Battle of Britain prelude: the birth of the Luftwaffe
In 1922, Herman Göring joined the Nazi party
In 1924 - as part of the Treaty of Rapallo - Germany established a secret military flight school in Lipetsk, Soviet Union. By 1933, hundreds of fighter pilots and navigators had been trained, and twenty different aircraft types tested.
By 1930, Deutsche Luft Hansa (in terms of passenger miles) was bigger than the airlines of Britain and France combined. It’s Chief Executive, Erhard Milch, became a secret member of the Nazi Party and falsified company accounts so that the Party never paid for any of their chartered aircraft.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler rose to power as German Chancellor, appointing Göring as Reichskommissar für die Luftfahrt (Reich Commissioner for Air). In the same year, Milch transferred from Lufthansa to become Staatssekretär der Luftfahrt (Secretary of State for Air). Milch was tasked with creating an air force. In January 1933, the German aircraft industry employed less than 4,000 people. The following year, this figure would quadruple.