Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 26: Hitler Begins the Luftwaffe

On this date in History ..... 1935:

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler signs a secret decree authorizing the founding of the Reich Luftwaffe as a third German military service to join the Reich army and navy. In the same decree, Hitler appointed Hermann Goering, a German air hero from World War I and high-ranking Nazi, as commander in chief of the new German air force.
While the Versailles Treaty prevented Germany from building a military, Hitler began a civilian airline named Lufthansa which gave pilots flight training. All of this was done in the open so foreign governments would not be suspicious and believe it was civilian.  As the fleet grew, Britain and France protested but Germany’s production of planes continued.  In four short years, Germany boasted a fleet of over 1000 fighters and over 1000 bombers.
Eventually, British technology (radar and the Spitfire plane) out performed Germany’s planes, reducing the Germany threat in the skies.

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