Fighter Pilots' Revolt incident
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The so-called Fighter Pilots' Revolt was a minor insurrection of a small group of high-ranking Luftwaffe pilots in early 1945, when they confronted Reich Marshal and chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring with their demands on the conduct of the air war. Following the incident some officers were relieved of their positions or were reassigned. This event is poorly documented and there are few reliable sources.
The incident originated in the contentious relationship between Adolf Galland, the General of Fighters (in charge of the Luftwaffe's fighter force), and Reich Marshal Hermann Göring. The arguments—mainly over aircraft procurement and armament for the defence of Germany from Allied bombing—began a growing personal rift between Göring and Galland.
Galland arranged for a meeting with Göring.[when?] However, the former was not invited to this meeting. Instead, he was kept informed of the proceedings by Hannes Trautloft. The group, led by spokesman Günther Lützow, confronted Göring with a list of demands regarding the conduct of the air war. Their main concern was Göring's lack of understanding and unwillingness to support his pilots against accusations of cowardice and treason. The pilots protested against the perceived squandering of the fighter aircraft and pilots in high-loss operations like Operation Bodenplatte.
In 1945, Galland was relieved of his command. Johannes Steinhoff was sent to Italy. Similar penalties were imposed upon others in the so-called "mutiny". Subsequently Gordon Gollob was appointed General der Jagdflieger. Rather than lose Galland`s undoubted abilities as a commander Göring gave him the opportunity to form his own elite unit (Jagdverband 44) flying the Messerschmitt Me 262. Galland was wounded in combat and Steinhoff severely burned in a takeoff accident before the end of the war. Lützow was killed in action on 24 April 1945.
- Günther Lützow
- Josef Priller
- Hermann Graf
- Gustav Rödel
- Johannes Steinhoff
- Hannes Trautloft
- Eduard Neumann
- Gerhard Michalski
- Helmut Bennemann
- Baker 1996, p. 231.
- Baker, David (1996), Adolf Galland: The Authorised Biography, London: Windrow & Green, ISBN 978-1-85915-017-7.
- Overy, Richard (1980), The Air War, 1939–1945, Washington: Potomac, ISBN 978-1-57488-716-7.
- Parker, Danny S. Parker (1998), To Win the Winter Sky: The Air War Over the Ardennes, 1944-1945, Da Capo Press, ISBN 1-58097-006-0.