• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
  • PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
  • RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
  • INVASION OF RUSSIA
  • HITLERS PLANS FOR EUROPE
  • TURNING OF THE TIDE,
  • THE HOME FRONT
  • THE RESISTANCE
  • PHILIP MELANCHTHON
  • D-DAY TO DEFEAT NAZI GERMANY
  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
  • DENAZIFICATION
  • POLITICAL PARTIES AND TRADE
  • LOCAL STATE FORMATION
  • PARLIAMENTARY COUNCIL AND THE
  • ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
  • T
  • ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM
  • BUNDESTAG ELECTION AND
  • REGAINING SOVEREIGNTY AND INTEGRATION
  • RECONSTRUCTION AND THE ECONOMIC
  • TRANSITIONAL YEARS AND
  • THE GRAND COALITION AND YOUTH
  • THE SOCIAL-LIBERAL COALITION
  • OSTPOLITIK (FOREIGN POLICY
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • SCHMIDT ERA: SOCIAL UNREST,
  • PRINTING AND MEDICINE
  • THE KOHL ERA, 19821998
  • T
  • UPRISING OF JUNE 17, 1953
  • ECONOMIC SYSTEM
  • SOCIETY, EDUCATION, AND
  • RELATIONS WITH THE FEDERAL
  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
  • UNIFICATION POLITICS AND ITS
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
  • Abwehr
  • Adenauer, Konrad
  • Afrika Korps
  • Agadir Incident
  • Agrarian League
  • NEED FOR CHURCH REFORM
  • Agricola, Rudolf
  • Air Force
  • Albert (Albrecht) of
  • Albert V
  • Algeciras, Conference of
  • Allied Control Council
  • Alsace-Lorraine
  • Altdorfer, Albrecht
  • Amiens, Battle of
  • Anabaptists
  • P
  • Anglo-German Naval Treaty
  • Anschluss
  • Anti-Comintern Pact
  • anti-Semitism/Jew hatred
  • anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Socialist Law
  • Ardennes, Battle of the
  • Arendt, Hannah
  • Armed Forces (Wehrmacht)
  • Armed Forces (Bundeswehr):
  • LUTHER AND MELANCHTHON
  • Army (Prussian to 1860)
  • Army (Second Empire,
  • Asylum Law
  • Atlantic, Battle of the
  • Auerstadt, Battle of
  • Augsburg, Diet of
  • Augsburg, Religious Peace of
  • Augsburg, War of the League
  • Augsburg Confession
  • Augspurg, Anita
  • LUTHER AND ZWINGLI
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Austerlitz, Battle of
  • Austria
  • Austrian Succession, War of
  • autarchy
  • autobahns
  • Axis, The
  • B
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Ballin, Albert
  • CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE
  • KNIGHTS REVOLT AND GREAT
  • Barbie, Klaus
  • Barmen Declaration
  • Barth, Karl
  • Basic Treaty
  • Bauernschutz
  • Bauhaus
  • Baumer, Gertrud
  • Bavaria
  • Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)
  • Bavarian Succession, War of
  • REFORMATION AND THE TOWNS
  • Bayer AG
  • Bayreuth
  • Bebel, August
  • Beck, Ludwig August Theodor
  • Beckmann, Max
  • Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van
  • Benjamin, Walter
  • Benn, Gottfried
  • Bennigsen, Rudolf von
  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
  • Benz, Carl Friedrich
  • Bergen-Belsen
  • Berghof
  • Berlin
  • Berlin, Battle for (Fall of)
  • Berlin, Congress of
