During the First World War, naval aviators were part of the Kaiserliche Marine. Between the wars, naval aviation, the Seeflieger was absorbed by Goering's Luftwaffe in 1935. It almost came into existence when the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was laid down in 1936, but lack of suitable aircraft, coupled with the reluctance of the Luftwaffe to support the Kriegsmarine in the carrier's construction, culminated in its eventual cancellation in 1943, and all anti-ship operations were transferred to the Luftwaffe shortly afterwards.
The British were largely instrumental in creation of the Marineflieger, supplying training and aircraft. A number of Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) officers operated as part of the German Navy in the process. The first aircraft included Hawker Sea Hawks which were used by Marinefliegergeschwader 1 and 2 and Fairey Gannets. Until the new bases were ready, pilots were trained with the FAA in the UK.
The Marineflieger operates the following aircraft;
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