Eagle Day, 1940

 by Martin Waligorski


In 1940, the German Air Force or Luftwaffe was the largest and most formidable air force in Europe. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces and largest and most sustained bombing campaign attempted up until that date.

At the start of the battle, the Luftwaffe had 2,500 aircraft that were serviceable and in any normal day, the Luftwaffe could put up over 1,600 planes, way beyond the numbers that Fighter Command could muster for the defence of England.

This collection of photographs, taken by various official German photographers during 1940 and the aerial campaigns over France and Britain, shows the German side of things; it provides a good visual review of the Luftwaffe fighter and bomber forces which RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes opposed during the battle.

Click to enlarge images

[All images from Bundesarchiv]