Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 27th April 2019, 21:39
rof120 rof120 is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 185
rof120 is on a distinguished road
Question A Galland mystery – Historical question to experts including J. Prien: Galland’s two victories won on 3 June 1940

You would think that Adolf Galland’s victories won 1940 are well-known but there is a mystery – or is there?

In his own book “Die Ersten und die Letzten” (The First and the Last), first published 1953 in German (in Buenos Aires, Argentina), Galland wrote that on 3 June 1940 he took part in operation “Paula”, a massive bombing operation in the Paris area with fighter escort. Its aim was the destruction or paralysis of the French aircraft industry and of airfields in this area. Galland was Ia, the operations officer of JG 27; normally he was not expected to take part in combat missions like all his comrades, which made him quite envious and frustrated. He flew his Me 109 around Paris: “I was flying with Captain Ankum-Frank” (actually von Ankum-Frank). So it seems that these two pilots were flying just as a pair (German: Rotte), so to speak as free-lancers looking for trouble in an area where a powerful reaction of the French fighters was to be expected (on this day 250 of them were gathered to repel the German attack for the French knew about it in advance).

Galland: “I had just shot down something indefinable [unknown to and never seen before by him], somehow similar to a Curtiss [about 120-140 Curtiss H-75 fighters equipped four French fighter “Groupes de chasse” or GCs] as we met two Morane squadrons. There was a terrific turmoil and there were only the two of us.” Galland shot down two Moranes and did not quite succeed in avoiding a collision with his first victim, bending a propeller blade and the top of the fin, and losing the radio mast, “which was perhaps 60 cm long” (23.6 inches). “This fellow flew well but his plane was inferior to mine.”

The second one was not officially confirmed “because the other Moranes were “bothering” him” and he was not able to witness its crash in spite of a heavy black smoke trail. This one was destroyed all right too as is shown by Paul Martin’s loss list in the book “Invisibles vainqueurs” (Éditions Yves Michelet 1991), page 332, middle of column (3 June): those Moranes which were Galland’s victims had the production numbers 693 and 1022, the first one being flown by Polish pilot sergent Stanislas Popelka, who was killed (buried in Ozoir-la-Ferrière cemetery, East of Paris, not far from Lognes, see below), the second one by French pilot sergent V. Jost, who was seriously wounded when he bailed out and hit the tailplane, and after that again when his parachute was entangled in some high-voltage cables and he fell heavily on the ground.

A few remarks: 1. These “two squadrons of Moranes” were in fact a wild bunch of fighters of this type belonging to GC I/6 based at Lognes-Émerainville airfield about 15 km East of Paris. They had taken off in an emergency, as best they could, the direct warning of a German air attack having come much too late, like everywhere, because the sly Germans were heavily jamming the special radio transmitter (installed on top of the Eiffel tower, 300 m high) which sent the take-off order.

2. The “something indefinable, somehow similar to a Curtiss”, was certainly a Bloch 152. Not one single Curtiss fighter was shot down in the Paris area but at least ten Bloch 152s were - with 6 pilots killed, 3 more badly wounded or burned, or both (totalling 9/10, or 90 %, shot down and killed or badly wounded), and only one pilot unhurt. They, too (GC I/1, II/1, I/8 and II/9), were taking off in an emergency when their airfields were bombed and machine-gunned by German fighters, so that they were sitting ducks during take-off (or even before) and climb. The surviving Bloch 152s belonging to these units scored 6 “certain” victories including three Me 109s (all the wrecks came down on French-held ground).

3. The Moranes, in particular those from GC I/6 fought by Galland, were not quite helpless for sous-lieutenant Raphenne (GC I/6) shot down two Me 109s during this sortie, making this score even in spite of the Me’s superiority in power, speed and climb (but not in armament). Raphenne (5 certain victories) was the last French fighter pilot killed (by Flak) late on 24 June when some Moranes were ordered to strafe German columns on roads (!) near Romans (close to Tournon and Tain-l’Hermirage on the banks of the Rhône, slightly North of Valence, south of Lyon) – this was the last day of the 1940 French Campaign. Raphenne’s Morane was n° 1056.

