By Peter Jacobs
The air battles of the second one international conflict have been fought ferociously and with outstanding ability and braveness on either fronts. The fighter pilots of the Luftwaffe, the jagdflieger, actually outscored their Allied opposite numbers via a few margin and have been the various optimum scoring fighter pilots of all time. greater than 100 recorded a century of aerial successes with happening to surpass a really spectacular three hundred victories. In the tip, the mammoth attempt required via the Luftwaffe to take care of the air battle on such a lot of fronts proved an excessive amount of and few jagdflieger survived the final days of the Reich yet their braveness and skill used to be past query, and the names of a few will continue to exist within the annals of air struggle with their outstanding achievements by no means to be handed. In 'Luftwaffe Fighter Aces', Peter Jacobs examines the numerous campaigns fought via the Luftwaffe from its fledgling days in the course of the Spanish Civil battle to its final days protecting the Reich, and comprises the...
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Additional resources for Aces of the Luftwaffe. The Jagdflieger in the Second World War
The largest fighting unit, the Geschwader, consisted of a hundred or more aircraft. These were effectively wings with aircraft of the same type and role, and were designated accordingly; a Jagdgeschwader was a fighter wing and a Kampfgeschwader a bomber wing, with each given a number, for example Jagdgeschwader 1 (abbreviated to JG 1) and Kampfgeschwader 51 (KG 51). The commander of each Geschwader, the Geschwaderkommodore, varied in rank from Major to Oberst. The Geschwader was sub-divided into three or four Gruppen (groups), with each Gruppe consisting of approximately thirty aircraft and commanded by a Gruppenkommandeur typically at one rank lower than the Kommodore, with an additional staff flight called a Stab.
Selected to be its first Chief of the General Staff was Walter Wever, an infantry officer by background but a man of great vision and a great strategist. Aware of Hitler’s intentions, Wever was led to conclude that Germany’s main enemy in any future conflict would be the Soviet Union. His thinking, therefore, was to produce an air force to take on the might of Russia while concurrently waging a war of revenge against France and possibly Britain. He was also astute enough to know that air superiority would probably be an elusive goal and so he believed it would be easier to defeat an air force on the ground at its sources, by attacking aircraft factories and industrial plants, rather than to try and defeat it in the air.
Although the Treaty of Versailles was still in effect, and had restricted Germany’s construction of new aircraft types, the treaty had never been meticulously observed and Germany’s interest in aviation had gone from strength to strength with various clandestine methods of training aviators in Russia and a number of undercover air squadrons being set up in Germany. While the strength and capabilities of these squadrons did not amount to much, their existence, particularly as far as trained pilots was concerned, provided a nucleus for the creation of a new and powerful air force.