The Luftwaffe was a formidable fighting force. At the outbreak of war, they were a well organised, well structured, disciplined and determined branch of the mighty German war machine. As the Third Reich marched unabated across Europe taking country by country, this structure and the men within in, began to stretch. Eventually, with continued losses, targeting of supply lines and relentless battles, it began to deteriorate. The fighting spirit of the Luftwaffe Pilot never dwindled but the means to carrying out their task did. Even with huge developments in aircraft design, the jet engine for example, poor decisions and failing management were often seen as hindering the task rather than supporting it.
The Luftwaffe were a remarkable group of men, often talking highly of their opponents and the machines they flew; developing a more ‘civilised’ relationship with those they fought against. That’s not to say that the evils of Nazism were not carried out, nor their beliefs any less strong, but, the manner in which the war in the air was conducted was very ‘different’ to the war on the ground.
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