Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM)


The Reichsluftfahrtministerium was formed 27.4.33 in the center of Berlin, from the Reichskommissariat für die Luftfahrt, which had been establised 2.2.33, with Herman Göring at its head.

Initially only a small Stab, the first and most important change occured on 15.5.33, when the Luftschutzamt were transferred to the RLM on orders from Gen. Blomberg. This was the first time, that a major defence department was standing outside either Navy or Army control, and can be considered the birthday of the Luftwaffe, although the official birthday would be a few years later. With the transfer of the Luftschutzamt, the RLM was expanded considerably, and now consisted of 2 large departments (Amt): the military Luftschutzamt (LA) and the civilian Allgemeines Luftamt (LB). The civilian part of the RLM was directly subordinated to Erhard Milch, in his function as Staatssekretär der Luftfahrt.

The Luftschutzamt consisted of the following Abteilungen: LA I (Führung), LA II (Organisation), LA III (Ausbildung), LA IV (Luftschutz), a Allgemeine Abteilung and a Personalabteilung. The Allgeimeines Luftamt consisted of: LB I (Luftverkehr), LB II (Technik), LB III (Luftsport und Ausbildung), LB IV (Luftbildwesen), LB V (Bodenorganisation), a Personalabteilung, a Verwaltungsabteilung and a Reichsant für Flugsicherung.

Other units under the RLM was Hauptbildstelle der RLM, the Reklameabteilung (3 Reklamestaffeln, the first air units), the Militärflugzentrum Lipezk in Russia, Kommando der Fliegerschulen and Inspektion des Luftschutzes.

Organisation 1.6.33, see chart 1.

On 1.9.33 the Luftschutzamt was renamed Luftkommandoamt, and RLM was now reorganised into 6 large departments:

Abteilung Technik (LB II) under LB, had become independent as Technisches Amt (LC), the Personalabteilung under LA, had become independent as Luftwaffenpersonalamt (LP), while LD and ZA was newly formed.

The Inspektion der Luftschutzes (InLS) returned to Army control 1.9.33, and 2 months later (1.11.33) Kommando der Fliegerschulen became Inspektion der Schulen der Luftwaffe (under RLM).

Organisation 1.10.33, se chart 2.

During the next year the organisation would remain more or less static, but on 1.11.34 the LZM (Luftzeugmeister) was formed as the 7th main department, to control the supply organisation.

Organisation 1.11.34, se chart 3.

A detailed look at the departments at this date will show the following organisation:

The next reorganisation occured on 1.4.35 with 3 more Abteilungen formed under the Luftkommandoamt (LA): Oberquartiermeister (OQu), Abteilung Fremde Luftmächte and Abteilung Sanitätswesen (LA/Med). At the same time 3 new Inspektionen was formed: Inspektion der Aufklärungsflieger und des Bildwesens (Fl In 1), Inspektion der Kampfflieger (Fl In 2) and Inspektion der Jagd- und Sturzkampfflieger (Fl In 3), and all 3 were subordinated to the Luftkommandoamt (LA).

Also on 1.4.35 the Inspektion des Schulen der Luftwaffe (In Sch) became Kommando der Schulen (K.d.S.), and Inspektion der Flakartillerie und Luftschutzes (L In Flak) returned to the RLM from the Army, together with the transfer of all Flak units from the Army to the Luftwaffe.

Organisation RLM 1.4.35, see chart 4.

Organisation Luftkommandoamt (LA) 1.6.35, see chart 5.