Return to Luftwaffe

Introduction

This topic, which has virtually nothing to do with Roman history (other than both the Roman empire and Greater German Reich enslaved a continent), was prompted by the introduction in July 2011 of IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover, a hyper-realistic flight simulation game, as can be seen in this screenshot of a Bf-109 cockpit interior. The realism of the planes encouraged an attempt to "skin" them with different camouflage patterns, insignia, and markingsan exercise limited, however, to those German planes that participated in the Battle of Britain: the Ju 87, Ju 88, Bf 109, Bf 110, and He 111.

It should go without saying that doing so is not an endorsement of National Socialism. The Luftwaffe was the youngest of the armed services (having been officially established in 1935) and the most ideologically committed, its pilots of Aryan descent and former members of the Hitler Youth. Hans-Ulrich Rudel, for example, flew more than 2500 combat missions (mostly in a Ju 87) on the Eastern Front and was the most highly decorated German serviceman of the war. The sole recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, which had been created especially for him, he also was a later confidant of the Argentine dictator Juan Perón, a friend there of Josef Mengele, and an unrepentant admirer of Adolf Hitler.


Opening from the side, the hinged canopy of the Bf 109 was heavy (even more so because of the addition of an armored plate behind the pilot's head) and difficult to open. By pulling the red handle visible above on the port side of the cockpit, the entire structure could be jettisoned.