Talk:Luftwaffe

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Lemma[edit]

I am not happy with the current organization of article titles concerning the various German air forces. Whereas as a non-native English speaker I am not really interested in the details, there is at least one point that is really strange: If a reader searches for the term "Luftwaffe", he will not get to a disambiguation page, but directly to the entry on the Luftwaffe from 1935-1945, that is, to this very article. This should be changed in a way that "Luftwaffe" is a disambiguation page, from where the reader then can be directed to "Luftwaffe (Wehrmacht)"/ "Luftwaffe (German Air Force 1935-45)" on the one hand, and "German Air Force (Bundeswehr)"/ "Luftwaffe (Bundeswehr)" on the other (plus of course the other air forces, e.g. the German Imperial Air Force, or that of the former GDR). As I said, I am not interested in the detailed term used in the English language, native speakers anyway may be more competent in that matter than I am. But using "Luftwaffe" exclusively for the Wehrmacht Luftwaffe is strange, given that the current German and Swiss air forces are designated with the term "Luftwaffe", which is but a generic German-language term for any air force. I am aware that renaming an article might be difficult, and have read some of the archived discussions on the subject. I will not do anything before we have discussed the topic. Opinions? Levimanthys (talk) 13:49, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Its a matter of usage in English of the different terms, hence the recent changes. In English language sources any mention of the Luftwaffe normally refers to the second world war organisation, the modern air force is called originally the West German Air Force (WGAF) and then German Air Force. Because of this association nearly all readers searching for the term Luftwaffe would be interested in the wartime organisation. The explanation at the top of the article should redirect readers to the other users if they are confused. MilborneOne (talk) 13:57, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I am aware that an article should reflect the current usage in English, and I do understand that "Luftwaffe" in English is more often used for the Wehrmacht Luftwaffe than for the current one. However, the term is also used from time to time for the current German Air Force, which may not be so obvious at first sight because the interest in the 1935-45 Luftwaffe is exponentially higher than in the current Luftwaffe. But see for example here: Luftwaffe officers enjoy southern hospitality and at many other places allover the net; this in my opinion would justify that the lemma "Luftwaffe" should be a disambiguation page. I have no problem in leaving the current Luftwaffe at "German Air Force", and the historic one at "Luftwaffe (Wehrmacht)" emphasizing that the term "Luftwaffe" is more strongly associated with the 1935-45 Luftwaffe than the post-1956 one. By the way, I don't understand what the page with the name "Luftwaffe (disambiguation)" is good for. Levimanthys (talk) 14:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

I think considering that "Luftwaffe" is the german term for all air forces, "Luftwaffe (Wehrmacht)" would be more appropriate than just "Luftwaffe". Just to avoid misunderstandings right from the beginning.--Ickerbocker (talk) 18:52, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

As this is English wikipedia it doesnt really matter and it is all explained in the lead The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the German Wehrmacht and the note at the top of the page. MilborneOne (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Guess what, I know that this is the english wikipedia. The point is that Luftwaffe is still the official name of the current german air force. You can translate it as you want but it does not change its official german name (which is not meaningless for an encyclopaedia). By using just the lemma Luftwaffe you automatically imply, that this name was only used for the Wehrmacht Air Force and this is wrong. I don't see the problem in putting a (Wehrmacht) behind Luftwaffe. It clearifys the issue right on the first view.--Ickerbocker (talk) 02:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Coventry Blitz[edit]

Some editors seem to think that the Luftwaffe didn't bomb London and Coventry for their civilian population. IT is clear from Guernica onwards, that the Luftwaffe deliberately targeted cities for their civilians, so as to terrorize them. 81.132.120.48 (talk) 18:48, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Some editors of this site appear to promote neo-Nazi ideas, such as the ludicrous concept that the Luftwaffe wasn't bombing civilians in Guernica or Madrid before 1939. I have reverted the absurd sentence readopted by these editors. 81.132.120.48 (talk) 08:30, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Educate yourself, read some books about the events and strategy/goals by the Luftwaffe, then come back for discussion without your bias. They did not directly target civilians, they attacked several targets in cities without taking enough care/measures to reduce possible civilian casualties --Denniss (talk) 13:16, 24 March 2013 (UTC)


