The Horsa had a crew of two pilots and could carry 20-25 troops. Its first use in operational service was on November 19, 1942, when two Horsas were towed by Halifaxes from a base in Scotland to attack a German heavy-water plant in southern Norway. Each Horsa carried 15 sappers. Horsa gliders were next used in action during the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943, 27 having reached North Africa on July 7, 1943 after having been towed all the way from England by Halifaxes. Horsas again figured prominently in the airborne landings in Normandy in June 1944, when over 250 were in action.
At Arnhem, in September 1944, 320 Horsas were used in the first lift on the 17th and 296 in the second lift the following day. Their final operation was in March 1945, when 440 British gliders carried men of the 6th Airborne Division across the Rhine.
Span: 88 ft 0 in (26.82 m)
Length: 67 ft 0 in (20.42 m)
Weight empty: 7,500 lb (3,402 kg)
Loaded weight: 15,250 lb (6,917 kg)
Gliding speed: 100 mph (161 kmh)