Deutsche Bristol-Werke was founded at Halberstadt in 1912 to manufacture products of the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, but severed connection with the parent company in 1914. Subsequently it developed and built its own designs under the name of Halberstadter Flugzeugwerke.
Halberstadt's first aircraft, the C.I reconnaissance biplane, first flew in May 1916, and together with more powerful C.III and C.V developments, was produced in large numbers in the First World War. The CL class two-seat escort fighters were particularly successful in ground-strafing roles during the campaigns of autumn 1917.
Halberstadt's D-class single-seater scouts were strong and maneuverable, but inferior to Allied fighters in speed. A number of D.ll and D.lll scouts were built by Hannoversche Waggonfabrik AG. The Halberstadt D.V, the company's final scout design, appeared in early 1917.