To sum up, Adolf Galland himself wrote in his book that on 3 June 1940 he had shot down “something somehow similar to a Curtiss” (later erroneously confirmed as a Curtiss but it was a Bloch), then two Moranes, of which one was not confirmed. Most probably he wrote this in 1952 (and it was published 1953). I think we can trust this version for he was aged 40, and 1940 a combat mission close to Paris was something very special to any German soldier, Paris then being quite a legend even to German people. He probably had a glance or two at the Eiffel Tower or at its location if cloud hid it. I consider it extremely unlikely that Galland could have possibly mixed up these 2 (actually 3) victories close to Paris with other victories won on some other day. So in my eyes he did win these victories on 3 June 1940 not on 9 June or else. One “Curtiss” (in fact a Bloch 152) and one Morane were confirmed.

What’s more, he confirmed this version 1985 in the new, unshortened, very accurate French edition of his book, “Les premiers et les derniers” : the list of his 14 first victories (won during the French Campaign, 10 May-24 June 1940), supplied by himself to his French publisher, contains this version for June 3 with such details, like precise times (for example 15.55 hrs) and places (“13 km from Meaux” – a city east of Paris), that can only have been found in his own logbook or other wartime-documents (like his own combat reports and victory confirmations by RLM). Galland was very anxious to have a book published which was as accurate as possible (this is how he corrected the passage about his all-important first two victories on May 12: the “Hurricanes” he shot down were not Belgian but British (he got a third one later on the same day). He checked the French translation of his book very exactly including chapter 9 “Pilote de chasse (Fighter pilot) pendant la Campagne de France”, in which he described how he shot down two Moranes in great detail. About the second one, which was not confirmed, he added: “It would have been my thirteenth” (victory).

But this is not the end of it. 1996 the first “authorized biography” of Adolf Galland was published by David Baker. This had not been previously possible or permitted by Galland. The title of this book reads:

ADOLF GALLAND
The Authorized Biography

Unfortunately I was able to read it only once, and alas very quickly, up till now. This was 1996 or 1997. I remember a good and very interesting book with many new things which were not known before numerous secret documents were released, for example on Galland’s attempt, in the last few days of WW II, to join US forces with his entire unit, Jagdverband 44 (JV 44), equipped with Me 262 jets. (This attempt failed.) Had even one single SS-man heard of this, the SS would have killed Galland immediately as a “traitor”, no matter how well and bravely he had fought for Germany for over 7 years including one very active year in Spain.

In this book released 1996, too, the Galland version of 2 (3) victories is repeated on page 82 (chapter 8). Galland died in February of this same year but of course the text, in particular of the first chapters, was written and edited long before this happened.

There is even a fourth book, released 1990 in the USA (Toliver-Constable version) and 1992 in Germany. The latter is the Galland version because the Toliver-Constable version was simply terrible, full of errors, and a not-too-pleased Galland himself had to correct and edit the whole book; he is the actual author of “ADOLF GALLAND – Biographie” (published in German). By the way, this shows how seriously he looked at the contents of “Galland-books”, for he rewrote this one entirely while lying in a hospital bed after heavy heart surgery. He was very exact as usual and he did not change his version of the events on June 3, 1940. This German book was translated into English and became a large volume containing numerous photographs and documents.

To sum up, Galland reported his 2 (3) victories on 3 June 1940 during the German operation “Paula” in the PARIS area in no less than FOUR books released 1953, 1985, 1992 and 1996. Contrary to his first victories (May 12) on “Belgian” Hurricanes which actually were British he never changed his version until he was about to die (he was very ill).

