Adolf Galland
Overview
 
Adolf "Dolfo" Joseph Ferdinand Galland (19 March 1912 – 9 February 1996) was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 and flying ace
Flying ace
A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an "ace" has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more...

 who served throughout World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in Europe. He flew 705 combat missions, and fought on the Western
Western Front (World War II)
The Western Front of the European Theatre of World War II encompassed, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and West Germany. The Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale ground combat operations...

 and the Defence of the Reich fronts. On four occasions he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 104 aerial victories, all of them against the Western Allies
Western Allies
The Western Allies were a political and geographic grouping among the Allied Powers of the Second World War. It generally includes the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, the United States, France and various other European and Latin American countries, but excludes China, the Soviet Union,...

.

Galland, who was born in Westerholt (now Herten
Herten
Herten is a town and a municipality in the district of Recklinghausen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated in the industrial Ruhr Area, approx...

), Westphalia
Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

, became a glider
Glider (sailplane)
A glider or sailplane is a type of glider aircraft used in the sport of gliding. Some gliders, known as motor gliders are used for gliding and soaring as well, but have engines which can, in some cases, be used for take-off or for extending a flight...

 pilot in 1929 before he joined Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. was a German airline, serving as flag carrier of the country during the later years of the Weimar Republic and throughout the Third Reich.-1920s:Deutsche Luft Hansa was founded on 6 January 1926 in Berlin...

.
Encyclopedia
Adolf "Dolfo" Joseph Ferdinand Galland (19 March 1912 – 9 February 1996) was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 and flying ace
Flying ace
A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an "ace" has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more...

 who served throughout World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in Europe. He flew 705 combat missions, and fought on the Western
Western Front (World War II)
The Western Front of the European Theatre of World War II encompassed, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and West Germany. The Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale ground combat operations...

 and the Defence of the Reich fronts. On four occasions he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 104 aerial victories, all of them against the Western Allies
Western Allies
The Western Allies were a political and geographic grouping among the Allied Powers of the Second World War. It generally includes the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, the United States, France and various other European and Latin American countries, but excludes China, the Soviet Union,...

.

Galland, who was born in Westerholt (now Herten
Herten
Herten is a town and a municipality in the district of Recklinghausen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated in the industrial Ruhr Area, approx...

), Westphalia
Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

, became a glider
Glider (sailplane)
A glider or sailplane is a type of glider aircraft used in the sport of gliding. Some gliders, known as motor gliders are used for gliding and soaring as well, but have engines which can, in some cases, be used for take-off or for extending a flight...

 pilot in 1929 before he joined Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. was a German airline, serving as flag carrier of the country during the later years of the Weimar Republic and throughout the Third Reich.-1920s:Deutsche Luft Hansa was founded on 6 January 1926 in Berlin...

. In 1932 he graduated as a pilot at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule
Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule
The Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule , German Air Transport School, was a covert military-training organization operating as a flying school in Germany...

("German Commercial Flyers' School") in Brunswick
Braunschweig
Braunschweig , is a city of 247,400 people, located in the federal-state of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located north of the Harz mountains at the farthest navigable point of the Oker river, which connects to the North Sea via the rivers Aller and Weser....

 before applying to join the Reichswehr
Reichswehr
The Reichswehr formed the military organisation of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when it was renamed the Wehrmacht ....

 of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 later in the year. Galland's application was accepted, but he never took up the offer. In February 1934 he was transferred to the Luftwaffe. In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, he volunteered for the Condor Legion
Condor Legion
The Condor Legion was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force and from the German Army which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor Legion developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War...

 and flew ground attack missions in support of the Nationalists
Falange
The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

 under Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

. After finishing his tour in 1938 Galland was employed in the Air Ministry writing doctrinal
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 and technical manuals about his experiences as a ground-attack pilot. During this period Galland served as an instructor for ground-attack units. During the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he again flew ground attack missions. In early 1940 Galland managed to persuade his superiors to allow him to become a fighter pilot.

Galland flew Messerschmitt Bf 109
Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid 1930s...

s during the Battle of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

  and the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

. By the end of 1940 his tally of victories had reached 57. In 1941 Galland stayed in France and fought the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) over the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 and Northern France. By November 1941 his tally had increased to 96, by which time he had earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. In November 1941, Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders was a World War II German Luftwaffe pilot and the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft, and was...

, who commanded the German Fighter Force as the General der Jagdflieger, was killed in a flying accident and Galland succeeded him, staying in the position until January 1945. As General der Jagdflieger Galland was forbidden to fly combat missions. For commanding JG 26 with distinction, he earned the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.

In late January and early February 1942, Galland first planned then commanded the Luftwaffe's air cover for the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

's Operation Cerberus
Operation Cerberus
The Channel Dash, , was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of both Scharnhorst class battleships, and heavy cruiser along with escorts, ran a British blockade and successfully sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany...

 which was a major success. Over the ensuing years, Galland’s disagreements with Reichsmarschall
Reichsmarschall
Reichsmarschall literally in ; was the highest rank in the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II after the position of Supreme Commander held by Adolf Hitler....

 Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 about how best to combat the Allied Air Forces bombing Germany caused their relationship to deteriorate. The Luftwaffe fighter force was under severe pressure by 1944 and Galland was blamed by Göring for the failure to prevent the Allied strategic bombing
Strategic bombing
Strategic bombing is a military strategy used in a total war with the goal of defeating an enemy nation-state by destroying its economic ability and public will to wage war rather than destroying its land or naval forces...

 of Germany in daylight. The relationship collapsed altogether in early January 1945, when Galland was relieved of his command because of his constant criticism of the Luftwaffe leadership. Galland was then put under house arrest
House arrest
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all...

 following the so-called Revolt of the Kommodores
Fighter Pilots Conspiracy
The Fighter Pilots Conspiracy Legend refers to the poorly documented verbal rebellion of the leading officers of the Luftwaffe against the incompetence of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht.-Background:...

, during which senior Jagdwaffe pilots tried to "save" Galland's position, while having Göring dismissed as Reichsmarschall.

In March 1945, Galland returned to operational flying and was permitted to form a jet fighter unit which Galland called Jagdverband 44. He flew missions over Germany until the end of the war in May. After the war Galland was employed by Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

's Government and acted as a consultant to the Argentine Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

. Later he returned to Germany and managed his own business. Galland also befriended many former enemies, such as RAF aces Robert Stanford Tuck
Robert Stanford Tuck
Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC was a British fighter pilot and test pilot.Tuck joined the RAF in 1935. Tuck first engaged in combat during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk, claiming his first victories...

 and Douglas Bader
Douglas Bader
Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL was a Royal Air Force fighter ace during the Second World War. He was credited with 20 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged.Bader joined the...

. Adolf Galland died in February 1996.

Family

Galland was born in Westerholt (now Herten
Herten
Herten is a town and a municipality in the district of Recklinghausen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated in the industrial Ruhr Area, approx...

), Westphalia
Province of Westphalia
The Province of Westphalia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.-History:Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Kingdom of Westphalia, which was a client state of the First French Empire from 1807 to 1813...

 on 19 March 1912 to a family with French Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

 ancestry. The first Galland in Westerholt was a refugee from France in 1792. He became a bailiff
Bailiff
A bailiff is a governor or custodian ; a legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed...

 to the count von Westerholt, beginning a tradition that was handed down from father to son. Adolf Galland (junior) was the second of four sons of the land manager or bailiff to the Count von Westerholt Adolf Galland (senior) and his French wife Anna, née Schipper. Galland's older brother was Fritz and his two younger brothers were Wilhelm-Ferdinand
Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland
Wilhelm-Ferdinand "Wutz" Galland was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He is credited with 55 aerial victories in achieved in 186 combat missions...

 and Paul. Their father had pet names for all his family members. His wife Anna was called "Anita". Fritz, his older brother, was called "Toby", Adolf was "Keffer", Wilhelm-Ferdinand was nicknamed "Wutz" and Paul was called "Paulinchen" or since they were expecting a girl, occasionally "Paula".

His two younger brothers also became fighter pilots and aces. Paul
Paul Galland
Paul Galland was a German Luftwaffe ace and brother of Luftwaffe aces Adolf Galland and Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland. He claimed 17 aerial victories in 107 combat missions. On 31 October 1942 he was shot down and killed by a RAF Supermarine Spitfire.-References:CitationsBibliography* Baker, David....

 claimed 17 victories, he was shot down and killed on 31 October 1942. Wilhelm-Ferdinand, credited with 54 victories, was shot down and killed on 17 August 1943.

Youth

In 1927 Galland's life-long interest in flying started when a group of aviation enthusiasts brought the first glider club to Borkenberge. It was here that the Gelsenkirchen Luftsportverein (Air Sports Club) created an interest in flying among young Germans. Galland travelled by foot or horse-drawn wagon 30 kilometres (18.6 mi) to help prepare the gliders for flight. Under the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 Germany was denied an air force. They were however allowed gliders and it became the way for fledgling pilots to begin their flying career. The sport became so popular that the Reichswehr set up ten schools, one in each of the seven military districts of Germany. The military also published a magazine, Flugsport (Flight Sport), to encourage an interest in aviation and began a series of glider competitions around the country. Galland had learned the basic laws of flight and how everything worked on paper but he found they did not always work in reality and his inexperience caused a few accidents. One of his tutors, Georg Ismer, taught him various techniques and in 1929, the 17 year old Galland passed his A certificate. This was one of three certificates he needed for his professional license. When he eventually attained his B and C certificates, his father promised to buy him his own Glider if he also passed his matriculations examinations, which he succeeded in doing. Galland became an outstanding glider pilot; he became an instructor before he'd passed his Abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

.

In February 1932 Galland graduated from Hindenburg Gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 (high school) in Buer
Buer, Germany
Buer is the largest suburb of Gelsenkirchen. The Hochstrasse in the heart of Buer is the largest shopping street in Gelsenkirchen.-History:...

 and was among 20 personnel who were accepted to the aviation school of Germany's national airline, Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. was a German airline, serving as flag carrier of the country during the later years of the Weimar Republic and throughout the Third Reich.-1920s:Deutsche Luft Hansa was founded on 6 January 1926 in Berlin...

.

