Gallands Rebellion

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Mar 7, 2007
Galland: Yes, he had many problems, but he was basically an intelligent man and well educated, from the aristocracy. He had many weak points in his life, and he was always under pressure from Hitler, yet he never contradicted him or corrected him on any point. That was where he made his greatest mistakes. This weakness increased as the war dragged on, along with his drug addiction, until he was nothing. As far as our Luftwaffe was concerned, he was even less and should have been replaced.

WWII: Isn't it true that regardless of Göring's position the fighter pilots looked to you for leadership most of the time?

Galland: Yes, that was true.

WWII: What were your impressions of Hitler, since you spent months in his company and knew him very well.

Galland: Yes, I did spend months around him, speaking and having meetings, but I don't think anyone ever really knew Adolf Hitler. I was not very impressed with him. The first time I met him was after Spain when we were summoned to the Reichschancellery. There was Hitler, short, gray-faced and not very strong, and he spoke with a crisp language. He did not allow us to smoke, nor did he offer us anything to drink, nothing like that. This impression was strengthened every year I knew him as his mistakes mounted and cost German lives, the mistakes that Göring should have brought to his attention. Other officers did, and they were relieved, but at least they did the right thing and voiced their objections. For Göring to willingly follow along was a terrible situation for me personally.

WWII: So you feel Hitler should have replaced Göring as head of the Luftwaffe long before things became terminal?

Galland: Sure, if Hitler cared, but who would take Göring's place and stand up to Hitler, to do what was right? People were not lining up for the job, I can tell you. Hitler was unable to think in three dimensions, and he had a very poor understanding when it came to the Luftwaffe, as with the U-boat service. He was strictly a landsman.

WWII: Well, of all the men you led and are friends with today, are there any who simply stood out as great leaders apart from their records as aces?

Galland: Oh, my, that would be a long list, and you also know most of them. Of all the names you could mention, I think perhaps the greatest leader was still Mölders. All the rest are still very good friends of mine, but we are old men now, and life is not as fast as it was in the cockpit. However, as their leader I also made many mistakes. I could have done better. I was young and inexperienced with life, I guess. It is very easy to look back retrospectively and criticize yourself; however, at that time it was very difficult. My situation was that I had to fight with Göring and Hitler in order to accomplish what they wished, but without their support, if that makes any sense. Göring was a thorn in my side, and Hitler simply destroyed our country and others without any regard for the welfare of others.

WWII: What led to the Fighters' Revolt in January 1945?

Galland: Basically, it was the problems we were having with Göring, and the fact that he was blaming us, the fighter pilots, for the bombings and the losing of the war. All of the senior Kommodores brought their grievances to me, and we chose a spokesman to represent them. I sat on the panel and arranged for the meeting with Göring.

WWII: Your spokesman was Günther Lützow?

Galland: Yes, Lützow was a great leader and a true knight, a gentleman. When they all sat down with Göring, he told Göring that if he interrupted, which he always did so that he could show his importance, nothing would get accomplished. Lützow, Johannes Steinhoff and myself had voiced our grievances many times, but since I was not invited to this meeting, Hannes Trautloft along with Lützow kept me informed as to their recommending that Göring step down for the good of the service. Well, I was fired as general of fighters, Steinhoff was banished from Germany and sent to Italy, and Göring told Lützow that he was going to be shot for high treason.

WWII: What was the atmosphere like, and what were the Kommodores' opinions of the meeting?

Galland: Well, Göring knew that he did not have their loyalty, and we knew that we could not count on Berlin doing anything to help us, so we were alone, as we always were. At least now it was in the open, no pretenses.

WWII: What do you recall about the death of ace Walter Nowotny, and do you feel that his death had any impact on Germany's Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter program?

