The story of German aircraft during WWII is something of a schizophrenic tale. Early in the war they devastated opponents through radical new strategies of combined arms, with Stuka dive-bombers and Messerschmitt fighters flying in close air support over the German Blitzkrieg.
These victories, culminating in the stunning and unexpected quick victory over France, then saw the dreaded Luftwaffe lose more and more ground. Once it had to face sophisticated enemy aircraft, the Luftwaffe proved unable to cope with British, Soviet or American aircraft. Their victories early in the war had blinded them to the weaknesses of their aircraft and prototypes of faster, more heavily armed aircraft spent years on drawing boards or moving through Byzantine bureaucracies, only making their way into production once the skies over Germany were filled with more British and American bombers than could ever be shot down.
So the tale of the German Luftwaffe is really two tales: one of stunning victories and novel strategies and the other of “victory sickness” in which tried and true designs were sent into battle against Allied craft that became more sophisticated by the day.
Included Aircraft: Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (1941), Focke-Wulf Ta 152H (1944), Heinkel He 111 (1936), Heinkel He 177 (1942), Junkers Ju 52 (1931), Junker Ju 87 “Stuka” (1936), Messerschmitt Bf 109 (1937), Messerschmitt Bf 110 (1936), Messerschmitt Me 163 (1944), Messerschmitt Me 410 (1943).