Pilot training

During the final years of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

, life was hard for the Galland family economically and jobs were scarce. Adolf had some experience of flying gliders so he applied to the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule or DVS (German Commercial Flying School) which was heavily subsidised by Luft Hansa. He was one of 100 successful applicants out of 4,000. After ten days of evaluations, he was among just 18 selected for flight training. Adolf was then assessed on performance. Those that did not reach the standard were sent home. Galland's first flight was in an Albatros L 101
Albatros Al 101
|-See also:-References:*...

. His early career went badly. On one flight, he made a heavy landing and damaged the undercarriage of his aircraft. Later, while leading three aircraft in formation, two of them collided. No one was killed, but Galland was judged to have employed poor formation tactics. These incidents affected him so badly he applied to join the German Army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

, convinced that he would soon be sent home. In the meantime, he carried on with his flight training. Galland did not receive a reply from the Army and settled down to continue his training. Flights in an Albatros L 75
Albatros L 75
|-See also:-References:*...

 and the award of a B1 certificate for large aircraft over 2, 500 kg in weight helped him regain his confidence. Around the same time, the Army accepted his application, but owing to his successful training and improved flying, the flying school refused to release him. By Christmas 1932, he had logged 150 hours flying and had obtained a B2 certificate.

Early in 1933, Galland was sent to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 training base at Warnemuende to train on flying boat
Flying boat
A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane with a hull, allowing it to land on water. It differs from a float plane as it uses a purpose-designed fuselage which can float, granting the aircraft buoyancy. Flying boats may be stabilized by under-wing floats or by wing-like projections from the fuselage...

s. Galland disliked learning what he perceived to be "seamanship", but logged 25 hours in these aircraft. Soon afterward, along with several other pilots, he was ordered to attend an interview at the Zentrale der Verkehrsflieger Schule (ZVS: Central Airline Pilot School). Here the group were interviewed by military personnel in civilian clothing. After being informed of a secret military training program being built that involved piloting high performance aircraft, all the pilots accepted an invitation to join the organisation.

Into the Luftwaffe

In May 1933 Galland was ordered to a meeting in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 as one of 12 civilian pilots among 70 airmen who came from clandestine programmes, meeting Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 for the first time. Galland was impressed by and believed Göring to be a competent leader. In July 1933 Galland travelled to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 to train with the Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

. Initially the Germans were treated as inferior by the Italians, but after Galland had flown some daring and impressive low-level manoeuvres, the German contingent won their hosts' respect.

In September 1933 Galland returned to Germany and flew in some minor competitions as a glider pilot winning some prizes. Soon afterwards he returned to the ZVS to learn instrument flying and receive training in piloting heavy transport aircraft logging another 50 hours. As a part of his training, beginning in October 1933, Galland flew Luft Hansa airliners. Flying the Junkers G24 from Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 to Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, via Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 and Marseilles. In December 1933 Galland was recalled to the ZVS headquarters and offered the chance to join the new Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

. Galland found the choice hard as he wanted the adventure of a military flying career, but as an airline pilot, Galland had enjoyed the life style of flying and visiting exotic places and was reluctant to give it up. Nevertheless, he decided to officially join the Luftwaffe.

After basic training in the Army he was discharged from his barracks in Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

 in October 1934. In February 1935 Galland was now part of 900 airmen waiting to be inducted to the new ReichsLuftwaffe. In March Galland was ordered to report to Jagdgeschwader 2
Jagdgeschwader 2
Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" was a World War II Luftwaffe wing. It was named after World War I fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen.-History:...

, arriving at its headquarters in Jüterbog-Damm
Jüterbog
Jüterbog is a historic town in north-eastern Germany, located in the Teltow-Fläming district of Brandenburg. It is located on the Nuthe river at the northern slope of the Fläming hill range, about southwest of Berlin.-History:...

 on 1 April 1935. Galland's performance had not yet been impressive enough for a position as an instructor, so he was evaluated and deemed good enough for an operational posting.

In October 1935, during aerobatic manoeuvre training, he crashed a Focke-Wulf Fw 44
Focke-Wulf Fw 44
-External links:* * * * * * *...

 biplane and was in a coma for three days, other injuries were a damaged eye, fractured skull and broken nose. When Galland recovered, he was declared unfit for flying by the doctors. A friend, "Major Rheital" kept the doctors report secret to allow Adolf to continue flying. The expansion of the Luftwaffe and his own Geschwader flooded the administration officers and Galland's medical report was overlooked. Within a year Galland showed no signs of injury from his crash. In October 1936 he crashed an Arado Ar 68 and was hospitalized again, aggravating his injured eye. It was at this point his previous medical report came to light again and Galland's unfit certificate was discovered. Major Rheital was rumoured to have undergone a Court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

, but the investigators dropped the charges. Galland, however, was grounded. He admitted having fragments of glass in his eye, but convinced the doctors he was fit for flying duty. Galland was ordered to undergo eye tests to validate his claims. Before the testing could begin, one of his brothers managed to acquire the charts. Adolf memorised the charts passing the test and was permitted to fly again.

Condor Legion

During the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, Galland was appointed Staffelkapitän
Staffelkapitän
Staffelkapitän is a position in flying units of the German Luftwaffe that is the equivalent of RAF/USAF Squadron Commander. Usually today a Staffelkapitän is of Oberstleutnant or Major rank....

 of a Condor Legion
Condor Legion
The Condor Legion was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force and from the German Army which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor Legion developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War...

 unit, 3. Staffel Jagdgruppe 88
Jagdgruppe 88
Jagdgruppe 88 was a German Condor Legion fighter group serving in the Spanish Civil War. J/88 consisted of a headquarters and four squadrons , although the 4th Staffel was short lived...

,Jagdgruppe 88, a four Staffel Gruppe which was sent to support the Nationalist side under Franco at Ferrol from mid-1937. Galland flew ground attack missions in Heinkel He 51
Heinkel He 51
-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Donald, David, ed. Warplanes of the Luftwaffe. London: Aerospace, 1994. ISBN 1-874023-56-5.* Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. "The Cadre Creator...Heinkel's Last Fighting Biplane". Air Enthusiast No. 36, May-August 1988. pp. 11–24. ISSN 0143-5450.*...

s.
In Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Galland first displayed his unique style; flying in swimming trunks with a cigar between his teeth in an aircraft decorated with a Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

 figure. When asked why he developed this style he gave a simple answer:

I like Mickey Mouse. I always have. And I like cigars, but I had to give them up after the war.


Galland flew his first of 300 combat mission in Spain with the J/88 commander Gotthard Handrick
Gotthard Handrick
Karl Hermann Gotthard Handrick was a German Olympic athlete and German fighter pilot during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.-Career:...

, on 24 July 1937, near Brunete
Brunete
Brunete is a town outside Madrid, Spain. There was a major battle fought there during the Spanish Civil War. The battle, while a stalemate, was seen as a tactical victory for the Spanish Nationalist Forces. Francisco Franco is known to have gone hunting there during his rule.It is located...

. During his time in Spain, Galland analysed the engagements, evaluated techniques and devised new ground-attack tactics which were passed on to the Luftwaffe. His experiences in pin-point ground assaults were used by Ernst Udet
Ernst Udet
Colonel General Ernst Udet was the second-highest scoring German flying ace of World War I. He was one of the youngest aces and was the highest scoring German ace to survive the war . His 62 victories were second only to Manfred von Richthofen, his commander in the Flying Circus...

, a proponent of the dive bomber
Dive bomber
A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy for the bomb it drops. Diving towards the target reduces the distance the bomb has to fall, which is the primary factor in determining the accuracy of the drop...

 and leading supporter of the Junkers Ju 87
Junkers Ju 87
The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was a two-man German ground-attack aircraft...

 to push for Stuka wings. Wolfram von Richthofen
Wolfram von Richthofen
Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Freiherr von RichthofenIn German a Doctorate in engineering is abbreviated as Dr.-Ing. . was a German Generalfeldmarschall of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War...

, an opponent of Udet's, used them to push for the opposite; Schlachtflieger dual combination fighter-bombers. After trials with Henschel Hs 123
Henschel Hs 123
The Henschel Hs 123 was a single-seat biplane dive bomber and close-support attack aircraft flown by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and the early to mid-point of World War II...

s, Bf 109s and Ju 87s, the Junkers was selected to undergo trials for the dive bomber role.

During his time in Spain he developed early gasoline and oil bombs, suggested the quartering of personnel on trains to aid in relocation, and following the Nationalist victory was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds
Spanish Cross
The Spanish Cross was an award of Germany given to Germans who participated in the Spanish Civil War, fighting for Franco.- History :With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Germany sent the Condor Legion to give military aid to Francisco Franco's nationalist forces.On April 14, 1939, Germany...

 for his contributions. On 24 May 1938 Galland left Spain and was replaced by Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders was a World War II German Luftwaffe pilot and the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft, and was...

. Before leaving he made ten flights in the Bf 109; deeply impressed with the performance of the aircraft it persuaded him to change from a strike pilot to a fighter pilot.

Staff post in the RLM

From May to August 1938, Galland took leave and visited Spanish Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. On his return to Germany, he was ordered to the headquarters of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium. Where he was tasked with preparing recommendations on the subject of close air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

. Galland favoured the virtually simultaneous attack of the air force before the Army advance, leaving their opponents no time to recover. While this reasserted the lessons of the First World War, some of the Officer Corps were still pessimistic as to whether that kind of coordination was possible. Galland also adopted the Italian suggestion of heavy armament and criticised the light machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s in early German fighter aircraft and pointed to the advantages of multi-gun configurations (combining machine guns with cannon). These proved successful in the Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Focke-Wulf Fw 190
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger was a German Second World War single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s. Powered by a radial engine, the 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109...

. He also recognised the innovation of drop tank
Drop tank
In aeronautics, a drop tank is used to describe auxiliary fuel tanks externally carried by aircraft. A drop tank is expendable and often jettisonable...

s to extend the range of aircraft as well as the need for specialised tactics for escorting bomber fleets; Galland did not subscribe to the prevailing idea in the Luftwaffe (and RAF) that the bomber "would always get through" (alone). All of Galland's suggestions were adopted and proved successful in the early campaigns, 1939—1941. During his time in the RLM he instructed, trained and equipped ground-support wings for Fall Grün
Fall Grün
Fall Grün was a pre-World War II German plan for an aggressive war against Czechoslovakia. The plan was first drafted late in 1937, then revised as the military situation and requirements changed...

