APPRENTICE EAGLES

HOW DID THE LUFTWAFFE MANAGE TO TRAIN A FORCE OF MORE THAN ONE MILLION IN LESS THAN A DECADE? TOM DOCHERTY REVEALS THE STORY BEHIND GERMANY’S RAPID MILITARY RISE

TRAINING

LUFTWAFFE

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A Jungmann of FFS A/B 11 with ski landing gear at Schunwalde in the winter of 1942-1943.

With the peace treaties that ended the Great War, the defeated Germany was stripped of the potential to again become a military power of substance. This was particularly so in aviation where combat aircraft construction and operational aircrew training had been outlawed.

By the beginning of the 1930s there were ways and means for ambitious young Germans to fly and serve their nation, but it was not a straightforward process. Initially such men had to follow a clandestine route, that included using the secret training establishment set up at Lipetsk in Russia in the previous decade. Within Germany, a hopeful youngster could join one of the many private organisations promoted through the Deutsche Luftsportverband (DLV – Air Sports Association).

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