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From Wired:

Imagine the terror. You’re D-Day paratrooper, one of 13,000 soldiers who’ve dropped behind enemy lines to fight the Germans in Normandy. Your mission is to neutralize Rommel’s response to an Allied beach invasion that will occur in just a few hours, but you’re also desperate to survive.

There’s little comfort in combat, but you know your buddies have your back. You also vest confidence if your equipment. The army has loaded you to the hilt with gear, guns and gadgets, and any single piece of hardware could prove to be a life-saver.

Today, on the 68th anniversary of D-Day, we take a focused look at the gadgets and weapons American paratoopers took into battle. Their design is archaic — a far cry from the nearly sci-fi weapons covered by Wired’s Danger Room. But it’s still instructive to revisit the gear our soldiers used in 1944. Each artifact speaks to the viscerally personal nature of war.

We thank the National WWII Museum for helping us with this photo gallery. Assistant Director of Collections Toni Kiser photographed each image, and Tom Czekanski, Director of Collections and Exhibits, helped explain the history behind each piece of gear.

See the full gallery HERE.

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From Wired: Imagine the terror. You’re D-Day paratrooper, one of 13,000 soldiers who’ve dropped behind…