  • Berlin-Baghdad Railway
  • Berlin Blockade
  • Berlin Conference
  • Berlin Wall
  • CALVINISM IN GERMANY
  • Bernstein, Eduard
  • Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald
  • Biedermeier
  • Biermann, Wolf
  • Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold
  • blank check
  • Bleichröder, Gerson von
  • Blenheim, Battle of
  • Blomberg, Werner von
  • Blücher, Gebhard
  • CHARLES V AND THE REFORMATION
  • Böll, Heinrich
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
  • Bonn
  • Bormann, Martin
  • Born, Max
  • Borsig, August
  • Bosch, Robert
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brahms, Johannes
  • Brandenburg
  • C
  • Brauchitsch, Walther von
  • Braun, Eva
  • Braun, Karl Ferdinand
  • Braun, Otto
  • Braun, Wernher von
  • Brecht, Bertolt
  • Bremen/Bremerhaven
  • Brentano, Elizabeth Bettina
  • Breslau
  • The Bridge
  • THE THIRTY YEARS WAR
  • Britain, Battle of
  • Brüning, Heinrich
  • Buchenwald
  • Bülow, Bernhard von
  • Bundesrat
  • Bundestag
  • Burschenschaft
  • C
  • Canisius, Peter
  • canton system
  • A
  • Carlsbad Decrees
  • Celtis, Conrad
  • Center Party
  • Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
  • Charles V
  • Charles VI
  • Charles VII
  • Charlottenburg, Palace of
  • Christian Democratic Union
  • Christian Social Union
  • LITERATURE
  • Civil Code, German (Revised
  • Clausewitz, Carl von
  • Concordat of 1933
  • Condor Legion
  • The Confederation of the Rhine was a
  • Confessing Church
  • Congress of Vienna
  • conservatism
  • constitutional traditions
  • Counter-Reformation
  • MUSIC
  • Cranach, Lucas, the Elder
  • cultured elites
  • D
  • Daimler, Gottlieb
  • Danish War
  • Danzig
  • Dawes Plan
  • D-Banks
  • D-Day
  • Degenerate Art
  • SAXON AND SALIAN DYNASTIES,
  • SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
  • denazification
  • Denck, Hans
  • Depression, The Great
  • Depressions
  • détente
  • Diesel, Rudolf
  • Dietrich, Josef Sepp
  • Diplomatic Revolution of 1756
  • Dix, Otto
  • Döblin, Alfred
  • GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ
  • Dönitz, Karl
  • Dresden
  • Droste-Hülshoff, Annette
  • Dual Alliance
  • Dürer, Albrecht
  • Düsseldorf
  • E
  • Edict of Toleration
  • Ehrlich, Paul
  • Eichendorff, Joseph von
  • PIETISM
  • Eichmann, Adolf
  • Eicke, Theodor
  • Einsatzgruppen
  • Einstein, Albert
  • Eisner, Kurt
  • El Alamein, Battles of
  • Elbe River
  • Ems Telegram
  • Enabling Act
  • Engels, Friedrich
  • ROCOCO
  • ENIGMA/ULTRA
  • Enlightenment
  • Erasmus, Desiderius
  • Erfurt Program
  • Erhard, Ludwig
  • Ernst, Max
  • Erzberger, Matthias
  • Eugene, prince of Savoy
  • European Coal and Steel
  • European Defense Community
  • A
  • European Economic Community
  • European Union
  • euthanasia
  • expressionism
  • Falkenhayn, Erich von
  • F
  • Fatherland Party
  • Federal Constitutional Court
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Federation of German Industry
  • TURKISH WARS
  • Federation of German Womens
  • feminism, 18151945
  • feminism, 19452005
  • Ferdinand II
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas
  • Fichte, Johann Gottlieb
  • Final Solution
  • Fischer, Josef Joschka
  • Fischer von Erlach, John
  • Fontane, Theodor
  • WARS OF AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION
  • Four Year Plan
  • Francis II
  • Frank, Anne
  • Frank, Hans
  • Frankfurt am Main
  • Frankfurt Parliament
  • Frederick I
  • Frederick II, The Great
  • Frederick III
  • Frederick III, The Wise
  • STATE REFORMS
  • Frederick William
  • Frederick William I
  • Frederick William II
  • Frederick William III
  • Frederick William IV
  • Free Corps
  • Free Democratic Party
  • Freemasonry/Illuminati
  • French Revolutionary Wars
  • Freytag, Gustav
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND KAUNITZ
  • Friedrich, Caspar David
  • Fritsch, Werner von
  • Fugger, Jacob the Rich
  • Führerprinzip
  • G
  • Galen, Clemens August von
  • Gellert, Christian
  • General Directory
  • Genscher, Hans-Dietrich
  • Gentz, Friedrich
  • JOSEPH II AND REFORM
  • German Christians
  • German Communist Party
  • German Confederation
  • German Conservative Party
  • German Democratic Party
  • German Democratic Republic
  • German Labor Front
  • German National Peoples
  • German Peoples Party
  • German Progressive Party
  • HOHENSTAUFEN DYNASTY,
  • VIENNA AND ARCHITECTURE
  • German Reich (Imperial) Party
  • German Womens Bureau
  • German Workers Party
  • Germany Treaty
  • R
  • FREDERICK III
  • FREDERICK WILLIAM I, THE
  • FREDERICK THE GREAT
  • SEVEN YEARS WAR
  • S
  • ECONOMY
  • POLITICAL DECENTRALIZATION
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • HABSBURG DYNASTY
  • CULTURE
  • THE ENLIGHTENMENT
  • LITERATURE AND DRAMA
  • PHILOSOPHY
  • SECRET SOCIETIES
  • T
  • R
  • THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT
  • NATIONALISM AND LIBERALISM
  • EARLY INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  • CITIES AND CRAFT GUILDS
  • REVOLUTIONS OF 1848
  • ARMY REFORM AND PARLIAMENTARY
  • O
  • THE DANISH WAR, 1864
  • AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR, 1866
  • THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR,
  • COLLAPSE OF THE SECOND FRENCH
  • I
  • N
  • ART AND ARCHITECTURE
  • ORIGINS OF CAPITALISM
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND WOMEN
  • EDUCATION
  • T
  • POLITICAL PARTIES
  • THE KULTURKAMPF, SOCIALISM,
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND ALLIANCE
  • BISMARCKS DISMISSAL
  • WILHELMINE GERMANY
  • T
  • THE QUESTION OF
  • LATE MEDIEVAL CULTURE
  • CONDUCT OF THE WAR
  • PEACE RESOLUTION, REFORM, AND
  • AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION
  • N
  • POLITICAL PARTIES UNPREPARED
  • A REVOLUTIONARY PATTERN
  • WORKERS AND SOLDIERS
  • KURT EISNER AND REVOLUTION IN
  • A REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED
  • A SEVERE ARMISTICE
  • T
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY
  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
  • INTERPRETATION OF THE
  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
  • TERMS OF THE TREATY
  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Air Force