We can find the same version in the English “translation” of Galland’s book (The First and the Last), on pages 50-51, but this “translator” changed the fin of Galland’s 109 into its undercarriage. I call this supreme aerobatics!
I guess Adolf Galland knew best what he did, or did not do, on this date, shooting down a Bloch 152 (confirmed as a Curtiss) and two Morane 406s (one not being confirmed but French sources confirm it beyond any doubt).

In the meantime a very different version has appeared in several books and probably in articles too, possibly emulating each other – otherwise quite good or even excellent books. According to their authors Galland did not score at all on June 3 and exactly the same two confirmed victories were won by… captain Werner Mölders! This is fully possible for on this day the French engaged Morane 406s, Bloch 152s, Curtiss H-75s and the deadly Dewoitine 520s of GC I/3, which German fighter pilots almost always misidentified as “Moranes”. At the time Mölders claimed victories on two misidentified Allied fighters: one “French Curtiss and one British Spitfire” (sic). No Spitfire took part in this particular fighting but D.520s did so most probably Mölders shot down one Bloch 152 and one D.520. Mölders’ version from 1940 can be found on page 132 of his book “Mölders und seine Männer” (and his men), released 1941 and signed by his cousin Fritz von Forell, who posed as the author because Mölders wanted to dodge the official propaganda, which he couldn’t stand, and censorship.

A large part of my documents is still buried in some moving boxes but I think several authors “give” Galland no victory on June 3 but two on some other day(s) like June 9. Some authors ignore any Galland-victory on June 3 but do not explain how he reached his final total of 14 confirmed victories (for May-June 1940) on June 14 without the two victories which simply have vanished. In this version there is a gap of two and Galland’s final score in June would be 12 not 14. The 2 confirmed victories from June 3 he reported four times from 1952 to 1996 were his 11th and 12th. Without them his final score of 14 cannot be explained.

By now (2019) everybody knows, or ought to know, that Adolf Galland was not a phoney but “a honest claimer”. This makes me believe even more strongly that his version of events on June 3, 1940, is the only correct one. I can’t see any reason why Galland could have been wrong on this or even could have invented the whole story so stubbornly, giving his version in no less than four different books, the second one being the French translation (released 1985) of his own book, a translation scrutinized very thoroughly and very exactly by a very exacting Galland and by his German publishers too.

WHO THE HELL ARE WE ANYWAY to pretend to be able to correct Galland's own account of two of his own victories? He was there, we were not. Most of us had'nt even been borne yet.

In “The JG 26 War Diary”, volume one 1939-1942, Don Caldwell mentions that Galland was ordered on June 6 to join JG 26 to become the new CO (Gruppenkommandeur) of III. Gruppe, “…having gained twelve air victories since the start of the Western campaign.” These twelve victories obviously include those from June 3 even though Don Caldwell doesn’t mention this.

Jochen Prien’s JFV (purple series), volume 3 dealing with the 1940 Norwegian and French campaigns, mentions no Galland-victory on June 3 either but on some other day, possibly June 9.

In “The Battle of France Then and Now” (BFTN) Peter Cornwell mentions no victory for Galland on June 3 but two MS 406s (Moranes) of GC I/6 s/d by Mölders, both over Ozoir-la-Ferrière. So these two victories confirmed to Mölders match exactly Galland’s own story over two Moranes shot down there. I consider it impossible that both Galland (JG 27) and Mölders (JG 53) were flying exactly at the same place on June 3. As already mentioned I believe Galland's version, which he published no less than four times 1953, 1985, 1992 and 1996. Mölders most probably shot down other French fighters at some other place.

Still in BFTN, author PC reports a victory won by Galland on June 9 (only one) over a Curtiss H-75 of GC III/2 and on June 14 one Blenheim, possibly two, for his last victory(ies) in June 1940. See page 469, bottom of 2nd column (the two last AC in this column).

I don’t remember Hans Ring’s version in J. Prien’s JFV volume 3, have to unearth my copy of this book (archaeology).

