Sunday, 11 January 2009

Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte

The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte was the air service for the Imperial German Army of World War One. The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte was actually supposed to only be an over land arm of the German air service of the Great War.

Founded in 1910 the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte initially the air service was only created for reconnaissance purposes only but throughout World War One other uses for the Luftstreitkräfte were found. These different uses meant the Luftstreitkräfte changed greatly throughout the war due to new aircraft, tactics and the creation of specialist units.

By 1916 the German Generals had created a full array of specialist flying units as shown below.
(AFA) Artillerieflieger-Abteilung
(AFS) Artillerieflieger-Schule
AFP - Armee-Flug-Park
BZ - Ballonzug
Bogohl/BG - Bombengeschwader
Bosta - Bomberstaffel
FFA - Feldflieger Abteilung
FLA - Feldluftschiffer-Abteilung
FestFA - Festungsflieger-Abteilung
FA - Flieger-Abteilung
FA A - Flieger-Abteilung (Artillerie)
FlgBtl - Flieger-Bataillon
FBS - Fliegerbeobachter-Schule
FEA - Fliegerersatz-Abteilung
FS - Fliegerschule
JG - Jagdgeschwader
Jasta - Jagdstaffel
JastaSch - Jagdstaffel-Schule
KEK - Kampfeinsitzerkommando
Kest - Kampfeinsitzerstaffel
Kagohl/KG - Kampfgeschwader
Kasta - Kampfstaffel
Luft - Luftschiff-Truppe
LsBtl - Luftschiffer-Bataillon
Marine - Marine-Flieger
RBZ - Reihenbildzug
Schlasta - Schlachtstaffel
Schusta - Schutzstaffel
World War One saw the advance of aircraft creation for the Luftstreitkräfte, these aircraft were designed and built by Albatros-Flugzeugwerke, Gothaer Waggonfabrik and Fokker.

These planes were designated a letter to show the type of class the plane was as shown below.
A - Unarmed reconnaissance monoplane aircraft
B - Unarmed two-seat biplane, with the observer seated in front of the pilot.
C - Armed two-seat biplane, with the observer seated to the rear of the pilot.
CL - Light two-seater, initially intended as escort fighters - latterly mainly used for ground attack.
D - Doppeldecker - single-seat, armed biplane, but later any fighter
E - Eindecker - armed monoplane - initially included monoplane two-seaters.
Dr - Dreidecker - triplane fighter
G - Grosskampfflugzeug - Large twin engined types, mainly bombers
J - Schlachten - Armoured ground-attack aircraft
N - "C" type aircraft adapted for night bombing
R - Riesenflugzeug - "Giant" aircraft - at least three, up to four or five engines - all serviceable in flight.
For most of the war Luftstreitkräfte planes had the Iron Cross insignia on the side although from March 1918 this changed to a black cross on a white background.

At the end of World War One the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte had 2709 aircraft, 56 airships and 180 balloons. The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte also reported 3,126 aircraft, 546 balloons and 26 airships lost to Allied forces.

On May 8th 1920 the Luftstreitkräfte was dissolved as part of the Treaty of Varsailles which also saw all aircraft destroyed.

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