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(Note: Question Corrected from "WWI" to "WWII")

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended WWI, imposed many severe restrictions on Germany's military structure. Among these was a clause forbidding Germany from having armed aircraft. Obviously, history shows that Germany disregarded many of the Treaty's restrictions, as it had one of the largest and most advanced Air Forces in the world at the outbreak of the war.

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βˆ™ 15y ago
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βˆ™ 9y ago

Simply put, the Allies had achieved daylight air superiority over France by forcing the German Luftwaffe to relocate its fighter defense units from France, Belgium & Netherlands back east into Germany. This was achieved by the US 8th Air Force's bombing campaign against strategic targets in Germany. The effectiveness of American bombing forced the Luftwaffe to change its priorities from the defense of France to the defense of the "Reich" (Germany & Austria). The effectiveness of American fighters (primarily the P-47D) & pilots in successfully engaging the German fighter pilots, helped to reduce American bomber losses and forced the German defenders to avoid American fighters. This meant locating German Me-109 & Fw-190 fighter units inside Germany, out-of-range of the American P-47. Then four things that the 8th Air Force did before D-Day combined to inflict defeat on the Luftwaffe.

1. The 8th Air Force acquired larger drop (fuel) tanks for the P-47D Thunderbolt fighter increasing its radius of action into northern Germany. Note: Although the P-47 was over-shadowed by the P-51 Mustang in the minds of the public, it was actually the P-47D that first began killing-off German expert (ace) pilots of the Luftwaffe in large numbers. The P-47D carried eight 0.50 cal. MG with very large amounts of ammunition that had the ability to destroy both the Me-109 & Fw-190 German fighters in a devastating manner that often quickly killed or wounded the German pilot. It was the loss of skilled pilots that mattered more than the loss of German aircraft to the eventual defeat of the Luftwaffe.

2. The P-51B & C Mustang fighters (with only four 0.50 cal. MG) began to become operational in England in December 1943. They had excellent range, competitive maneuverability & firepower that escorted the bombers deeper into Germany than the P-47 could. German fighter pilots were engaged in air combat over much more of Germany (and later Austria), even over their own airfields.

3. The leadership of the 8th Air Force decided to switch its fighter combat tactics from "close escort" of the American bombers, to the "ultimate pursuit" of the German fighters. This meant that American fighters would escort the bombers until the German fighters would appear. Then the American fighter pilots were free to chase any and all German fighter pilots that they could see. Both the P-47 & P-51 were fast enough to pursue & catch the enemy aircraft at almost all altitudes. No German piston-engine fighter was able to escape a P-47 or P-51 by diving away. The P-51 had sufficient range (with drop tanks) to pursue most German pilots all the way to their airbases if necessary. P-51's could linger near enemy airfields waiting to pick-off Germans landing or taking-off.

4. The 8th Air Force in May 1944 unleashed a very successful bombing campaign against German oil/fuel targets that caused an immediate & lasting shortage of fuel for the German military. This shortage helped to prevent German air units from redeploying back into France during the Allied landings at Normandy in June 1944, and reduced the number of missions that the Luftwaffe could fly.

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βˆ™ 14y ago

They did use the jet in World War 2. The allies shot them down. The production of the Jet was started too late in the war. The war was over before they could build thousands of them.

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Q: Why was Germany not allowed an air force leading up to World War 2?
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What caused the balance of power to shift to Europe in the years leading up to the war?

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