Adolf "Dolfo" Joseph Ferdinand Galland (19 March 1912 – 9 February 1996)[Pic 1] was a German Luftwaffe general and flying ace who served throughout the Second World War in Europe. He flew 705 combat missions and fought on the Western Front and in the Defence of the Reich. On four occasions, he survived being shot down and he was credited with 104 aerial victories, all of them against the Western Allies.
Galland, who was born in Westerholt, Westphalia, became a glider pilot in 1929 before he joined Lufthansa. In 1932, he graduated as a pilot at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German Commercial Flyers' School) in Braunschweig before applying to join the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic 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, he volunteered for the Condor Legion and flew ground attack missions in support of the Nationalists under Francisco Franco. After finishing his tour in 1938 Galland was employed in the Air Ministry writing doctrinal 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 109s during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. By the end of 1940, his tally of victories had reached 57. In 1941, Galland stayed in France and fought the Royal Air Force (RAF) over the English Channel 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, 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.
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- Text: TracesofWar
- Photos: Henny van Loenen (1 & 2) Bundesarchiv (3)