The best thing about the Spitfire Mk XIV was that there were so few of them (4 Viewers)

MarkusZeller

Recruit
6
2
Aug 11, 2022
This statement was supposedly made by German ace Adolf Galland. Well, I've read his autobiography and I've also watched every interview with him. Nowhere is such a quote from him to be found. I doubt that he even knew about the aircraft at all.

Is there a reliable source for this, or is this another attempt to make the Spitfire look better than it really was?
 

MarkusZeller

Recruit
6
2
Aug 11, 2022
I have read that quote, but it was about the Tempest, not the Spit XIV and I don't think it was Galland
This is from Andrew Thomas book Griffon Spitfire Aces

Page 75
"No less a figure than the former Inspector General of the Luftwaffe General Adolf Galland recorded a highly appropriate epitath to the type when he wrote, The best thing about the Spitfire XIV was that there were so few of them"

His statement is quoted in many books and websites, but all of them failed to provide a source.

I call it bullshit and I find it disgusting when British authors just pull random shit out of their ass, especially when lies are spread about a honorable guy who can't defend himself.

Shameful
 

pbehn

Lieutenant Colonel
11,896
8,391
Oct 30, 2013
This statement was supposedly made by German ace Adolf Galland. Well, I've read his autobiography and I've also watched every interview with him. Nowhere is such a quote from him to be found. I doubt that he even knew about the aircraft at all.

Is there a reliable source for this, or is this another attempt to make the Spitfire look better than it really was?
I am fairly sure Galland will have known about the the Spitfire XIV.
 

buffnut453

1st Lieutenant
6,958
9,876
Jul 25, 2007
Utah, USA
This is from Andrew Thomas book Griffon Spitfire Aces

Page 75
"No less a figure than the former Inspector General of the Luftwaffe General Adolf Galland recorded a highly appropriate epitath to the type when he wrote, The best thing about the Spitfire XIV was that there were so few of them"

His statement is quoted in many books and websites, but all of them failed to provide a source.

I call it bullshit and I find it disgusting when British authors just pull random shit out of their ass, especially when lies are spread about a honorable guy who can't defend himself.

Shameful

While I share your frustration about lack of sourcing, it's not just British authors who do this kind of thing. Martin Caidin, for example, was egregious in his ability to make up stuff and cite it as history.

I knew Andrew Thomas personally and he was actually a really decent bloke. He probably found the quote in another published source and simply re-used it. While I agree that it's perhaps shoddy historical research, it's also incredibly common. At the end of the day, the Osprey books aren't "original source" histories. They're brief accounts of a particular type with a focus on the aircraft flown by the aces. You'll probably find as many inaccuracies in the colour profiles as there are in the text.

I also think you're taking your offended outrage a little too far. The quote doesn't impugn Galland's reputation and, even if alive, he wouldn't have anything to defend. I suspect that, over a beer, he'd probably agree with the sentiment expressed in the quote even if he didn't make it himself.
 

Just Schmidt

Airman 1st Class
256
314
Jul 19, 2010
Tromsø
I have often encountered examples of quotes living their own lives, being fathered on to different famous characters. It's often difficult to trace them to their true origin. If it's military and sounds clever, Napoleon is usually the top candidate. But even here his 'if your oponent is trying to execute a bad plan, you should not try to hinder him' (which I believe is his but have no idea what the best translation from french would be), has been attributed to Bobby Fisher. Who may or may not actually have quoted Napoleon.

Another one is 'the only thing more melancolic than a battle won is a battle lost' which Napoleon often gets, but I do believe it was actually the Duke of Wellington.

The qoute in question may well have been spoken by someone else, possible about another type, even about a type of land vehicle. Our brains are frighteningly messy things, at least mine is.
 

Frog

Senior Airman
315
808
Jun 11, 2021
France
... Napoleon is usually the top candidate. But even here his 'if your oponent is trying to execute a bad plan, you should not try to hinder him' (which I believe is his but have no idea what the best translation from french would be), has been attributed to Bobby Fisher. Who may or may not actually have quoted Napoleon.
The exact citation is : '' you do not surprise twice the ennemy doing such a wrong '' pronounced at at Friedland.
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
6,284
8,818
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
I have often encountered examples of quotes living their own lives, being fathered on to different famous characters. It's often difficult to trace them to their true origin. If it's military and sounds clever, Napoleon is usually the top candidate. But even here his 'if your oponent is trying to execute a bad plan, you should not try to hinder him' (which I believe is his but have no idea what the best translation from french would be), has been attributed to Bobby Fisher. Who may or may not actually have quoted Napoleon.

And that itself is a restatement of Sun-Tzu's maxim of never interrupting the enemy as he's making a mistake.

 

PAT303

Staff Sergeant
1,272
793
Dec 31, 2018
I feel also that the true meaning could also be lost in translation or the meaning is changed in translation. If you want to see some hilarious translations look at Chinese to English.
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GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
The supposed quote by Abraham Lincoln "If you wish to test a man's character, give him power" was actually written by his biographer in later years.

Regarding Caidin and his "Caidinisms", he's not the only one, Green was another who either embellished or filled in blanks on various aircraft types.
I'd say that Caidin is the master though, he tapped into his Science Fiction writing skills on many occasions - I beleive that his "Fork Tail Devil" legend and the saga of Lt. Rossi's Italian P-38 are the best known Caidinisms to this day.
 

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