 (Case Green), the invasion of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 in 1938. However, the invasion did not take place.

Unluckily for Galland, his excellence at evaluation earned him a place at Tutow
Tutow
Tutow is a municipality in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany....

 training facility where he was asked to test fly prototype reconnaissance and strike aircraft. This was not what he wanted, and he hoped to be returned to a fighter unit to fly the Bf 109. During his time there, he gave positive evaluations on types such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 189
Focke-Wulf Fw 189
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Brown, Capt. Eric . Wings of the Luftwaffe. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1978. ISBN 0-385-13521-1....

 and Henschel Hs 129
Henschel Hs 129
The Henschel Hs 129 was a World War II ground-attack aircraft fielded by the German Luftwaffe. Its nickname, the Panzerknacker , is a deliberate pun—in German, it also means "safe cracker"...

. During his test piloting career at Tutow, Galland received unwelcome news; he was to become Gruppenkommandeur
Gruppenkommandeur
Gruppenkommandeur is a Luftwaffe position , that is the equivalent of a commander of a group or wing in other air forces. Gruppenkommandeur usually has the rank of Hauptmann or Major, and commands a Gruppe, which is a sub-division of a Geschwader. A Gruppe usually consists of three or four...

of II.(Sch.)/Lehrgeschwader 2
Lehrgeschwader 2
Lehrgeschwader 2 was a Luftwaffe unit during World War II, operating three fighter, night fighter, reconnaissance and ground support Gruppen ....

. It was not a fighter unit, but a special mixed Geschwader of ground attack aircraft.

Polish Campaign

Just before the outbreak of war, Galland was promoted to Hauptmann
Hauptmann
Hauptmann is a German word usually translated as captain when it is used as an officer's rank in the German, Austrian and Swiss armies. While "haupt" in contemporary German means "main", it also has the dated meaning of "head", i.e...

. During the Invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 from 1 September 1939, onwards he flew with 4 Staffel, II./Lehrgeschwader 2. Equipped with the Henschel Hs 123
Henschel Hs 123
The Henschel Hs 123 was a single-seat biplane dive bomber and close-support attack aircraft flown by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and the early to mid-point of World War II...

, nicknamed the "biplane Stuka," supporting the German Tenth Army
German Tenth Army
The 10th Army was a World War I and World War II field army. During World War I the 10th army was stationed at the Eastern Front against Russia, and occupied Poland and Belorussia at the end of 1918 when the war ended....

. On 1 September Galland flew alone in a Fiesler Fi 156 'Storch' on a reconnaissance mission and was nearly shot down. The next day he flew ground attack missions in support of the 1st Panzer Division advancing to the Warta River
Warta River
The Warta is a river in western-central Poland, a tributary of the Oder river. With a length of approximately it is the country's third longest river. The Warta has a basin area of 54,529 square kilometers...

. Galland's Geschwader flew intensive sorties in support of the division and XVI Army Corps
XVI Army Corps (Germany)
The XVI Corps was a corps in the German Army during both world wars.The original XVI Army Corps was formed in Metz in 1891 and fought in the First World War on the western front. The XVI Corps ended the war under command of the 3rd Army....

 at Krakow
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, Radom
Radom
Radom is a city in central Poland with 223,397 inhabitants . It is located on the Mleczna River in the Masovian Voivodeship , having previously been the capital of Radom Voivodeship ; 100 km south of Poland's capital, Warsaw.It is home to the biennial Radom Air Show, the largest and...

, Deblin
Deblin
Dęblin is a town, population 19,500 , at the confluence of Vistula and Wieprz rivers, in Lublin Voivodeship, Poland. Dęblin is the part of the agglomeration with adjacent towns of Ryki and Puławy, which altogether has over 100 000 inhabitants....

 and L'vov. The German Army had reached the Vistula
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 river near Warsaw by 7 September and the Luftwaffe had been executing the kind of close air support operations Galland had been advocating. Galland participated in the maximum effort by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Bzura. On 11 September during one of his visits to the front Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 arrived at LG 2 headquarters for lunch with the staff. Such was the state of the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
The Polish Air Force is the military Air Force wing of the Polish Armed Forces. Until July 2004 it was officially known as Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Powietrznej...

 and Polish Army, that by 19 September 1939 some German air units were withdrawn from the campaign. Galland ceased combat operations on this date, having flown 87 missions. After flying nearly 360 missions in two wars and averaging two missions per day, on 13 September 1939, Galland was awarded the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
The Iron Cross is a cross symbol typically in black with a white or silver outline that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem....

 Second Class.

After the Polish Campaign Galland claimed to be suffering from rheumatism
Rheumatism
Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.-Terminology:...

 and therefore unfit for flying in open-cockpit aircraft, such as the Hs 123. He tactfully suggested a transfer to a single-engine aircraft type with a closed cockpit would improve his condition. His request was accepted on medical grounds. Galland was removed from his post as a direct ground support pilot. Galland never explained whether open cockpits had caused the complaint or some other cause; given his performance with eye specialists, a certain amount of suspicion is reasonable. He was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 27
Jagdgeschwader 27
Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika was a World War II Luftwaffe Geschwader. It was most famous for service in the North African Campaign, supporting the Deutsches Afrikakorps.- Formation:...

on 10 February 1940, as the adjutant
Adjutant
Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

, which restricted him from flying.

Western Europe

After his transfer to JG 27, Galland met Mölders again. Due to his injuries, Galland could never match Werner's sharp eyesight; the shards of glass in his eyes denied him that ability. However, Mölders, by that time a recognised ace
Ace
An ace is a playing card. In the standard French deck, an ace has a single suit symbol located in the middle of the card, sometimes large and decorated, especially in the case of the Ace of Spades...

 (a pilot with five or more aerial victories), shared what experiences he could with Galland; leadership in the air, tactics and organisation. Mölders was Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 53
Jagdgeschwader 53
Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik-As was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated in Western Europe and in the Mediterranean.Jagdgeschwader 53 - or as it was better known, the "Pik As" Geschwader - was one of the oldest German fighter units of World War II with its origins going back to 1937...

at the time of their meeting. He offered Galland the chance to join his unit which was flying patrols along the French border in order for Galland to gain experience on the Bf 109E, which Galland lacked. During these sorties Galland learned Mölders tactics, such as using spotter aircraft to indicate the position of enemy formation; a type of rudimentary early warning system. Galland learned to allow the Staffel to operate freely in order to seize the initiative and surprise. Taking his findings back to JG 27 its commander Max Ibel
Max Ibel
Max Ibel is credited among others as one of the creators of the Luftwaffe. Ibel organized JG 27 and led it successfully during the Battle of France. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross August 22, 1940, three months later he was given a staff position...

, agreed to their implementation. Galland gained further experience as a combat leader acting as the Gruppenkommandeur, when those personnel went on leave.

On 10 May 1940 the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

invaded the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 under the codename Fall Gelb. On the third day of the offensive, 12 May 1940, seven kilometers west of Liege, Belgium, at a height of about 4,000 meters, flying a Messerschmitt Bf 109
Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid 1930s...

, Galland claimed his first aerial victories, over two Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

s. Both aircraft were from 87 Squadron
No. 87 Squadron RAF
No. 87 Squadron RAF was an aircraft squadron of the Royal Air Force during the First World War and Second World War.-World War I:87 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was first formed on 1 September 1917 at Upavon from elements of the Central Flying School...

. The Hurricanes had been escorting Bristol Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

 bombers to bomb bridges in the Netherlands
Battle of the Netherlands
The Battle of the Netherlands was part of Case Yellow , the German invasion of the Low Countries and France during World War II. The battle lasted from 10 May 1940 until 14 May 1940 when the main Dutch forces surrendered...

. "They came from the sun with height advantage and I never saw them", recalled later Sgt Frank Howell of No. 87 Squadron, Galland's first victim. "Suddenly there was a shattering noise and the cockpit was full of burnt cordite." "My first kill was child's play. An excellent weapon and luck had been on my side. To be successful, the best fighter pilot needs both." Galland pursued one of the "scattering" Hurricanes and shot down another at low level (Canadian Flying Officer Jack Campbell who was killed in the subsequent crash).

Galland claimed his third victory later the same day over a Hurricane. over Tienen. He had long believed that his opponents had been Belgian, but Belgian Air Force Hurricanes had all been destroyed on the ground in the first two days without seeing combat. On 19 May, Galland shot down a French Potez
Potez
Potez was a French aircraft manufacturer founded as Aéroplanes Henry Potez by Henry Potez at Aubervilliers in 1919. The firm began by refurbishing war-surplus SEA IV aircraft, but was soon building new examples of an improved version, the Potez VII...

 aircraft. During the flight he ran out of fuel and landed at the base of a hill. Enlisting the help of a soldiers from a German Flak battery, they pushed the Bf 109 up a hill and he then half-flew, and half-glided down into the valley to the Charleville-Mézières
Charleville-Mézières
Charleville-Mézières is a commune in northern France, capital of the Ardennes department in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Charleville-Mézières is located on the banks of the Meuse River.-History:...

 airfield. He sent back a can of fuel for his wingman who had also landed. He continued flying and the next day, claimed another three more aircraft shot down, making his total seven, for which he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class from Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch was a German Field Marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following World War I, and served as founding Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa...

 on 22 May.

During the Battle of Dunkirk
Battle of Dunkirk
The Battle of Dunkirk was a battle in the Second World War between the Allies and Germany. A part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 26 May–4 June 1940.After the Phoney War, the Battle of...

, after encountering the Supermarine Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s...

 for the first time, Galland was impressed with the aircraft and pilots and expressed his high opinion of both. On 29 May, Galland claimed he had shot down a Bristol Blenheim over the sea. On 3 June during Operation Paula
Operation Paula
Unternehmen Paula is the German codename given for the Second World War Luftwaffe offensive operation to destroy the remaining units of the Armée de l'Air , or French Air Force during the Battle of France in 1940. On 10 May the German armed forces began its invasion of Western Europe...

