At the outset of the war, the Luftwaffe was one of the most modern, powerful, and experienced air forces in the world, dominating the skies over Europe with aircraft much more advanced than their initial counterparts. The Luftwaffe was central to the German Blitzkrieg (lightning war) doctrine, as the close air support provided by various medium two-engine bombers, Stuka dive bombers and an overwhelming force of tactical fighters were key to several early successes. Unlike the British and American Air Forces, the Luftwaffe never developed four-engine bombers in any significant numbers, and was thus unable to conduct an effective long-range strategic bombing campaign against either the Russians or the Western Allies. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was the most versatile and widely-produced fighter aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe, had been designed when biplane was still standard. Many versions of this aircraft were made. The engine, a liquid cooled Mercedes-Benz DB 601, initially generated up to almost 1000 horsepower. This power increased as direct fuel injection was introduced to the engines.
The Focke Wulf Fw 190 was considered the best German fighter of World War II. It had relatively short wings and was powered by a radial BMW engine. The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was a main asset for Blitzkrieg, able to place bombs with deadly accuracy. The leader of the Luftwaffe was Hermann Goring, a World War I fighter ace and former commander of von Richthofen's famous JG 1 who had joined the Nazi party in its early stages. In the (northern) summer and autumn of 1940, the Luftwaffe lost the Battle of Britain over the skies of England, the first all-air battle and Germany's first defeat. Following the military failures on the Eastern Front, from 1942 onwards, the Luftwaffe went into a steady, gradual decline that saw it outnumbered and overwhelmed by the sheer number of Allied aircraft being deployed against it. Towards the end of the war, the Luftwaffe was no longer a major factor, and despite fielding advanced aircraft like the Messerschmitt Me 262 and Me 163, was crippled by fuel shortages, insufficient production capacity, and a lack of trained pilots.
This 4-piece figure set consists of the following Luftwaffe aces: Erich Hartmann, Walter Nowotny, Hans Joachim Marseille, and Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Sold Out!
Height: 2 inches
Release Date: February 2007