Adolf Galland vs B-17s

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The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Feb 19, 2007
Southern New Jersey
Just found an odd passage in a book, "Aircraft verses Aircraft" by Norman Franks, pg. 141 - 142....

"Adolf Galland, perhaps the best known of the Luftwaffe pilots in the West, still flew the occassional mission despite his high rank and position (General of the Fighter Arm). On one occasion, after trying to attack a fortress, he was set upon by four Mustangs. Galland was wise enough not to attempt a dogfight in his Fw-190, so he dived to try to escape. However the Mustangs stayed with him, tracer shells zippong up round his machine. Finally Gallnd did something that had saved him before - he fired his guns. The resulting streams of smoke that wafted back towards the American pilots perhaps gave the illusion of backward firing guns or even perhaps bullets passing over their own aircraft from the rear. They also were showered with spent cartridges and links which added ro the illusion of hits being scored on their own machines. In the event it succeeded, and the four P-51 pilots broke into a right-hand climbing turn, allowing Galland to escape."

My question: Did this really happen and when? Galland was made General and removed from operations in November 41 after Moelders died. The Fw-190 didn't become operational until around September 41 and the first USAAF B-17 raids didn't really begin until August 42. I'm somewhat suspect.

In addition, this page lists two claims for B-17s in 1944 but nothing else. Anybody have any more info or thoughts?

Aces of the Luftwaffe - Adolf Galland
It could have happened but it is very hard to disprove.

Galland, to the best of my knowledge, held the position of General of Fighters for several years. Through the American bomber offensive at it peak. I think he was fired some time around the end of 1944. So, he could've gone at the US Bomber formations as some time.

By the same token, the firing of weapons to lighten the aircraft in the hopes of escaping is a ploy/story that's been out there at least since WW1. Ernst Udet (IIRC) was said to have done the same thing while being chased by several SE5as at low level in France with the same results as Galland reported.

Long and short, it could've happened, it might have happened, but did it happen? Beats me. Makes for a good story at 11pm with a beer in hand, hanging out at the bar.
I agree and I think after he was dismissed, he was flying the Me 262 on ops so.......

I know Moelders did the same thing (flying while restricted) on the Eastern Front while General even giving his victories to other pilots.

It was a strange passage to me at least when you start putting some facts to it.
I have never believed this story. Four 51's would be in a spread rather than trail with the extremes having good deflection visibility - and certainly in no danger of being hit by 'rearward firing guns'. Nor do I believe it would give an impression to them that they were being shot at from behind..

Nor would all four break unless one of the four did spot something in trail.

If the encounter is true, it is more likely that there was another German fighter, unseen by Galland, that could have be chasing the 51's - maybe even shooting out of range to try to cause them to break off the Galland chase.
Can someone explain how the P-51s were 'were showered with spent cartridges and links'. I am having a hard time understanding how this would happen with diving a/c.
James Goodson refers to this incident in his book Tumult in the clouds , at work at the mo. so don't have the book to hand but IIRC He describes an incident where his flight gave chase to a FW 190 heading home as fast he could go and had to break off as they were low on fuel.
Just remembered I have also seen a colour pic. somwhere of a line up of FW190 As. with one showing what looks very much like Gallands Micky mouse badge on the side.
which way was the 2cm cartridge chutes placed ........ ? under the wings of the Fw 190Variants so the casings would fall downward and out. the Mustangs would be behind and slightly above most likely.

think the story is bogus, Addi did not fly 262's till 1945 in his JV 44 and even then it was chasing B-26's.
"In January 1945, Galland, along with other Luftwaffe officers, was sent back to operational units after questioning the competence of Hermann Göring."

This quote is from wiki,:oops: but I read a passage to the same effect in a book years ago.

I do however find the story, or at least the resoning in it, suspect.

And saved by another luftwaffe fighter in 45, what are the chanses of that?:lol:
Addi did not go back to any LW air unit he was in the position to supposedly choose his successor and then formatulating although very late war the JV 44 262 bogus unit
In his book, Goodson speculates whether Galland was his adversary on 6th March 1944, but as an intelligent guy he didn't claim that as a fact.
Erich Hartmann mentions an incident towards the end of the war where both Soviet fighter aircraft and U.S. P-51s were present along with Soviet A20 light bombers. Hartmann shot down two P-51s and one Soviet bomber, then dove away. Apparently the Soviets never saw Hartmann's Me-109 so they thought American P-51s were attacking. Next thing you know there was a giant furball with P-51s vs Soviet YaKs. What are the chances for such a thing to happen or for this story being true?
in this case rather doubtful but at least 2-3 incidents the 15th AF came into contact with Soviet fighters as well as at least two 8th fg's as well during 45 when the hunt was on in Czechoslovakia.
I suppose you have to bear in mind this is Gallands interpretation of events, and by that I mean that is what he thought was happening, in reality the smoke from his guns may have been though of as hits on his plane?
maybe the P51's broke off to return to protect the bombers as they were losing too much alt?
Lot of variables really, before we get too critical of galland I suppose we should remember perspective often results in differing accounts!
I'm not supposing its even Galland who came up with this. It just sounds too strange - not the tactic but the story. I think someone else is attributing it to Galland.
Nope it's a passage from his book The first and the last entitled "Chased home by Mustangs"
From Tumult in the clouds Lt. Col. James Goodson
Then I spotted him again ,in a shallower dive , but now three mustangs were behind him. They were firing, and maybe hitting but they weren't closing. I had the advantage from my vertical dive and was able to cut across and close slowly. I didn't get to within range until we were almost on the deck. I checked the fuel gauge and knew I should have turned for home ten minuets before.What was more the 190 was streaking eastwards I closed until I was about 300 to 250 yards - beyond my preferred range, especially when he was jerking and evading . I fired one burst and then another . Little puffs of smoke floated back from the 190. I gave another burst , but it was only for a second . I was out of ammunition! I broke away and headed for home with my three flight members . They too had shot their ammunition and were as low on gas as I.

From Gallands book
An account of an attack on a B17 straggler by himself and Troutloft near Magdeburg. While Galland attacked the B17 Troutloft then reported a mustang attack and stated his guns were jammed forcing him to break off combat. Galland then descibes the end of the combat.
I simply fled. Diving with open throttle, I tried to escape the pursuing Mustangs, which were firing wildly. Direction East towards Berlin. The tracer bullets came closer and closer.
As my FW190 threatened to disintegrate and as I had only a small choice of those possibilities which the rules of the game allow in such harassing situations , I did something which had already saved my life twice during the battle of Britain. I fired simply everything I had into the blue in front of me. It had the desired effect on my pursures, who suddenly saw the smoke which the shells had left behind coming towards them. They probably thought they had met the first fighter to fire backwards or that a second attacking German fighter was behind them. My trick succeeded for they did a right hand climbing turn and disappeared.
funny the Mustangs would of finished him off had they the ammo whether the Fw had rearward guns or not. Well one story to tell the grandkids

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