According to some authors Galland was ordered on June 6 to take over III./JG 26 and arrived there on the same day. Other authors report his arrival on June 9… Don Caldwell: “According to his logbook Galland flew his first mission with the Third Gruppe (III./JG 26) on this date” (June 11 not 9), an uneventful late-evening escort sortie (…).”

I have to say, that whole business really is much ado about two victories but it involves the two German fighter pilots who probably are the most famous ones.

Who knows more?

Last edited by rof120; 29th April 2019 at 15:27. Reason: "Who the hell are we?"
  #2  
Old 1st May 2019, 13:11
rof120 rof120 is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 185
rof120 is on a distinguished road
Adolf Galland's victories - a mystery – Nobody, nothing?

Sorry to ask again but certainly some people know something on these elusive victories. Is it a secret?
  #3  
Old 1st May 2019, 14:29
Rottler Rottler is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Ludwigshafen, Germany
Posts: 822
Rottler is on a distinguished road
Re: A Galland mystery – Historical question to experts including J. Prien: Galland’s two victories won on 3 June 1940

Hello rof120,

to your statement "Some authors ignore any Galland-victory on June 3 but do not explain how he reached his final total of 14 confirmed victories (for May-June 1940) on June 14 without the two victories which simply have vanished. In this version there is a gap of two and Galland’s final score in June would be 12 not 14. The 2 confirmed victories from June 3 he reported four times from 1952 to 1996 were his 11th and 12th. Without them his final score of 14 cannot be explained."

According to JFV Vol. 3 on 14 June 1940 Hptm Galland had reached 14 victories.

Stab/JG 27
12 May 40 three Hurricanes (1 - 3)
16 May 40 Spitfire (4)
19 May 40 two Potez 63 (5 and 6)
20 May 40 Potez 63 (7)
29 May 40 two Blenheims (8 and 9)
2 June 40 Spitfire (10)
9 June 40 Curtiss (11) and Morane 406 (12)

Kommandeur III./JG 26 (11 to 25 June 1940)
14 June 40 Blenheim (13) and Defiant (14)

I can see no gap of two victories and no victories simply have vanished.

Regards
Leo
  #4  
Old 1st May 2019, 17:49
rof120 rof120 is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 185
rof120 is on a distinguished road
A. Galland mystery – 3 June 1940 - Yes but...

Prien & Ring published this all right, which I mentioned (more or less).

The fact remains that Galland himself published a different version FIVE TIMES. I wrote "four times" at first but there is a fifth book: the American edition of Galland's 1992 German book, large size, with the title "Fighter General" (released 1999), probably with "Adolf Galland" in the title too (I'll check on this). You can be sure that Galland checked the whole translation very thoroughly - including about June 3, 1940.

May I repeat. or mention, that Galland himself sent the list of his victories won in May-June 1940 to his French publisher (Yves Michelet) and to Donald Caldwell as well, possibly to other persons too. This list mentions the 2 victories on June 3 not on June 9. I feel we should rely on the fighter pilot who won these victories himself rather than on people mentioning him in a victory list 50 years later without explaining this difference.

(30 minutes later Found on the Internet:
Fighter general : the life of Adolf Galland : the official biography
Auteur :
Raymond F Toliver; Trevor J Constable
Éditeur: (French for Publishers)
Atglen, PA : Schiffer Pub., ©1999.

Actually the real author is Adolf Galland himself. My copy of this book is not available at the moment but I have no doubt that this book, too, mentions both victoris won on June 3 not June 9.

Last edited by rof120; 2nd May 2019 at 21:18. Reason: To add the last paragraph
  #5  
Old 2nd May 2019, 00:29
rof120 rof120 is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 185
rof120 is on a distinguished road
A Galland mystery – 60 years later not 50

Sorry for my typo: some authors (3-4 of them?) changed Galland's victory list heavily after about 60 years (sixty) not 50. All of them were probably not even borne 1940 (J. Prien certainly not - he was borne decades later) when Galland claimed 3 victories on French fighters on June 3, 1940 not on June 9, of which one Morane was not officially confirmed but French sources do confirm it (which is a significant difference to Mölders' score on the same day - no third claim filed by him).

