London (Dec. 15)
Rumours which have been circulating of a private army organised by Herr Adolf Hitler have received confirmation in one respect, namely, the formation of a flying corps, for which the word has now gone forth at Nazi headquarters, the “Manchester Guardian” reports to-day, confirming the report given by the J.T.A. in yesterday’s Bulletin. Hitherto, it says, there has existed only the associations or “rings” of National Socialist aviators who were ready to demonstrate with their machines on gala occasions, such as the Nationalist Congress at Harzburg.
Herr Hitler himself, it proceeds, computes the number of young men owning ‘planes and willing to form the Nazi “Air Storm Battalion” at between 20 and 25.’ This means that several members of air sports clubs have joined the party.
Besides this formation, it says, a “National Socialist German Air Association” has been formed, whose president is Dr. Ziegler, formerly instructor at the Civil Aircraft Flying School. In Munion the success of this new form of Hitler propaganda has been so great that the committee of the “Light Aircraft Club” is now entirely composed of Nazi supervisors.
At Nazi headquarters, the London “Times” states, it is explained that the party flying corps is a regularly registered corporation which is to devote itself solely to “sporting aviation”. The idea is to get members with flying experience organised so that they may put in the necessary number of flying hours for the maintenance of their certificate, as certificates are cancelled if the holder does not fly for 12 months. The reference to the “air arm”, if tactically unwise and apt to give the affair exaggerated importance, is comprehensible in view of the fact that most Germans with useful flying experience, apart from regular commercial pilots, are bound to be former war pilots. There are also, of course, younger men who have obtained their “A” or “sporting” certificates in light aeroplanes, and the Nazis evidently intended to muster all available members of both categories.
A statement that the Nazis had recently placed and order for 25 aeroplanes with the Albatross orks is denied, and the denial is supported by information from the Ministry of Communications, which has reason to know the state of affairs at the works. At Nazi headquarters it is denied that the party possesses a single machine, if only because the party funds are said to be far from flourishing.
It is admitted that individual members of the Nazi Party may own light aeroplanes or carry out propaganda flights in hired or borrowed machines, and there can be no doubt that the party would like to make a good display in the air at its rallies. The Nazis are understood to be trying with some success to gain a strong footing in private aeroplane clubs which have machines at their disposal. There is nothing to prevent them from doing this or from forming their own aeroplane club and calling it a flying corps. They already have a motor-transport section, like the Stahlhelm, which at its big rally at Coblenz over a year ago produced an aeroplane section.