Galland: I had been telling Hitler for over a year, since my first flight in an Me-262, that only Focke Wulf Fw-190 fighter production should continue in conventional aircraft, to discontinue the Me-109, which was outdated, and to focus on building a massive jet-fighter force. I was in East Prussia for a preview of the jet, which was fantastic, a totally new development. This was 1943, and I was there with Professor Willy Messerschmitt and other engineers responsible for the development. The fighter was almost ready for mass production at that time, and Hitler wanted to see a demonstration. When the 262 was brought out for his viewing at Insterburg, and I was standing there next to him, Hitler was very impressed. He asked the professor, "Is this aircraft able to carry bombs?" Well, Messerschmitt said, "Yes, my Führer, it can carry for sure a 250-kilogram bomb, perhaps two of them." In typical Hitler fashion, he said "Well, nobody thought of this! This is the Blitz (lightning) bomber I have been requesting for years. No one thought of this. I order that this 262 be used exclusively as a Blitz bomber, and you, Messerschmitt, have to make all the necessary preparations to make this feasible." This was really the beginning of the misuse of the 262, as five bomber wings were supposed to be equipped with the jet. These bomber pilots had no fighter experience, such as combat flying or shooting, which is why so many were shot down. They could only escape by outrunning the fighters in pursuit. This was the greatest mistake surrounding the 262, and I believe the 262 could have been made operational as a fighter at least a year and a half earlier and built in large enough numbers so that it could have changed the air war. It would most certainly not have changed the final outcome of the war, for we had already lost completely, but it would have probably delayed the end, since the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, would probably not have taken place, at least not successfully if the 262 had been operational. I certainly think that just 300 jets flown daily by the best fighter pilots would have had a major impact on the course of the air war. This would have, of course, prolonged the war, so perhaps Hitler's misuse of this aircraft was not such a bad thing after all. But about Nowotny....

A 1994 WWII Magazine Interview
Fighter Pilots Conspiracy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Fighter Pilots Revolt)
Jump to: navigation, search
The Fighter Pilots Conspiracy refers to the verbal rebellion of the leading German Luftwaffe officers against the incompetence of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht.

By 1944 the Luftwaffe had lost the air war over Europe. Hermann Göring, Reichsmarschall and chief of the Luftwaffe accused and blamed the fighter pilots for the bombings and losing the war. All of the senior Kommodore brought their concerns to Adolf Galland, commander of Germany's fighter force (General der Jagdflieger).

Galland arranged for a meeting with Göring. However, Galland was not invited to this meeting so he was kept informed of the proceedings by Hannes Trautloft. The group of the most decorated and valiant Luftwaffe leaders, led by spokesman Günther Lützow, confronted the Luftwaffe commander and deputy Führer, Reichsmarschall Herman Göring, with a list of demands for the survival of their service. Their main concern was the Reichsmarschall's lack of understanding and unwillingness to support his pilots against accusations of cowardice and treason, which existed since the Battle of Britain.

The outcome was devastating. Blamed by Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring for the collapse of Germany's air defense against Anglo-American bombing raids, Adolf Galland was relieved of his command in 1945. Johannes Steinhoff was threatened with court-martial and sent to Italy, and Göring told Günther Lützow that he was going to be shot for high treason. Similar penalties were imposed upon others in the so called "mutiny". Subsequently Gordon Gollob was appointed General der Jagerflieger. Adolf Galland was given the opportunity to form his own elite JV 44 flying the Messerschmitt Me 262. Galland was wounded in combat and Steinhoff severly burned in a takeoff accident before the end of the war. Günther Lützow was killed in action on 24 April 1945.

[edit] Reference
Johannes Steinhoff (1195), In letzter Stunde - Verschwörung der Jagdflieger. List Verlag ISBN 3-471-78819-0

[edit] External links


Fighter Pilots Conspiracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
20 view no posts

lets play what if?

Goering had balls?

They listented to the General der Jagerflieger?

Or Galland was shot?

You've laid it out pretty well and don't know if a "what if" is even worth it at that stage of the war. I will say that I believe that there was animosity between Gollob and Galland to the point that after no results from JV 44 Gollob threatened to disband it.

from: Aces of the Luftwaffe - Gordon McGollob

"In April 1944, he was transferred to the personal staff of the General der Jagdflieger to represent him on the Jägerstab regarding development of jet aircraft projects. But here he fell out with Adolf Galland (104 victories, RK-Br) and was transferred to the Kommando der Eprobungstellen."

On April 3, 1945, Gollob issued a four page report on jet fighter operations within which he stated: "So far JV 44 has achieved nothing, even though it contains a number of very good pilots. Furthermore, it is pursuing operational methods which are not merely at variance with, but actually counter-productive to, commonly accepted principle. It is proposed that the unit be disbanded and its pilots be employed more usefully within the ranks of other existing units." As we know, it never came to pass.
Just a quick post without my facts but it would be interesting to see who would not have committed suicide and decided to stay on, such as Udet (I think he died after Molders) and Jeschonek if Goering was killed. A more effective LW?

Users who are viewing this thread