Your studied ignorance of the crimes of the Luftwaffe is staggering: have you not heard of the German bombing of London, Coventry, and earlier in the war, Warsaw? The Luftwaffe practised their odious methods on Guernica and Madrid before applying the lessons to other cities and towns in Europe. I suggest you start reading yourself the official histories of the war. Or perhaps your nationality prevents you taking a neutral attitude to German crimes during the last war? 81.132.120.48 (talk) 18:45, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Well said Denniss. Dapi89 (talk) 14:44, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
There is, possibly, room for some debate as to how much of the bombing carried out by either side during WW2 was terror bombing and how much was legitimate strategic bombing (and, for that matter, how much strategic bombing was carried out with a depraved indifference for civilian casualties), but that terror bombing took place isn't really in dispute. How far definitions of "war crimes" can be (or, more pertinently, have been) applied is yet another matter. 62.196.17.197 (talk) 12:42, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
"IT is clear from Guernica onwards, that the Luftwaffe deliberately targeted cities for their civilians"
This is far from clear. Although such things clearly happened, it is over-simplifying to say that they were the only German policy. In the run-up to Operation Sealion and thus the Battle of Britain, German bombing was strategically targeting British defences, not specifically civilians. Hitler's own Directive 17 of August 1940 keeps this focus on military materiel (including ports) and not civilian cities as deliberate terror bombing. I do not claim this was a moral standpoint, merely one of military tactics and focusing on the invasion goal. Provocation by the RAF through raids on Berlin (so light as to have no serious military effect) caused this directive to be rescinded and on 4th September for Hitler to threaten similar raids specifically against civilians. Operation Loki begins on the 7th as deliberate anti-civilian terror bombing of London and will go on for two months.
On 14th September, Hitler winds up the Battle of Britain. It hasn't worked, so he goes all out with one last enormous daylight raid, hence BoB day being observed even now on the 15th. It still doesn't work. After this, the focus is on night bombing of civilian targets, initially by continuing with Loki.
Coventry marks the start of a technically different campaign, but not a strategically or morally different one. Loki has finished shortly before and now the technical equipment of Kampfgruppe 100 and the X-Gerät is in place for something different. Moonlight Sonata is thus the first raid to use electronic navigation of this form, dedicated pathfinder aircraft and also a fire-raising strategy (which only works with a large and concentrated force who can all find the same target). As a moral target against civilians though, it's no different than the earlier Loki raids of the last two months.
A similar reprisal to provocation happened a year and a half later with the Baedeker Blitz, after the RAF raids on Lubeck. Note that Coventry though was not a Baedeker raid. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:18, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

"Doctrinally advanced"?[edit]

At present, the first para includes this:

"the Luftwaffe was reformed on 26 February 1935 and grew to become one of the strongest, most doctrinally advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world"

I have no idea what is meant here by "doctrinally advanced" - in what "doctrines" were they apparently showing their skills?Thomas Peardew (talk) 09:43, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Aah, I see - text by someone whose first language isn't English. I think "doctrine" etc throughout should be "tactics" Thomas Peardew (talk) 09:46, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
So should it be changed to something like "tactically [or "strategically"] most sophisticated"? Alfietucker (talk) 10:58, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Why is there still two separate Luftwaffe articles?[edit]

When I click on Luftwaffe for Infrared homing (redirected from heat-seeking missile) it directs me to the 1935-1945 German Luftwaffe. Can we just merge the two already? There is no reason I should be redirected to the Nazi era air force for heat-seeking missiles. I couldn't be the only one surprised when a eagle with a swastika showed up when I thought I was being directed to the Luftwaffe

(Please sign your posts, thanks) The use of two articles for what a separate things was decided upon after some discussion that term Luftwaffe was more related in English to the Second World War entity, thus the modern Air Force is at German Air Force. All you need to do is correct the link in the article you were looking at. MilborneOne (talk) 18:37, 25 July 2014 (UTC)