, he claimed another French aircraft, a Morane-Saulnier M.S.406
Morane-Saulnier M.S.406
The M.S.406 was a French Armée de l'Air fighter aircraft built by Morane-Saulnier starting in 1938. Numerically it was France's most important fighter during the opening stages of World War II....

 for his 12th victory.

On 6 June 1940, Galland took over the command of III./Jagdgeschwader 26
Jagdgeschwader 26
Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated mainly in Western Europe against Great Britain, France the United States but also saw service against Russia. It was named after Albert Leo Schlageter, a World War I veteran and Freikorps member arrested and...

"Schlageter" with the position of Gruppenkommandeur
Gruppenkommandeur
Gruppenkommandeur is a Luftwaffe position , that is the equivalent of a commander of a group or wing in other air forces. Gruppenkommandeur usually has the rank of Hauptmann or Major, and commands a Gruppe, which is a sub-division of a Geschwader. A Gruppe usually consists of three or four...

. Under his command were the 7, 8 and 9 Staffels with an establishment of 39 Bf 109Es. His Staffelkapitän
Staffelkapitän
Staffelkapitän is a position in flying units of the German Luftwaffe that is the equivalent of RAF/USAF Squadron Commander. Usually today a Staffelkapitän is of Oberstleutnant or Major rank....

s
included Joachim Müncheberg
Joachim Müncheberg
Joachim Müncheberg was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace during World War II. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He is credited with 135 enemy aircraft shot down claimed in over 500 combat missions...

 and Wilhelm Balthasar
Wilhelm Balthasar
Major Wilhelm Balthasar was a German World War II Luftwaffe flying ace, commander of Jagdgeschwader 2 and a winner of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves . The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery...

. Balthasar, Staffelkapitän of 7 Staffel had mistakenly attacked Galland during Fall Rot (Case Red). Being on the same radio frequency, Galland was able to warn Balthasar before he opened fire. The remainder of the campaign passed without incident and on 26 June, Major Gotthard Handrick
Gotthard Handrick
Karl Hermann Gotthard Handrick was a German Olympic athlete and German fighter pilot during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.-Career:...

 took over command of JG 26. Galland was pleased, having served under him during his Condor Legion days.

Battle of Britain

From June 1940 on, Galland flew as the Gruppenkommandeur of III./Jagdgeschwader 26
Jagdgeschwader 26
Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated mainly in Western Europe against Great Britain, France the United States but also saw service against Russia. It was named after Albert Leo Schlageter, a World War I veteran and Freikorps member arrested and...

(JG 26), fighting in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

 with Messerschmitt Bf 109 "Emils". On 19 July 1940, he was promoted to Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 and JG 26 moved to the Pas de Calais, where they were to remain for the next 18 months with III./JG 26 based at Caffiers
Caffiers
Caffiers is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.-Population:-References:* -External links:*...

.

On 24 July 1940 almost 40 Bf 109s of III./JG 26 took off for operations over the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

. They were met by 12 54 Squadron Spitfires. The Spitfires forced the larger number of Bf 109s into a turning battle that ran down the Germans' fuel. Galland recalled being impressed by the Spitfire's ability to out-manoeuvre Bf 109s at low speed and turning on to the Bf 109s within little airspace. Only executing a "Split-S"; a long curving dive that the Spitfire could not follow, could his aircraft escape back to France at low altitude. The II./Jagdgeschwader 52
Jagdgeschwader 52
Jagdgeschwader 52 of the Luftwaffe, was the most successful fighter-wing of all time, with a claimed total of more than 10,000 victories over enemy aircraft during World War II. It was the unit of the top three scoring Fighter aces of all time, Erich Hartmann, Gerhard Barkhorn and Günther Rall...

covered their retreat, losing two Bf 109s to Spitfires from 610 Squadron
No. 610 Squadron RAF
No. 610 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was as a Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force, its pilots were initially part timers who would spend their weekends and spare time flying and practicing combat maneuvers. The squadron was named the "County of Chester" and adopted the motto "Alifero tollitur...

. During the action, two Spitfires were shot down for the loss of four Bf 109s. Galland was shocked by the aggression shown by the relatively inexperienced and outnumbered RAF and realised there would be no quick and easy victory.

As the battles over the Channel continued, Galland shot down Spitfires on 25 July and 28 July. On 1 August 1940, Galland was awarded the Knight's Cross for his 17 victories. Galland continued to make fighter sweeps over southern England before the main assault opened. On 11 August 1940, Galland's unit engaged 74 Squadron
No. 74 Squadron RAF
No. 74 Squadron RAF, also known as a "Tiger Squadron" from its tiger head motif, is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It operated fighter aircraft from 1917 to the 1990s.-First World War:...

. In a brief dogfight, one Spitfire was shot down. During these battles the RAF seemed to know just where and when to send their aircraft. This made Galland suspect a high level of organisation was at work controlling RAF fighters. The cloudy British skies made it a dangerous place against an enemy that had an effective ground control system. Galland resolved to fly higher, where he could see most things and where the Bf 109 performed at its best.

By 15 August 1940, in two weeks fighting over Britain, Galland had increased his own score to 22. This put him to within three victories of Mölders, who had claimed the highest number of enemy aircraft destroyed and who was wounded and grounded with a damaged knee. By mid-August, Hermann Göring's dissatisfaction with the performance of his fighters led him to replace several of the pre-war Jagdgeschwader commanders with younger and combat experienced aviators.

Galland was summoned to Karinhall on 18 August 1940, and missed the intense air battle that day, known as The Hardest Day
The Hardest Day
The Hardest Day was the name of a Second World War air battle fought during the Battle of Britain on 18 August 1940, by the Luftwaffe and British Royal Air Force . By June 1940 the Allies had been defeated in Western Europe and Scandinavia...

. During the meeting Göring insisted that, in combat, Bf 109 fighters escort Bf 110s, which could not survive against single-engine fighters. As high-scoring aces, both Galland and Mölders shared their concerns that close escort of Bf 110s and bombers robbed fighter pilots of their freedom to roam and engage the enemy of their own terms. They also pointed to the fact that German bombers flew at medium altitudes and low speed, the best height area and speed for the manoeuvrability of the Spitfire. Galland resented his pilots having to carry out a task unsuited to their equipment but Göring would not move from his position. Galland returned to action on 22 August replacing Gotthard Handrick
Gotthard Handrick
Karl Hermann Gotthard Handrick was a German Olympic athlete and German fighter pilot during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.-Career:...

 as Geschwaderkommodore
Geschwaderkommodore
Geschwaderkommodore is a Luftwaffe position , originating during World War II, that is the equivalent of a RAF Group Commander or USAF Wing Commander. A Geschwaderkommodore is usually of Oberstleutnant or Oberst rank...

of JG 26.

During the Battle of Britain, in a front line General Officer briefing on Luftwaffe tactics, Göring asked what his pilots needed to win the battle. Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders was a World War II German Luftwaffe pilot and the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft, and was...

 replied that he would like the Bf 109 to be fitted with more powerful engines. Galland replied: "I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my squadron." which left Göring speechless with rage. Galland still preferred the Bf 109 for offensive sweeps, but he perceived the Spitfire to be a better defensive fighter, owing to its manoeuvrability. Galland said:
The Bf 109 was superior in the attack and not so suitable for purely defensive purposes as the Spitfire, which, although a little slower, was much more manoeuvrable.


During the Battle of Britain the question of killing enemy pilots while in their parachutes was raised. In another conversation with Göring, Galland recalled:
Göring wanted to know if we had ever thought about this. "Jawohl, Herr Reichsmarschall!" He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "What would you think of an order to shoot down pilots who were bailing out? "I should regard it as murder, Herr Reichsmarschall", I told him, "I should do everything in my power to disobey such an order". "That is just the reply I had expected from you, Galland".
Galland went on to say that he thought Göring may have been asking him this question so as to have an answer if the question was ever posed to him, as opposed to the implication that Göring would be in favour of such an action.

On 23 September, Galland became the third member of the Wehrmacht to receive the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross. On 25 September, he was summoned to Berlin to receive the award from Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

. The Battle of Britain continued with large-scale dogfights well past 31 October 1940, considered by some historians as the end of the campaign. On 5 December 1940, Galland recorded his 57th victory. This made him the most successful fighter pilot of the war at that point, putting him ahead of his colleague, friend and rival Werner Mölders.

Channel Front

Now, promoted to Oberstleutnant
Oberstleutnant
Oberstleutnant is a German Army and Air Force rank equal to Lieutenant Colonel, above Major, and below Oberst.There are two paygrade associated to the rank of Oberstleutnant...

, he continued to lead JG 26 in 1941 against the RAF fighter sweeps across northern Europe. In early 1941 most of the Luftwaffe's fighter units were sent to the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

, or south to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations
Mediterranean Theater of Operations
The Mediterranean Theater of Operations, United States Army was originally called North African Theater of Operations and is an American term for the conflict that took place between the Allies and Axis Powers in North Africa and Italy during World War II...

 (MTO), only leaving JG 26 and Jagdgeschwader 2
Jagdgeschwader 2
Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" was a World War II Luftwaffe wing. It was named after World War I fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen.-History:...

(JG 2) as the sole single-engine fighter Geschwader in France. By this time, JG 26 were being re-equipped with the new Bf 109F, normally equipped with a 15 mm (or later a 20 mm) cannon firing through the propeller hub and two cowl-mounted 7.9 mm MG 17. Galland felt the model was grossly under-armed and so tested a series of 109 "specials" — one with a unique armament of an MG 151/20 cannon and two cowl-mounted 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, and another with integral wing-mounted 20 mm MG-FF cannons.

On 15 April 1941, Galland took off with lobster and champagne to celebrate General Theo Osterkamp
Theo Osterkamp
Theodor "Theo" Osterkamp was a World War I and World War II Luftwaffe fighter ace. He flew in the first World War, scoring 32 victories...

's birthday at Le Touquet, France. He made a detour with his wingman towards England, looking for RAF aircraft. Off the cliffs of Dover he spotted a group of Spitfires. Galland attacked and claimed two confirmed and one unconfirmed shot down. The actual result was the destruction of one Spitfire, the other two were damaged in force landings
Forced landing
A forced landing is a landing by an aircraft made under factors outside the pilot's control, such as the failure of engines, systems, components or weather which makes continued flight impossible. For a full description of these, see article on Emergency landing...

 with both pilots wounded. During the combat Galland's undercarriage had dropped causing one of the RAF pilots (Flight Lieutenant
Flight Lieutenant
Flight lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. It ranks above flying officer and immediately below squadron leader. The name of the rank is the complete phrase; it is never shortened to "lieutenant"...

