Folding paratrooper Bicycle
Place - Treasured Wheels, Guwahati
Courtesy - Piklu Deka
Specially designed folded bicycles were used for combat during World War II. Although they were used extensively during the invasions of Normandy and Sicily, some folded bicycles were also used in the China Burma India theatre as this BSA Airborne Folding Paratrooper bike. Here’s an excerpt from www.oldbike.eu, about the use of the BSA folding bicycle by British paratroopers during WWII.
The BSA Airborne Bicycle was developed at a time when the only British Troop-carrying glider was the Hotspur. Like the Welbike, transport for the paratroopers was needed that was small and could easily be transported. As a result, BSA, who made the M20 Motorbike, developed a bicycle that could be folded in half so a paratrooper could jump out of an aircraft with it. When folded out, it was used as a conventional bicycle. They were used in all the major landings such as D-day and Arnhem.Ironically the greatest use of the BSA airborne bicycle in action was by British and Canadian infantry on the invasion of Normandy, France (D-Day 1944 June 6) in the second wave. Some had been used on the invasion of Sicily in 1943 by Canadian infantry (Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment “Hasty Pees” re: Farley Mowat).The BSA airborne bicycle was used in battle, but not as much as originally planned. The plan appears to have been that the bicycles would be mass produced and make the airborne soldiers mobile once they had landed. It was better and faster than walking..