During the month of March 1935, the veil of secrecy was lifted and the Luftwaffe was presented to the world. At the time of this opening phase German military aircraft still wore the in 1933 introduced civilian type codes on their fuselage and wings, starting with the letter "D" for Deutschland, or Germany, followed by a four letter identification code (example: D-IEAU, as worn by a Ju87A-1). These codes were painted in black, which formed a good contrast against the silver, light grey or light green-grey aircraft.
Landplanes D-Yxxx 1 person, all-up weight 500 Kg D-Exxx 1-3 persons, all-up weight 1.000 Kg D-Ixxx 1-4 persons, all-up weight between 1.000 and 2.500 Kg D-Oxxx 1-8 persons, all-up weight between 2.500 and 5.000 Kg D-Uxxx Single-engined, all-up weight in excess of 5.000 Kg D-Axxx Multi-engined, all-up weight in excess of 5.000 Kg Seaplanes D-Yxxx 1 person, all-up weight 600 Kg D-Exxx 1-3 persons, all-up weight 2.200 Kg D-Ixxx 1-4 persons, all-up weight 5.000 Kg D-Axxx Multi-engined, all-up weight in excess of 5.000 Kg
These sparse markings were found to be insufficient and on July 6 1936, it was decided to supplement these civilian type codes, with the new National Socialist flag on the port side of tail surface and a national tri-color (old Prussian and Imperial) sash on the starboard side.
Only a few months later, in September 1935, all attempts to cover the nature of the new air force were dropped and links to the past were strongly reaffirmed with the inclusion of the traditional German military marking of a black and white cross, based on the late WW1 type Beam Cross or Balkenkreuz. Soon thereafter a black outline was added to emphasize the original white outline of the black cross. The starboard tri-color sash did not last long after the appearance of the Balkenkreuz and was soon phased out, replaced by the national flag similar to the port side.
Towards the end of 1935 the Luftwaffe dropped the civilian type codes in favor of a five-symbol military type code, identifying Luftkreis (pre-cursor of the Luftgau), Geschwader, individual aircraft identification, Gruppe and Staffel, all of which used numbers for identification except the individual aircraft identification which used letters, the letter "A" identifying the first aircraft in the Staffel, "B" the second, etc.
Luftkreiskommando 1 Königsberg Luftkreiskommando 2 Berlin Luftkreiskommando 3 Dresden Luftkreiskommando 4 Münster Luftkreiskommando 5 München Luftkreiskommando 6 Kiel
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