 Paddy Finucane
Paddy Finucane
Wing Commander Brendan Eamonn Fergus Finucane DSO, DFC & Two Bars , known as Paddy Finucane, was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot...

) to claim Galland's aircraft as destroyed, but Galland landed without incident at Le Touquet and presented Osterkamp with his gifts.

Galland received a telephone from Göring on 10 May 1941, requesting Galland to intercept a Messerschmitt Bf 110
Messerschmitt Bf 110
The Messerschmitt Bf 110, often called Me 110, was a twin-engine heavy fighter in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Hermann Göring was a proponent of the Bf 110, and nicknamed it his Eisenseiten...

 flown by Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

 heading for Scotland. Galland was unable to launch a full fighter sweep. However, Hess' flight was far to the north and he reached Scotland crashing his aircraft. Galland sent out fighters to conduct some sweeps so he could honestly claim to have carried out his orders but it was nearly dark and Galland ordered his pilots unused to night flying to stand down.

On the morning of 21 June 1941, Galland's Bf 109 was damaged by a 303 Squadron Spitfire and trailing coolant, had to force land at Calais-Marck. At 16:00 that same afternoon, Galland shot down a 611 Squadron
No. 611 Squadron RAF
No. 611 Squadron was a British Auxiliary Air Force later Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron first formed in 1936 and lastly disbanded in 1957.-Early years:...

 Spitfire, but watching his victim for too long, he was himself shot down by a 145 Squadron
No. 145 Squadron RAF
No. 145 Squadron was a Royal Air Force squadron that operated during World War I, World War II and the Cold War. Its motto was Diu noctuque pugnamus .-History:...

 Spitfire flown by Sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

 R.J.C. Grant. Galland bailed out and tugged at what he thought was his parachute
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

 ripcord
Ripcord (skydiving)
A ripcord is a part of a skydiving harness-container system; a handle attached to a steel cable ending in a closing pin. The pin keeps the container closed and keeps the spring-loaded pilot chute inside. When the ripcord is pulled, the container is opened and the pilot chute is released, opening...

, but was actually pulling at his parachute release harness. With a "sickening" feeling, he composed himself and pulled the ripcord which opened. Theo Osterkamp
Theo Osterkamp
Theodor "Theo" Osterkamp was a World War I and World War II Luftwaffe fighter ace. He flew in the first World War, scoring 32 victories...

 drove over to the hospital where Galland was being treated for his wounds and informed him his 70 victories had now earned him the Swords to his Oak Leaves and Knight's Cross.

On 2 July 1941, Galland led JG 26 into combat against a formation of 226 Squadron
No. 226 Squadron RAF
First formed on 1 April 1918 at Pizzone, Italy, by re-designating the Bombing School Pizzone, No. 226 Squadron RAF operated fast bombers and fighter aircraft and formed No. 472, 473 and 474 Flights within it in September 1918...

 Blenheim bombers. Galland's fighter was hit by a 20 mm round from one of the bombers escort fighter
Escort fighter
The escort fighter was a World War II concept for a fighter aircraft designed to escort bombers to and from their targets.The perfect escort fighter had long range, a lengthy combat loiter time to protect the bombers, and enough internal fuel to return home...

s. The armour plate fitted to the Bf 109 just days earlier saved Galland's life. Wounded in the head he managed to land and was again hospitalised for the second time in a few days. Just earlier that week, when the armour plate was installed, he severely berated his mechanic, Gerhard Meyer, who welded it in when he hit his head on the canopy upon entering his aircraft. That same mechanic received "a grateful slap on the back". Galland had been shot up and shot down twice in the space of four days.

On 9 August 1941, RAF ace Douglas Bader
Douglas Bader
Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL was a Royal Air Force fighter ace during the Second World War. He was credited with 20 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged.Bader joined the...

 bailed out over St Omer
Saint-Omer
Saint-Omer , a commune and sub-prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais department west-northwest of Lille on the railway to Calais. The town is named after Saint Audomar, who brought Christianity to the area....

, France. Bader was well known to the Luftwaffe and at the time of his capture had been credited with 22 aerial victories. Galland himself claimed two Spitfires on that date. Galland and JG 26 entertained Bader over the next few days. Owing to the significant stature of the prisoner, Galland permitted Bader, under escort, to sit in the cockpit of a Bf 109. Apparently, despite losing one of his tin legs in the aircraft, Bader, in a semi-serious way, asked if they wouldn't mind if he took it on a test flight around the airfield. Galland replied that he feared Douglas would attempt to escape and they would have to give chase and shoot at each other again, and declined the request.

In autumn 1941, Galland was to add another 26 victories. His 96th victim, a Spitfire was claimed on 18 November 1941. It proved to be his last official victory for three years as he was about to be forbidden to fly combat missions.

Overview

In November 1941, he was chosen by Göring to command Germany's fighter force as General der Jagdflieger, succeeding Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders
Werner Mölders was a World War II German Luftwaffe pilot and the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft, and was...

 who had just been killed in an air crash on route to attend the funeral of Ernst Udet
Ernst Udet
Colonel General Ernst Udet was the second-highest scoring German flying ace of World War I. He was one of the youngest aces and was the highest scoring German ace to survive the war . His 62 victories were second only to Manfred von Richthofen, his commander in the Flying Circus...

. Galland was not enthusiastic about his promotion, seeing himself as a combat leader and not wanting to be "tied to a desk job".

Soon afterwards, on 28 January 1942, Galland was awarded the Diamonds to his Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves and Swords for his service as Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26. Although not keen on a staff position, soon after Galland's appointment, he planned and executed the German air superiority plan (Operation Donnerkeil
Operation Donnerkeil
Unternehmen Donnerkeil was the codename for a German military operation of the Second World War. Donnerkeil was designed as an air superiority operation to support the Kriegsmarine Operation Cerberus, also known as the "Channel Dash".In 1941 Kriegsmarine surface vessels had carried out commerce...

) for the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

s (German Navy, or War Marine) Operation Cerberus
Operation Cerberus
The Channel Dash, , was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of both Scharnhorst class battleships, and heavy cruiser along with escorts, ran a British blockade and successfully sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany...

, from his headquarters at Jever. The German battleships Scharnhorst
German battleship Scharnhorst
Scharnhorst was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of the German Kriegsmarine. She was the lead ship of her class, which included one other ship, Gneisenau. The ship was built at the Kriegsmarinewerft dockyard in Wilhelmshaven; she was laid down on 15...

, Gneisenau
German battleship Gneisenau
Gneisenau was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of the German Kriegsmarine. She was the second vessel of her class, which included one other ship, Scharnhorst. The ship was built at the Deutsche Werke dockyard in Kiel; she was laid down on 6 May 1935...

 and cruiser Prinz Eugen
German cruiser Prinz Eugen
Prinz Eugen was an Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruiser, the third member of the class of five vessels. She served with the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. The ship was laid down in April 1936 and launched August 1938; Prinz Eugen entered service after the outbreak of war, in August 1940...

 sailed from Brest, France
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

, up the English Channel to Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

, Germany. The operation caught the British off guard. The RAF attempted to intercept with the forces available, but the German fighter defences were able to shoot down 43 RAF aircraft with 247 British casualties. The Luftwaffe had prevented any damage on the ships by air attack.

A strong proponent of the day fighter force and the defence of Germany, Galland used his position to improve the position of the Jagdwaffe. The need was now pressing, as Germany had declared war on the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 on 11 December 1941, and Galland was keen to build up a force that could withstand the resurgence of the Western Allied Air Forces in preparation for what would become known as the Defence of the Reich campaign. Galland was outspoken, something that was not often tolerated by Göring. Yet, by earning and cultivating the support of other powerful personalities in the Luftwaffe, like Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch was a German Field Marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following World War I, and served as founding Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa...

 and Günther Korten
Günther Korten
Günther Korten was a German Colonel General and Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe in World War II. He died from injuries suffered in the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in July 1944....

, and personalities in the industrial sector such as Albert Speer
Albert Speer
Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

 and even Adolf Hitler, Galland was able to survive in his position for three years.

Unofficial combat missions

After his appointment, Galland was strictly confined to operational matters and not allowed to fly tactical or combat missions. As the war continued Galland flew missions in violation of these restrictions against the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bombing raids during the Defence of the Reich. Galland was keen to familiarise himself with all types of German fighter aircraft and flew the Fw 190 on these interception missions. He would actively engage American bombers on some raids. On at least one mission he shot down a USAAF heavy bomber. It is possible that as many as three USAAF heavy bombers were shot down by Galland while flying Fw 190s.

Conflict with leadership

Galland's position as General der Jagdflieger brought him into gradual conflict with Göring as the war continued. In 1942–1944 the German fighter forces on all fronts in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) came under increasing pressure and Galland's relationship with Göring began to turn sour. During the late summer, 1943, the USAAF fighters operated over German air space for the first time. Several aircraft crashed near Aachen
Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

 on the cusp of Germany's west border. Galland presented these wrecks as proof that the Luftwaffe was facing an enemy that could soon escort its heavy bomber
Heavy bomber
A heavy bomber is a bomber aircraft of the largest size and load carrying capacity, and usually the longest range.In New START, the term "heavy bomber" is used for two types of bombers:*one with a range greater than 8,000 kilometers...

s with fighter aircraft to industrial targets inside Germany. Galland submitted his findings to Göring. Göring was livid with Galland and the fighter force. The Reichsmarschall called the report the "rantings of a worn-out defeatist", and gave Galland an "order", that no Allied fighters had crossed into Germany. Göring declared the only possible reason could have been that short range fighters ran out of fuel at high altitude and "they were shot down much further west... and glided quite a distance before they crashed". Galland and Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch was a German Field Marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following World War I, and served as founding Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa...

