[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]
CHAPTER X. GERMAN AIR FORCE
Section I. AIR FORCE HIGH COMMAND
The German Air Force (Luftwaffe), one of the three branches of the German Armed Forces, is organized and administered independently of either the Army or the Navy. Its three main branches are the flying troops, antiaircraft artillery, and air signal troops. It also includes parachute and airborne troops, air engineers, air medical corps, and air police, and a number of special divisions formed of Air Force personnel for service as regular fighting troops. It is organized on a territorial rather than a functional basis, with separate operational and administrative commands. This division of responsibilities has made for a high degree of mobility among the flying units and thus has been responsible for much of the success of the German Air Force.
Reichsmarschall Goering serves in the dual capacity of Minister of Aviation (Reichsminister der Luftfahrt) and Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe). As Commander-in-Chief he is charged with the administration and operations of the Air Force. As Minister of Aviation he is a member of the Cabinet and is responsible for the coordination and supervision of civil aviation. Since Goering has many other duties in the German Government, however, the supreme command usually is exercised by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Aviation and Inspector General of the Air Force.
3. Air Ministry (Reichsluftfahrministerium or R.L.M.)
At the Air Ministry—the highest administrative and operational authority of the Air Force—are found the departments which control all Air Force activity. These departments fall into two groups: those of the General Staff and those concerned with administration and supply.
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