Luftwaffe’s last battle. The German air service was created clandestinely in 1933. It saw action between 1936 and 1939 during the Spanish Civil War. It then took part in WWII, fighting on many fronts: From supporting U-Boats in the Atlantic to attacking the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain; from the Battle of Norway to the sands of Tunisia and Libya; involved in Eastern Europe and over the Soviet Inion, but also taking part in the defence of the Reich trying to stem the flow of allied bombers. It is fair to say WWII was a busy time for the Luftwaffe.
By May 1945, however, the Luftwaffe was a hollowed shadow of its former self. And the end was near. On the 7th of May 1945, Jodl, the German Chief of Staff, signed Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Western Allies, in Reims, France. The surrender was to be effective the next day, the 8th of May. The German high command had been trying to delay that surrender for days (since the death of Hitler, 30th of April 1945), as they were still in the process of trying to evacuate tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers from the Eastern Front, where vengeful Soviet troops were on a rampage.