The Luftwaffe was one of the strongest, most doctrinal advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world when started in in September 1939. Officially unveiled in 1935, in violation, its purpose was to support Adolf Hitler's trek across Europe. The aircraft that were to serve in the were of a new age and technically superior to that of most other nations in the 1930's. Types like the Stuka and came to symbolize German air power.
The Luftwaffe became an essential component in the advancement of Nazi Germany's war machine. Operating as a close support air force, it helped the German armies to conquer the bulk of the European continent in a series of short and decisive campaigns in the first nine months of the war. It experienced its first defeat by the (RAF) during the in 1940 as it could not adapt into a strategic role.
Despite this setback the Luftwaffe remained formidable and in June 1941 embarked on 's quest for by invading the , with much initial success. However, the Luftwaffe's striking victories in the Soviet Union were brought to a halt in the Russian winter of 1942-1943.
Having failed to achieve victory in the in 1941 or 1942, the Luftwaffe was drawn into a war of attrition which extended to and the Channel Front. The entry of the into the war and the resurgence of the RAF's offensive power created the Home Front, known as operations. The Luftwaffe's strength was slowly eroded and by mid 1944 it had virtually disappeared from the skies of Western Europe leaving the German Army to. It continued to fight into the last days of the war with a new generation of turbojet-powered and rocket-engine aircraft.