, responsible for production and procurement in the Luftwaffe, denied this and argued that they must increase fighter production to reach a three or fourfold advantage over the attackers immediately to prepare for this new threat. Galland's efforts to produce a fighter force fit for an war of attrition conflicted with Göring's bias in favour of bombers, to maintain the offensive on all fronts, an attitude the Reichsmarschall had even as late as the autumn, 1943.

By October 1943, the fractious relationship came to the surface again. Göring met Galland at his estate, Schloss Veldenstein. During the conversation the need for new and improved interceptor aircraft arose. The demands made by Göring, that heavily cannon-armed fighters be used in mass numbers to defeat bomber formations, were unreasonable to Galland. Göring, prompted by the desires of Hitler, wanted cannons of some 2,000 lb in weight which fired at a rate of one shell per second. Galland explained that such a weapon could not be used effectively in an aircraft; the cannon would be prone to jamming and the aircraft would be too difficult to manoeuvre. Galland also asserted the use of inappropriate weaponry such as the Messerschmitt Me 410
Messerschmitt Me 410
The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse was a German heavy fighter and Schnellbomber used by Luftwaffe during World War II. Though essentially a straightforward modification of the Me 210, it was designated the Me 410 to avoid association with its notoriously flawed predecessor.-Design and...

, a favourite of Hitler's, had caused heavy losses. Galland argued such measures were deplorable and irresponsible. Göring ignored Galland's arguments and continued his frequent attacks on the fighter force, accusing them of cowardice. Galland, as he always did, defended them, risking his career, and near the end of the war, his life in doing so. Galland stated that he could not agree to follow Göring's plans and requested to be dismissed from his post and sent back to his unit. Göring accepted, but two weeks later he apologised to Galland and attributed his behaviour to stress. Galland continued in his post.

The arguments, mainly over aircraft procurement and armament for the defence of Germany from Allied bombing began to give rise to a growing personal rift between Göring and Galland.

Innovations

To retrieve the situation for the fighter force, Galland looked to employ new technology in the air war. On 23 May 1943, Galland flew an early prototype of the Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944...

 jet fighter. After the flight, he described his experience:
For the first time I was flying by Jet propulsion! No engine vibrations. No torque and no lashing sound of the engine propeller. Accompanied by a whistling sound, my jet shot through the air. Later when asked what it felt like, I said, "It was as though angels were pushing."

Galland became an enthusiastic supporter of the aircraft, realising its potential as a fighter rather than a "Blitzbomber". Galland hoped that the Me 262 would compensate for the numerical superiority of the Allies:
In the last four months [January - April 1944] our day fighters have lost 1,000 pilots...we are numerically inferior and will always remain so...I believe that a great deal can be achieved with a small number of technically and far superior aircraft such as the [Me] 262 and [Me] 163... I would at this moment rather have one Me 262 in action rather than five Bf 109s. I used to say three 109s, but the situation develops and changes.


However, because of persistent problems with its turbojet engines and later, Hitler's determination to use it as a bomber, the Me 262 was not developed as a fighter until late in the war. Göring refused Galland's requests to have equal numbers of Me 262 fighter and bomber variants built. However, Galland's close relationship with Albert Speer
Albert Speer
Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

, the German armaments minister, enabled him to retain a small operational number. Even this was difficult, as Hitler had taken personal control of turbo-jet production and checked where each batch of the aircraft were being deployed. It was not until September 1944 that Hitler rescinded his directive that the Me 262 be used as a fighter-bomber.

Owing to his keen interest in the type he followed, with interest, the exploits of Kommando Nowotny
Kommando Nowotny
Kommando Nowotny was a Luftwaffe fighter Gruppe formed during the last months of World War II for testing and establishing tactics for the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter, and was created and first commanded by Walter Nowotny, from whom it drew its name....

, the all jet fighter unit. Although it had low serviceability rates, its aircraft achieved considerable success. To see how new aircraft performed in action, Galland often visited the front line airfields close to the scene of the fighting. On one occasion, he was present when ace Walter Nowotny
Walter Nowotny
Major Walter "Nowi" Nowotny was an Austrian-born German fighter ace of World War II. He is credited with 258 aerial victories in 442 combat missions...

 took off with a force of Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944...

s in an overcast to engage a USAAF raid. Galland listened to it over the radio waves. Nowotny claimed a bomber but his Me 262 was damaged. He was then jumped by USAAF fighters and crashed close to the airfield. Galland heard the firing but did not see the event. It did not dissuade Galland from believing in the capabilities of the aircraft as a fighter.

In the meantime, Galland pursued innovations with existing designs. The Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Focke-Wulf Fw 190
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger was a German Second World War single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s. Powered by a radial engine, the 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109...

 aircraft was formed into several Geschwader  with distinctly upgraded fire power. Called the Sturmbock (Battering ram) these machines could inflict heavy damage on unescorted bomber formations. Galland supported the conversion of units such as Jagdgeschwader 300
Jagdgeschwader 300
Jagdgeschwader 300 was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. JG 300 was formed on June 26, 1943 in Deelen as Stab/Versuchskommando Herrmann, from July 18, 1943 as Stab/JG Herrmann, and then finally redesignated on August 20, 1943 to Stab/JG 300...

 to the Sturmbock role. The Sturmbock were heavily armed and armoured which meant they were un-manoeuvrable and vulnerable without protection from escorting Bf 109s. Still, the tactics quickly became widespread and were one of the few Luftwaffe success stories in 1944. Galland said after the war, had it not been for the Allied landing in Normandy which increased the need for lighter fighter variants, each Geschwader in the Luftwaffe would have contained a Gruppe of Sturmbock aircraft by September 1944.

Galland himself flew on unauthorised interception flights to experience the combat pressures of the pilots. Galland witnessed USAAF bombers being escorted by large numbers of North American P-51 Mustangs. Nevertheless, on occasions the Sturmbock tactics worked. For example, on 7 July 1944 Eighth Air Force
Eighth Air Force
The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Global Strike Command . It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana....

 bombers belonging to the 492nd Bomb Group were intercepted unescorted. The entire squadron of 12 B-24s were shot down. The USAAF 2nd Air Division lost 28 Liberators that day, the majority to a Sturmbock attack.

Dismissal and revolt

Despite Göring's apology after their previous dispute, it did not improve the relationship between the two men. Göring's influence was in decline by late 1944 and he had fallen out of favour with Hitler. Göring became increasingly hostile to Galland, blaming him and the fighter pilots for the situation. In 1944, the situation worsened. A series of USAAF raids termed Big Week
Big Week
Between February 20–25, 1944, as part of the European strategic bombing campaign, the United States Strategic Air Forces launched Operation Argument, a series of missions against the Third Reich that became known as Big Week. The planners intended to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle by...

 won air superiority for the Allies in February. By the spring 1944, the Luftwaffe could not effectively challenge the Allies over France or the Low Countries. Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

, the Allied invasion of German-occupied Europe took place in June 1944. According to a report made by Adolf Galland, in the previous four months 1,000 pilots had been killed. Galland reported that the enemy outnumbered his fighters between 6:1 and 8:1 and the standard of Allied fighter pilot training was "astonishingly high".

To win back some breathing space for his force and German industrial targets, Galland formulated a plan which he called the "Big Blow" . It called for the mass interception of USAAF bomber formations by approximately 2,000 German fighters. Galland hoped that the German fighters would shoot down some 400—500 bombers. Acceptable losses were to be around 400 fighters and 100—150 pilots. Whether this operation would have worked is a matter of academic debate. Historians remained divided, with some believing it was a lost opportunity while others think it would have had much less impact than Galland estimated.

However, the operation never took place. Instead, the fighter force was committed to the disastrous Unternehmen Bodenplatte, designed to support German forces during the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

. In its aftermath, on 13 January 1945, he was finally relieved of his command after protesting against the operation and being particularly critical of Göring.

On 17 January, a group of senior pilots took part in a "Fighter Pilots Revolt". Galland's high standing with his fighter pilot peers led to a group of the most decorated Luftwaffe combat leaders loyal to Galland (including Johannes Steinhoff
Johannes Steinhoff
Johannes Steinhoff was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace of World War II, and later a senior West German air force officer and military commander of NATO. Steinhoff was one of very few Luftwaffe pilots who survived to fly operationally through the whole of the war period 1939-45...

 and Günther Lützow
Günther Lützow
Colonel Günther Lützow was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and a leader in the "Fighter Pilots Revolt". Lützow was credited with 110 victories achieved in over 300 combat missions. He scored 5 victories during the Spanish Civil War...

) into confronting Göring with a list of demands for the survival of their service. Göring initially suspected Galland had instigated the unrest. Reichsführer-SS
Reichsführer-SS
was a special SS rank that existed between the years of 1925 and 1945. Reichsführer-SS was a title from 1925 to 1933 and, after 1934, the highest rank of the German Schutzstaffel .-Definition:...

Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 had wanted to put Galland on trial for treason himself. The SS and Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 had already began investigations into who he associated with. The Oberkommando der Luftwaffe
Oberkommando der Luftwaffe
The Oberkommando der Luftwaffe was the air force High Command of the Third Reich.Air Force Commanders-in-Chief* Reich Marshal Hermann Göring * Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim -History:...

 (OKW) appointed the more politically acceptable Gordon Gollob
Gordon Gollob
Gordon M. Gollob was an Austrian-born German fighter pilot and flying ace in the Luftwaffe from 1938 to 1945 during World War II. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat...

, a Nazi supporter, to succeed him as General der Jagdflieger on 23 January. Although professional contemporaries, Gollob and Galland had a mutual dislike, and after Galland had removed the Austrian from his personal staff earlier in the war Gollob started to gather evidence to use against Galland, detailing false accusations of his gambling, womanising and his alleged private use of Luftwaffe transport aircraft. The official reason for his being relieved of command was his ill health.

For his own safety, Galland went to a retreat in the Harz Mountains
Harz
The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart , latinized as Hercynia. The legendary Brocken is the highest summit in the Harz...

. He was to keep the RLM informed of his whereabouts. but was effectively under house arrest
House arrest
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all...

. Hitler, who liked Galland, had not heard of the events. However, when he learned of them he ordered that "all this nonsense" [the treatment of Galland], was to stop immediately. Hitler had been informed by Albert Speer, who in turn had been informed of events by one of Galland's close friends. In the end, Göring contacted Galland and invited him to Karinhall. In light of his service to the fighter arm, he promised no further action would be taken against him and offered command of a unit of Me 262 jets. Galland accepted on the understanding Gollob had no jurisdiction over him or his unit.

