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German Fighters

At the Beginning of World War Two, Germany had the foremost air force in the world. Called the Luftwaffe, which means ‘air weapon’, it had the best aircraft and the most experienced airmen. During the Blitzkrieg, or ‘lightning war’, the Luftwaffe rolled over the poorly trained and equipped air forces of countries like Poland and France. Only during the Battle of Britain did the Luftwaffe meet its match. The war started changing direction in favor of the Allies in 1942. By then, the Americans were in the war. On the Western Front the Germans were on the defensive, while they were on the offensive on the Eastern Front. Things were still looking up. But the Allies eventually gained the advantage in quantity and quality. Germany was playing defense on all fronts by late1944. The Luftwaffe was now being pulled back to protect Hitler’s Third Reich from devastating Allied bomber attacks that came around the clock. Factories stopped producing bombers and started making newer and more radical fighters, which included the Me-262 jet fighter and the volatile Me-163 rocket-fighter. But excellent fighters can’t do anything without pilots or fuel. Contact with the enemy depleted most of the experienced airmen and the constant Allied bombing raids destroyed the fuel producing industry. It was a hopeless situation. During the final days of the war, American bombers flew daylight raids almost entirely unopposed by fighters; the main worry for these ‘bomber boys’ was the deadly accurate flak, which was guided by radar. The Germans had started a new era of air combat: propeller-driven fighters and bombers were now obsolete.

Messerschmidt Bf-109
Focke Wulf Fw-190
Messerschmidt Me-262
Messerschmidt Bf-110
Messerschmidt Me-210/410