    (Luftwaffe)

    The German air force originated before 1914 and

    grew rapidly during WORLD WAR I. It was generally

    employed for reconnaissance, air combat,

    and some long-range bombing missions over

    London. After the war it was disbanded and forbidden

    by the TREATY OF VERSAILLES. In 1922 Germany

    again was allowed to build civil aircraft,

    and Lufthansa airlines became the most advanced

    airline in the world. German civil aviation was

    largely controlled by the military (Reichswehr)

    under the leadership of General Hans von Seeckt.

    During the 1920s a highly efficient aircraft industry

    developed, which included such aircraft manufacturers

    as Focke Wulf at BREMEN, Dornier at

    Friedrichshafen, Heinkel at Warnemünde,

    Junkers at Dessau, and MESSERSCHMITT at AUGSBURG.

    Not only had German designers developed

    all metal planes, but also variable pitched propellers

    and retractable landing gears.

    As soon as Adolf HITLER assumed power, he

    set about funding a new air force (Luftwaffe)

    and by 1935 it was officially established. Hermann

    GÖRING was placed in charge as Reichskommisar

    for Air, and State Secretary Eduard

    Milch and under him General Walther Wever

    were made responsible for its development.

    Secretly, they built factories for aircraft production,

    constructed airfields, and established training

    schools. Within two years Hitler announced

    to the world that he had an air force of 20,000

    officers and men and had more than 1,800

    planes. In 1936 General Albert Kesselring succeeded

    Wever as commander of the Luftwaffe.

    208 Air Force

    German bomber, HE 111, during flight (Library of Congress)

    The basic tactical unit of the Luftwaffe was

    the group, which was composed of three wings.

    Each wing was composed of three squadrons of

    12 to 16 aircraft. A wing included 40 planes and

    a group about 120. Some of the nomenclature

    included the Fighter group (JG), Bomber group

    (KG), Night fighter group (NJG), Fast bomber

    group (SKG), Dive bomber group (StG), and

    Transport group (TG).

    The Spanish civil war marked the beginning

    of its use in war. In August 1936 the Germans

    became involved in Spain, and their approximately

    200 aircraft became known as the CONDOR

    LEGION. Its transports ferried thousands of

    General Francisco Francos troops from Morocco

    to Spain, and other aircraft assisted the Fascist

    cause in the civil war, providing the Germans

    with invaluable experience. The air force was

    not used in the ANSCHLUSS nor in the crisis over

    Czechoslovakia in 1938. The invasion of Poland,

    however, involved some 1,600 aircraft. Hitlers

    infamous BLITZKRIEG relied on speedy fighter

    planes and Stuka dive bombers, which bombed

    Polish airfields and provided support for panzers

    and ground troops. Later, continued successes

    occurred during the invasion of Denmark, Norway,

    the Netherlands, and Belgium. The story

    changed somewhat in France. The Luftwaffe

    was unable to stop the evacuation at Dunkirk

    and turned to supporting the tanks racing

    toward Paris. In France they met an air force

    with equal competence and equipment.

    The BATTLE OF BRITAIN was a real turning

    point for the Luftwaffe in the battle for the skies.

    Before the Germans could invade Britain by sea,

    they had to defeat the Royal Air Force (RAF).

    The Germans started out with an armada of

    some 2,600 aircraft. The attack began on August

    13, 1940, and by the end of September it

    became evident that the air war would not succeed

    in subduing Britain. The British Hurricanes

    and the Spitfires began to turn the tide of battle,

    and it became evident that preparing Britain

    for an invasion would take more than the light

    bombers. The change in German tactics from

    concentration on airfields to cities greatly benefited

    the RAF and its ability to repel the Luftwaffe.

    The British also possessed the new invention

    of radar, which helped in the defense of

    Britain.

    The German strategy of air-army cooperation

    in offensive operations worked well on the Russian

    front until 1942, but left the Luftwaffe inadequately

    prepared for other tasks. For instance,

    too few fighters were available to defend the

    homeland when the massive Allied bombing

    raids began. When fighters were taken from the

    Russian front to help in home defense, the division

    of aircraft was inadequate for both fronts.

    Aircraft production had also languished between

    1939 and 1942, new planes failed to materialize,

    and the renewed effort to produce more planes

    was too late. No wonder that the Allied landing

    on D-DAY was successful when one considers

    that 12,000 Allied planes faced only 500 German

    aircraft. In 1944 it is also astonishing that German

    factories produced 39,000 aircraft, which

    were shortly destroyed on the ground or in brief

    combat operations. In February 1945, when the

    Luftwaffe was essentially beaten, some 3,000 aircraft

    remained grounded without fuel. Also,

    between 1939 and 1945 the Luftwaffe had lost

    too many pilots and crews, killed, wounded, or

    captured. The hopes that Hitler had placed in

    new weaponry to win the war were illusory. The

    V-2 rockets had a minimal impact and the invention

    of jet aircraft in the Messerschmitt Me 262

    also failed to save the Third Reich.

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