Self appraisal

Galland did not pretend to have been error free. After the war, he was candid about his own mistakes as General der Jagdflieger. Production and aircraft procurement were not his responsibility but Galland identified four major mistakes by the OKL during the war, and accepted partial responsibility for the first three:
  • Fighter pilots received no instrument training until very late in the war, after the training course had already been curtailed because of fuel shortages and the need to produce pilots more quickly to replace losses. Galland also did not make sure all-weather flying was incorporated into pilot training, which was of decisive importance in an effective air defence force.

  • Attrition by 1942 had created a shortage of experienced combat leaders. No special training was made available for this role. Galland set up a course in late 1943, but it only lasted a few months. Galland was quoted as saying he thought they could learn the skills whilst on operations, as he had. This ignored his own talents, and blithely expected other pilots to reach his high standards.

  • The Me 262, while not a war winner, might have extended the Defence of the Reich campaign. The problems with the engines, failures of production priorities and Hitler's meddling are well known, but the long delay between operational testing, tactical and doctrinal development and training were largely Galland's fault.

  • The German pilots were increasingly lacking in quantity and quality. Galland recognised this but could not correct it without stepping outside his own authority. Galland noticed that the highly educated engineers and trainees were selected for the bomber arm in the early war years. Most of the brightest youth were pulled by expert campaigners, toward the Waffen SS and Kriegsmarine. The Luftwaffe did not match this effort.

Last combats

Galland was initially assigned to command a Staffel of JG 54, at that time stranded behind Soviet lines in the Courland Pocket
Courland Pocket
The Courland Pocket referred to the Red Army's blockade or encirclement of Axis forces on the Courland peninsula during the closing months of World War II...

. Galland never took up this command but was given the task of forming Jagdverband 44 (JV 44). On 24 February 1945 the order for formation of Jagdverband 44 read:

JV 44 is established at Brandenburg-Briest with immediate effect. Ground personnel are to be drawn from 16./JG 54, Factory Protection Unit 1 and III./Erg JG 2. The commander of this unit receives the disciplinary powers of a Divisional Commander as laid down in Luftwaffe Order 3/9.17. It is subordinated to Luftflotte Reich
Luftflotte Reich
Luftflotte Reich was one of the primary divisions of the German Luftwaffe in World War II. It was formed on February 5, 1944 in Berlin-Wannsee from Luftwaffenbefehlshaber Mitte...

 and comes under Luftgaukommando III (Berlin). Verband Galland is to have a provisional strength of sixteen operational Me 262s and fifteen pilots. [Signed] Generalleutnant Karl Koller
Karl Koller (general)
Karl Koller was a German General der Flieger and the Chief of the General Staff of Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe during World War II....

, Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe.


Galland was allowed to hand pick a number of experienced fighter pilots and aces for the unit, including Johannes Steinhoff
Johannes Steinhoff
Johannes Steinhoff was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace of World War II, and later a senior West German air force officer and military commander of NATO. Steinhoff was one of very few Luftwaffe pilots who survived to fly operationally through the whole of the war period 1939-45...

, Erich Hohagen
Erich Hohagen
Erich Hohagen was a German Luftwaffe flying ace during World War II and a General in the post war Bundeswehr...

, Heinrich Bär
Heinrich Bär
Oskar-Heinz "Pritzl" Bär was a German Luftwaffe flying ace who served throughout World War II in Europe. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat...

 and Gerhard Barkhorn
Gerhard Barkhorn
Lieutenant-General Gerhard "Gerd" Barkhorn , was the second most successful fighter ace of all time after fellow Luftwaffe pilot Erich Hartmann...

. Erich Hartmann
Erich Hartmann
Erich Alfred Hartmann , nicknamed "Bubi" by his comrades and "The Black Devil" by his Soviet enemies, was a German World War II fighter pilot and is the highest-scoring fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare...

 was also asked but would not leave his unit. The unit was officially formed on 22 February 1945. Galland did everything he could to introduce the Me 262s to the wing as quickly as possible. Göring showed sympathy for Galland's efforts, which thus far had only 16 operational jets in February. General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Josef Kammhuber
Josef Kammhuber
Josef Kammhuber was a Career Officer in the German Air Force, and is best known as the first General of the Night Fighters in the Luftwaffe during World War II...

 was asked to assist Galland. Kampfgeschwader 51
Kampfgeschwader 51
Kampfgeschwader 51 "Edelweiss" was a Luftwaffe bomber unit during World War II. The unit began forming in December 1939. The unit operated the Dornier Do 17, Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 88 light and medium bombers...

, KG 6 and KG 27 were behind their training schedules on jets, and they were to hand over their pilots and Me 262s to JG 7 and KG 54. Galland added a suggestion that all experienced fighter pilots flying with Bf 109 or Fw 190 units should be made to join the Me 262 unit. If this could be done Galland believed he could get 150 jets in action against the USAAF fleets. The general chaos and impending collapse prevented his plans from being realised.

On 31 March 1945 Galland flew 12 operational jets to Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 to begin operations. On 5 April 1945 he organised the interception of a USAAF raid. The Me 262s destroyed three B-17s. On 16 April Galland claimed two Martin B-26 Marauders. Within the space of six days, Galland's friend, Steinhoff was badly burned in a crash on 18 April, and then, on 24 April 1945, his friend Günther Lützow
Günther Lützow
Colonel Günther Lützow was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and a leader in the "Fighter Pilots Revolt". Lützow was credited with 110 victories achieved in over 300 combat missions. He scored 5 victories during the Spanish Civil War...

 was posted missing. On 26 April Galland claimed his 103rd and 104th aerial victories against B-26s, escorted by the 27th Fighter Group and 50th Fighter Group. Galland again made a mistake; he stopped to make sure his second victory was going to crash and he was hit by a USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt
P-47 Thunderbolt
Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Jug", was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single reciprocating engine. It was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to...

 piloted by James Finnegan. Galland nursed his crippled Me 262 to the airfield, only to find it was under attack by more P-47s. Galland landed under fire and abandoned his jet on the runway. The battle was his last operational mission. Soon afterwards he was sent to hospital for a knee wound sustained during his last mission.

In the 1970s, a San Jose State University
San José State University
San Jose State University is a public university located in San Jose, California, United States...

 graduate student came across Galland's memoirs The First and the Last while researching records of United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 records and matching them to German victory claims. He found that James Finnegan, a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot of the 50th Fighter Group, Ninth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
The Ninth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command . It is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina....

, had made a "probable" claim on 26 April 1945, the day of Galland's last mission. The details of the engagement matched. Galland and Finnegan met for the first time at an Air Force Association meeting in San Francisco in 1979.

Surrender

By late April the war was effectively over. On 1 May 1945 Galland attempted to make contact with United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 forces to negotiate the surrender of his unit. The act itself was dangerous. SS forces roamed the countryside and towns executing anyone who was considering capitulation. The Americans requested that Galland fly his unit and Me 262s to a USAAF controlled airfield. Galland declined citing poor weather and technical problems. In reality, Galland was not going to hand over Me 262 jets to the Americans. Galland had harboured the belief that the Western Alliance would soon be at war with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, and he wanted to join American forces and to use his unit in the coming war to free Germany from Communist occupation. Galland replied, making his whereabouts known to the Americans, and offering his surrender once they arrived at the Tegernsee
Tegernsee
Tegernsee is a town in the Miesbach district of Bavaria, Germany. It is located on the shore of Tegernsee lake, at an elevation of 747 m above sea level....

 hospital where he was being treated. Galland then ordered his unit, which had then moved to Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

 and Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

, to destroy their Me 262s. Upon his surrender, Galland had filed claims for 104 Allied aircraft shot down. His claims included seven with the Me 262.For a list of Luftwaffe Jet aces see List of German World War II jet aces

On 14 May 1945 Galland was flown to England and interrogated by RAF personnel about the Luftwaffe, its organisation, his role in it and technical questions. Galland returned to Germany on 24 August 1945 and imprisoned at Hohenpeissenberg. On 7 October 1945 Galland was returned to England for further interrogation. Galland was eventually released on 28 April 1947.

Argentina

After his release, he travelled to Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

 to join Baroness Gisela von Donner, an earlier acquaintance, on her estate and lived with her three children. During this time, Galland found work as a forestry worker. There he convalesced and came to terms with his career and knowledge of Nazi war crimes. Galland began to hunt for the family and traded the kills in the local markets to supplement meagre meat rations. Soon Galland rediscovered his love of flying. Kurt Tank
Kurt Tank
Kurt Waldemar Tank was a German aeronautical engineer and test pilot, heading the design department at Focke-Wulf from 1931-45. He designed several important aircraft of World War II, including the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter aircraft.-Early life:Tank was born in Bromberg , Province of Posen...

, the designer of the Fw 190, requested that he go to his home in Minden
Minden
Minden is a town of about 83,000 inhabitants in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town extends along both sides of the river Weser. It is the capital of the Kreis of Minden-Lübbecke, which is part of the region of Detmold. Minden is the historic political centre of the...

 to discuss a proposal. Tank had been asked to work for the British and Soviets, and had narrowly avoided being forcibly kidnapped by the latter. Tank, through a contact in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, informed Galland about the possibility of the Argentinian Government employing him as a test pilot for Tank’s new generation of fighters. Galland accepted and flew to Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. He settled with Gisela in El Palomar, Buenos Aires
El Palomar, Buenos Aires
- External links :** Official website *...

. Galland enjoyed the slow life. His time there, aside from work commitments, were taken up with Gisela and the active Buenos Aires night life. Galland found South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 a world away from post-war shortages of Germany. Soon, he took up gliding again.

In a professional capacity, Galland spoke fluent Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 which eased his instruction on new pilots. During his time with the Argentinian Air Force (AAF) he flew the British Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

s. Galland commented, mindful it was a contemporary to the Me 262, that it was a fine aircraft. If he could fit the Meteor engines to the Me 262 airframe he would have had the best fighter in the world. Galland continued training, lecturing and consulting for the AAF until 1955. During his later years in Argentina Galland returned to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 to test fly new types. While there, he teamed up with Eduard Neumann
Eduard Neumann
Eduard 'Edu' Neumann was a German Luftwaffe Officer and commanded the famous Jagdgeschwader 27 ‘Afrika’ during the North African Campaign from 1941 to 1943.-Early life:...

