German Aviation

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No branch of the German armed forces received more attention from Hitler’s Nazis than building up the Luftwaffe into a war winning weapon. The love-child of Hitler’s Number 2, Hermann Goering, the Luftwaffe at first secretly defied the provisions of the Versailles Treaty to build powerful fleets of Heinkel and Dornier light bombers, JU-88 Stuka dive bombers, Messerschmidt 109 and Focke-Wulf 190 fighters. Using the Spanish Civil War during which they devastated the Basque city of Guernica as a dress rehearsal, the Luftwaffe was finally unleashed on the world in September 1939 when the Polish capital warsaw was ‘taken out’. Thereafter the Luftwaffe’s prowess was demonstrated over Rotterdam and in the less successful bids to cripple Britain in the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. The Luftwaffe’s back was only finally broken, however in Russia. Even then German ingenuity and dogged determination resulted in development of such projects as the Messerschmidt jet fighter that had it come on stream earlier, would materially have effected the war’s outcome. As it was, Germany wasted the enormous potential of the Luftwaffe by wantonly expending its capital on too many fronts until there was nothing left.