For English-speakers, Luftwaffe refers to the aerial warfare branch of the Germany during WWII. The previous military aviation entity that participated in WWI, commonly referred to by english-speakers as the “Imperial German Air Service” was disbanded under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in 1920. The Luftwaffe was formed in 1935 and grew to become one of the strongest, most advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world by the time World War II started in Europe in 1939. After the defeat of Germany at the end of the Second World War, the Luftwaffe was disbanded.
NOTE: Somewhat confusingly for English-speakers, Germans call all air forces “luftwaffe,” which literally translates as “air arm,” referring to the RAF as the “Britische Luftwaffe” for example. Germans also call what English-speakers term the “German Air Force,” founded in 1955, “Luftwaffe.”
On July 10th, 1940, the greatest air battle in human history began, as aircraft of the German Luftwaffe streamed over the United Kingdom with the intent of bombing the nation into quick submission, as they had done with all […]