, the former Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 27
Jagdgeschwader 27
Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika was a World War II Luftwaffe Geschwader. It was most famous for service in the North African Campaign, supporting the Deutsches Afrikakorps.- Formation:...

and mentor of Hans-Joachim Marseille
Hans-Joachim Marseille
Hans-Joachim Marseille was a Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. He is noted for his aerial battles during the North African Campaign and his bohemian lifestyle. One of the best fighter pilots of World War II, he was nicknamed the "Star of Africa"...

 "The Star of Africa". Neumann had joined Galland's staff in April 1943. They flew a Piaggio P.149
Piaggio P.149
|-See also:-References:* The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft , 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 2714...

 in an international air rally across Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The weather was appalling and seven aircraft crashed taking two lives. Galland and Neumann came in second place.

Return to Germany

Galland's time in Argentina was running out. For his services he was awarded a pilot's wings badge and the title Honorary Argentine Military Pilot. Later that year Galland left South America. By that time, he had begun writing his autobiography, The First and the Last (Die Ersten und die Letzten), and it was published in 1954 by Franz Schneekluth. It was a best-seller in 14 languages and sold three million copies. It was very well received by the RAF and USAF as a frank and honest statement. Galland returned to Germany and was approached by a commissioner for Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

 for the purpose of joing the new Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

now that West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 was to join NATO as a military power. Galland joined with Steinhoff, and went over the proposal. However, France objected to West Germany's proposal for a pan-European defence pact and chose to go its own way. That changed the organisation structure of the German armed forces. Galland got on with his life as the months rolled by. In 1956 Josef Kammhuber
Josef Kammhuber
Josef Kammhuber was a Career Officer in the German Air Force, and is best known as the first General of the Night Fighters in the Luftwaffe during World War II...

, the leader of the German Nachtjagdgeschwader (Night Fighter Wings) during the war, became the new commander-in-chief of the Bundesluftwaffe. Galland now accepted he had been turned down as a potential leader of, or in, the new air force. Galland suspected that it was more to with his technically illegal departure from Germany in 1948 and his association with Argentina, a state which was on poor terms with the United States, the dominant partner of NATO.

In the summer, 1957, Galland moved to Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

 and rented an office on Koblenzerstrasse, beginning his own aircraft consultancy there. Galland worked hard but continued flying, taking part in national air shows. In 1956 he was appointed chairman of the Gemeinschaft der Jagdflieger, the Association of Fighter Pilots. Through this he came into contact with contemporaries in Britain and America. In 1961 he joined the Gerling Group of Cologne who contracted Galland to help develop their aviation business. With business going well, Galland bought his own aircraft on 19 March 1962, his 50th birthday. The aircraft was a Beechcraft Bonanza
Beechcraft Bonanza
The Beechcraft Bonanza is an American general aviation aircraft introduced in 1947 by The Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. , it is still being produced by Hawker Beechcraft, and has been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history...

, registered D-EHEX, which he named Die Dicke (Fatty).

In 1969, he served as technical adviser for the film Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain (film)
Battle of Britain is a 1969 Technicolor film directed by Guy Hamilton, and produced by Harry Saltzman and S. Benjamin Fisz. The film broadly relates the events of the Battle of Britain...

, in which the character Major Falke is based on Galland. Galland was upset about the director's decision not to use the real names. While making the film, Galland was joined by his friend Robert Stanford Tuck
Robert Stanford Tuck
Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC was a British fighter pilot and test pilot.Tuck joined the RAF in 1935. Tuck first engaged in combat during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk, claiming his first victories...

. In 1973 Galland appeared in the British television documentary series The World at War, in Episodes four and twelve, "Alone (May 1940 – May 1941)" and "Whirlwind: Bombing Germany (September 1939 – April 1944)".

Galland took part in many engagements throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974 he was part of the remaining German General Staff that took part in the war game Operation Sea Lion, the planned invasion of Britain in 1940 (which the German side lost). In 1975 he was a guest at the RAF Museum Hendon, during the unveiling of the Battle of Britain Hall, where he was entertained by Prince Charles. In 1980 Galland's eyesight became too poor for him to fly and he retired as a pilot. On 16 October he was reunited with two Merkel shotguns stolen by American soldiers after his capture in 1945. Galland had located them before and had tried to buy them back, only to be told no, as they would be worth more after his death. Towards the end of the 1980s, Galland's health began to fail.

Personal life

Gisela had refused to marry Galland as the restrictions imposed upon her former husband's will would deny her the wealth and freedom she had enjoyed. She left for Germany in 1954. Galland married Sylvinia von Dönhoff on 12 February 1954. However, she was unable to have children and they divorced on 10 September 1963.

On 10 September 1963, Galland married his secretary, Hannelies Ladwein. They had two children: a son, Andreas Hubertus (nicknamed "Andus") born 7 November 1966; and a daughter, Alexandra-Isabelle born 29 July 1969. The RAF ace Robert Stanford Tuck
Robert Stanford Tuck
Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC was a British fighter pilot and test pilot.Tuck joined the RAF in 1935. Tuck first engaged in combat during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk, claiming his first victories...

 was the godfather
Godparent
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child's baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother...

 of his son Andreas. Galland remained friends with Tuck until the latter's death on 5 May 1987. Galland felt this loss greatly. Galland's marriage to Hannelies did not last and on 10 February 1984, he married his third wife, Heidi Horn, who remained with him until his death.

By the 1980s Galland was now regularly attending the funerals of friends like Tuck, and also Douglas Bader
Douglas Bader
Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL was a Royal Air Force fighter ace during the Second World War. He was credited with 20 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged.Bader joined the...

, who had died on 4 September 1982 after speaking at a dinner for Arthur Harris
Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC , commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command during the latter half of World War...

. In June 1983 he attended the funeral of Gerhard Barkhorn
Gerhard Barkhorn
Lieutenant-General Gerhard "Gerd" Barkhorn , was the second most successful fighter ace of all time after fellow Luftwaffe pilot Erich Hartmann...

 and his wife Christl, who had died in a traffic accident.

Later that year, Galland tracked down his mechanic, Gerhard Meyer, who had installed the armour that saved his life in 1941. On 25 June 1983 he entertained them at his home in Oberwinter outside Bonn on the Rhine river. They were invited every year until Galland's death. In early February 1996 Galland was taken seriously ill. He had wanted to die at home and so was released from hospital and returned to his own house. With his wife Heidi, son and daughter present he was given the last rites. Adolf Galland died at 01:15 in the morning of Tuesday, 9 February 1996. Galland was buried at St Laurentius Church, Remagen-Oberwinter on 21 February. A memorial service was held on 31 March.

Awards

  • Spanish Medalla de la Campaña
    Medalla de la Campaña
    The Medal for the Campaign of 1936−1939 was a Spanish military decoration. The medal was awarded during the Spanish Civil War.-External links:*...

  • Spanish Medalla Militar
    Medalla Militar
    The Military Medal is a high military award of Spain to recognise battlefield bravery.The medal was established in 1918. Since then it is awarded to members of the Spanish military service independent of rank.-Spanish Civil War:* Emilio Mola...

  • Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds
    Spanish Cross
    The Spanish Cross was an award of Germany given to Germans who participated in the Spanish Civil War, fighting for Franco.- History :With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Germany sent the Condor Legion to give military aid to Francisco Franco's nationalist forces.On April 14, 1939, Germany...

     (6 June 1939)
  • Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
    Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
    The Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe was awarded in Bronze, Silver, and Gold with upgrade possible to include diamonds. Pennants suspended from the clasp indicated the number of missions obtained in a given type of aircraft...

     in Gold with Pennant "400"
  • Wound Badge
    Wound Badge
    Wound Badge was a German military award for wounded or frost-bitten soldiers of Imperial German Army in World War I, the Reichswehr between the wars, and the Wehrmacht, SS and the auxiliary service organizations during the Second World War. After March 1943, due to the increasing number of Allied...

     in Black
  • Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
    Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
    Combined Pilots-Observation Badge was a German military award instituted on 26 March 1936 by the Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring to commemorate soldiers or servicemen who had already been awarded the Pilot's badge or Observer badge...

     in Gold with Diamonds
  • Iron Cross
    Iron Cross
    The Iron Cross is a cross symbol typically in black with a white or silver outline that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem....

     (1939)
    • 2nd Class (13 September 1939)
    • 1st Class (22 May 1940)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
    Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
    The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was a grade of the 1939 version of the 1813 created Iron Cross . The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was the highest award of Germany to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership during World War II...

    • Knight's Cross on 29 July 1940 as Major
      Major (Germany)
      Major is a rank of the German military which dates back to the Middle Ages.It equates to Major in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-3 in NATO.During World War II, the SS equivalent was Sturmbannführer....

      and Gruppenkommandeur of the III./JG 26 "Schlageter"
    • 3rd Oak Leaves on 24 September 1940 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore
      Geschwaderkommodore
      Geschwaderkommodore is a Luftwaffe position , originating during World War II, that is the equivalent of a RAF Group Commander or USAF Wing Commander. A Geschwaderkommodore is usually of Oberstleutnant or Oberst rank...

      of JG 26 "Schlageter"
    • 1st Swords (21 June 1941) as Oberstleutnant
      Oberstleutnant
      Oberstleutnant is a German Army and Air Force rank equal to Lieutenant Colonel, above Major, and below Oberst.There are two paygrade associated to the rank of Oberstleutnant...

      and Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26 "Schlageter"
    • 2nd Diamonds (28 January 1942) as Oberst
      Oberst
      Oberst is a military rank in several German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to Colonel. It is currently used by both the ground and air forces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. The Swedish rank överste is a direct translation, as are the Finnish rank eversti...

      and Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26 "Schlageter"
  • Mentioned seven times in the Wehrmachtbericht
    Wehrmachtbericht
    The Wehrmachtbericht was a daily radio report on the Großdeutscher Rundfunk of Nazi Germany, published by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht regarding the military situation on all fronts of World War II....


External links

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