Flieger HJ

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Soon after Hitler’s appointment as chancellor, the Hitler Youth organization (HJ)  formed an air division, the Flieger program. It proved to be a very popular, with older HJ boys  working with gliders. Thus when Hitler formally announced the creation of the Luftwaffe (1935), a program was in place that was producing recruits with aeronautical experience for the Luftwaffe.  World War II accounts of the air war generally focus on the planes involved. Less well covered is the preparation of the pilots, except at this site which regularly post articles on the aces them selves, many who started as HJ glider pilots. The German Luftwaffe began the War with the best trained and most effective pilots and air crews of the War. Part of the reason for this was the experience of the Luftwaffe in Spain, but a major reason was the large Flieger HJ program which meant that the Luftwaffe had access to large numbers of young men with basic aviation experience.

The Flieger-HJ program was designed to teach boys the basic principles of flying. Younger boys began by building building model airplanes for the first 2-years of the program. Here the focus was model gliders that the boys could actually test out. This helped to stimulate interest as well as to present basic principles of aeronautics. They were also instructed in the theory of flight. The younger boys would help man the catapults that launched older boys in actual glider training. After the younger boys completing the model phase of the program they proceeded to prepare to fly actual gliders. The boys worked on A, B, and the advanced C level of glider certifications. The boys that were successful with gliders would progress into the Luftwaffe. Gliding was very useful in honing flying skills.  The HJ organized an annual Flieger-HJ aviation competition. The boys competed to find who built the best model airplanes. The primary competition was to find whose model glider could fly the longest distance. The awards given were highly prized by the boys. In one year there were 1,500 participants in the competition.

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Published in: on April 10, 2017 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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