So Galland told us the same story in no less than five (5) different books, possibly more. I repeat: who are we to "correct" him? He was a very precise and very exacting man.
  #6  
Old 2nd May 2019, 15:03
Jochen Prien Jochen Prien is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Hamburg / Germany
Posts: 534
Jochen Prien is on a distinguished road
Re: A Galland mystery – Historical question to experts including J. Prien: Galland’s two victories won on 3 June 1940

Dear Mr. rof120,

since you addressed me personally in your post I will answer your question albeit with considerable reservation which comes from the tone of your postings.

1 My birth date is 8 May 1952, hence exactly seven years after the end of the war in Europe or twelve years after the claims in question were made. If for you that means decades, well … However, what does my date of birth matter in this context at all?

2 The list of claims made by Adolf Galland including those in May / June 1940 was compiled by Hans Ring and Winfried Bock, and is based on official documents. IIRC Galland's Flugbuch was also checked and exploited. There is not a trace of two claims made on 3 June 1940.

You seem to be an ardent believer in the publications of Adolf Galland. I would strongly recommend that you try a more dinstanced and un-biased approach to his oeuvre which would show you that there are in fact quite a lot of - to put it mildly - inaccuracies in Galland's presentation of his exploits in WWII. Take a look at the introduction of JFV 4/I ( Purple Series ) and you will see what I mean.

Regards

Jochen Prien
  #7  
Old 2nd May 2019, 17:45
rof120 rof120 is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 185
rof120 is on a distinguished road
Galland mystery – cont'd

Sorry but I just worked for 2 hours on a detailed reply… which vanished. This is really frustrating. I have to give up for the moment. Sigh.

I didn't attack you viciously, I stated facts.

I'll be back in detail asap. Please note: Galland was not unfallible, I am not either and neither are you. We are just human beings and this is not a terrible attack on you.

Your victory lists in JFV volume 3 include hundreds of "P-36s, Bloch 150s, Morane 405s - all these are erroneous (in hundreds of instances) - plus "Moranes" and even "Spitfires" instead of D.520s. I am not being mean to you, I like your books, but you see, as far as errors are concerned you're hardly better than Galland…


More later. I'll write first OFFline...
  #8  
Old 2nd May 2019, 18:01
John Vasco's Avatar
John Vasco John Vasco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Norwich, originally Liverpool
Posts: 950
John Vasco is on a distinguished road
Re: Galland mystery – cont'd

Quote:
Originally Posted by rof120 View Post
Your victory lists in JFV volume 3 include hundreds of "P-36s, Bloch 150s, Morane 405s - all these are erroneous (in hundreds of instances) - plus "Moranes" and even "Spitfires" instead of D.520s. I am not being mean to you, I like your books, but you see, as far as errors are concerned you're hardly better than Galland

What I have put in bold is a disgraceful thing to say about the most reputable Luftwaffe researcher and author in the world.


What you perhaps don't understand is that authors will replicate the mistaken identity claims made in good faith at the time, and will oftentimes point out the errors. In the Battle of Britain, for example, RAF pilots were claiming Heinkel 113s, and Luftwaffe pilots were claiming Curtiss'. For the Croydon raid on 15th August 1940 RAF combat reports stated attacks on Do 17s when it was in fact Bf 110s.


I think you should start to display a little more understanding, and no veiled insults towards another member.
__________________
Wir greifen schon an!

Splinter Live at The Cavern, November 2006: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxOCksQUKbI

Danke schön, Dank schön ich bin ganz comfortable!
  #9  
Old 2nd May 2019, 18:08
Jochen Prien Jochen Prien is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Hamburg / Germany
Posts: 534
Jochen Prien is on a distinguished road
Re: Galland mystery – cont'd

Quote:
Originally Posted by rof120 View Post
Sorry but I just worked for 2 hours on a detailed reply… which vanished. This is really frustrating. I have to give up for the moment. Sigh.

