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The Luftwaffe, referring to: German Nazi airforce. It was formed in 1935, breaking the Treaty of Versailles. The Luftwaffe was part of the Wehrmacht, the main Nazi force governing Germany. Even when the Treaty of Versailles was being formed, Germany was experimenting with plane design.

In the beginning, the Luftwaffe was fighting a desperate war. Their numbers stretched for hundreds of thousands of miles. The members and pilots of the Luftwaffe knew they were fighting nothing more than a bloody war of attrition, and they were losing.

The Luftwaffe is notorious for producing many of the most decorated and skilled aces in history. They also birthed the Fallschirmjäger, or German Paratroops. The Luftwaffe planes were:

  • Arado AR
  • Blohm und Voss - Blome oont Vohs
  • DFS - Day ef es
  • Dornier Do - Doorneer
  • Fieseler Fi - Feeselar
  • Focke Wulf Fw - Fockeh voolf
  • Focke Wulf Ta - Fockeh voolf
  • Gotha Go
  • Heinkel He - Hinekel
  • Henschel Hs - Henshell
  • Junkers Ju - Joonkairs
  • Messerschmitt Bf - Messashmit
  • Messerschmitt Me - Messashmit
  • Siebel Si - Zeebel

These planes were advanced and feared. As equally feared were the pilots:

These are only a few of the top aces of their time.

Despite their tenacity and skill, not even the mighty Luftwaffe could prevent the eventual downfall of the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler's eventual death.

Luftwaffe means Air Force

The German word Luftwaffe (lit: Air Weapon) means nothing more than Air Force. To attribute the word to mean only the Luftwaffe of the Third Reich is an insult to the fine soldiers who served and still serve in it since then. That out of the way, the real writeup can begin.

After the second world war, in concordance with the NATO forward strategy, Germany was rearmed, and the new Luftwaffe was formed. The first pilots were trained in the USA, Canada, and Britain. Even today, vital parts of a pilot's training are completed in the USA, at Holloman AFB and Fort Bliss, Texas.

With the German re-unification, the Luftwaffe merged with the German Democratic Republic Luftstreitkräfte der NVA. In the light of the changed political situation, its numbers were greatly reduced, and refocused to play a bigger part in joint NATO-operations. The concept of "A military that can fight, so it will not have to fight", i.e. a deterrent force of the cold war was changing, and the Luftwaffe was allowed by the German Bundestag (parliament) to take part in several NATO peace-keeping operations.

Conscription was also used from the beginning to fill the ranks, and has remained a vital part of the German defense strategy to this day. It also helped to integrate the German military with the civilian community, as most adult males (in theory) were supposed to have served in the military for some time. The German military is not a state within the state, as the American military is (with its own courts, etc), but an integrated part of the German state.

Current Weapons Systems:

Oh, and there are no Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. Due to strict parliamental control, the airforce can not act or plan without parliamental approval. It can not fund its own research programmes as the military budget is part of the civilian budget with no "black" funds to be used at its own choosing. The minister of defense has total control over how the budget is spent.

More on: http://www.luftwaffe.de/

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