandy invasion in 1944, but the huge Market Garden paradrops in the Netherlands and Germany later that same year were far from successful, resulting in heavy casualties to the British, Polish and American paratroopers.
While special forces troops still employ paratroopers, the practice has fallen out of favor in modern armies. Today most airborne troops are carried into battle by helicopters.