I didn't attack you viciously, I stated facts.

I'll be back in detail asap. Please note: Galland was not unfallible, I am not either and neither are you. We are just human beings and this is not a terrible attack on you.

Your victory lists in JFV volume 3 include hundreds of "P-36s, Bloch 150s, Morane 405s - all these are erroneous (in hundreds of instances) - plus "Moranes" and even "Spitfires" instead of D.520s. I am not being mean to you, I like your books, but you see, as far as errors are concerned you're hardly better than Galland…


More later. I'll write first OFFline...

Dear Mr rof120,


I did not say that you attacked me viciously, and you may be stating facts, which according to my knowledge are wrong.

I will not enter into any lengthy discussion with you about the two Galland claims in question in particular or about the credibility of Galland's publications in general.

I never claimed to be unfallible but I can see no factual basis for your comparison between my publications and those of Galland.


As for the victory lists in the JFV series - they just show what was reported by the respective units which quite often did not reflect the correct type of enemy a/c. Yet, the claims lists are not about what I'm making of it but what was actually reported. Think about it.


Regards


Jochen Prien
  #10  
Old 2nd May 2019, 18:15
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,867
Adriano Baumgartner is on a distinguished road
Re: A Galland mystery – Historical question to experts including J. Prien: Galland’s two victories won on 3 June 1940

rof120,

I guess me and the other members would like to see (for selling) one of your books published, correcting the list of Adolf Galland victories....maybe fully cross-checked and pin-pointed, with references to his Logbook and AIR 27 files or other RAF Logbooks...

Do agree with you that we are all Human beings...and that some pilots, in the heat of the combat, may have "erroneously" claimed a Spitfire whilst actually this was a Boulton-Paul Defiant Mark I....This happened? Surely....We can blame them? Nope...we were not there....you see, the weather, what you believe you saw, etc...the list is huge.

Now, we do have here, as Members of this Fórum and Board, writers who have "been on the game" since we were kids...or not even born (for some)...Some of those, did really have MET and INTERVIEWED personally some of the Aces they do describe or write about in their books...

It takes time (believe me) to write a book like those you have quoted...

Instead of "hitting" NAMES (authors), why we couldn't have another approach on this Board? Why not trying to rebuild history (like some new authors are doing magnificently) with DATA, and references too? If you can do better than the already acclaimed writers, please do show us your work?

Recently a French Historian (whose age I do not know) published a magnficent work and site about ONE particular Day in Air War. This was really fantastic work, fully cross-checked and illustred.

And how sure are we, analyzing those combats of May 1940, of WHO claimed WHAT with so many claims around the same área, and in the same frame of time? For instance, the cases of two airmen of the same Flight shooting at the same enemy plane is quite common in both sides or French sides too...and some times, the victory was "granted" to both....so who shot down who? It is not 100% feasible of matching...

Even some night-fighter claims of the Nachtjagd were (I guess) not fully 100% matched yet....consider the re-working of Dr. Boithen years after his first work was published...How many years he have been researching this theme?

At first I did not wished to take part on the Thread, but guess that we are all here to learn and share (opinions). I do hope you will (maybe) apologize for the wrong way the thread started and maybe point out your findings regarding the claims you found were wrongly attributed to Galland.

Wish you and all members a nice day.

A. B.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
British Second-Line Aircraft lost in France Sept. 1939 - June 1940. Martin Gleeson Allied and Soviet Air Forces 23 23rd March 2020 21:36
1939-45 airpower and professional historians Grozibou Allied and Soviet Air Forces 32 21st August 2008 23:10
Book on French AF 1939-40? The_Catman Allied and Soviet Air Forces 68 10th August 2008 15:58
French hand over of downed Luftwaffe crews in 1940 Jon Allied and Soviet Air Forces 10 8th February 2006 20:30
Fighter pilots' guts Hawk-Eye Allied and Soviet Air Forces 44 8th April 2005 14:25


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 19:17.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net