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Karl-Heinrich Bodenschatz, 10 December 1890 – 25 August 1979, was a German general who was the adjutant to Manfred von Richthofen in World War I and the liaison officer between Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler in World War II.
Eckhard Christian, 1 December 1907 – 3 January 1985, was a Luftwaffe officer in World War II and rose to the rank of Generalmajor. On 2 February 1943, he married Gerda Daranowski who was one of Adolf Hitler’s private secretaries during World War II. Eckhard was captured by British troops on 8 May 1945 and held in custody until 7 May 1947.
Otto Dessloch, 11 June 1889 – 13 May 1977, was a German World War II Luftwaffe general and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Alfred Erhard, 15 April 1899, in Aschaffenburg – 17 April 1945 in Dusseldorf, was a German officer, last Major General of the Air Force in the Second World War.
Stefan Fröhlich, 7 October 1889 – 2 October 1978, was a highly decorated General der Flieger in the Luftwaffe during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Adolf “Dolfo” Joseph Ferdinand Galland, 19 March 1912 – 9 February 1996, was a German Luftwaffe general and flying ace who served throughout the Second World War in Europe. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He flew 705 combat missions and fought on the Western and the Defence of the Reich fronts. 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. As General der Jagdflieger, Galland was forbidden to fly combat missions.
In late January and early February 1942, Galland first planned then commanded the Luftwaffe’s air cover for the Kriegsmarine’s Operation Cerberus which was a major success. It earned him the coveted Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Over the ensuing years, Galland’s disagreements with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring about how best to combat the Allied Air Forces bombing Germany caused their relationship to deteriorate. The Luftwaffe fighter force was under severe pressure by 1944 and Galland was blamed by Göring for the failure to prevent the Allied strategic bombing of Germany in daylight. The relationship collapsed altogether in early January 1945, when Galland was relieved of his command because of his constant criticism of the Luftwaffe leadership. Galland was then put under house arrest following the so-called Revolt of the Commodores, during which senior Jagdwaffe pilots tried to save Galland’s position while having Göring dismissed as Reichsmarschall.
In March 1945, Galland returned to operational flying and was permitted to form a jet fighter unit which Galland called Jagdverband 44. He flew missions over Germany until the end of the war in May. After the war, Galland was employed by Argentina’s Government and acted as a consultant to the Argentine Air Force. Later he returned to Germany and managed his own business. Galland also befriended many former enemies, such as RAF aces Robert Stanford Tuck and Douglas Bader. Adolf Galland died in February 1996.
Hans-Ferdinand Geisler, 19 April 1891 – 25 June 1966, was a German general during World War II.
Born in Hanover in April 1891, Geisler joined the Imperial German Navy on April 1, 1909, as a Seekadett, prior to World War I and served during the entire conflict. He joined the newly formed Luftwaffe in September 1933, reaching the rank of General der Flieger in July 1940. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 4 May 1940. He retired in October 1942 and died in June 1966 in Freiburg im Breisgau.
Walter Grabmann, 20 September 1905 – 20 August 1992, was a German World War II Luftwaffe Generalmajor. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Grabmann is credited with 7 aerial victories during the Spanish Civil War claimed in 137 combat missions.
Friedrich Heilingbrunner, 5 October 1891 – 17 August 1977, was a General of Flak Artillery in the Luftwaffe.
After graduating from Franz-Ludwig-Gymnasium in Bamberg, Heilingbrunner joined 2. Fußartillerie-Regiment of Bavarian Army as a Fahnenjunker on 18 July 1910, and completed the Kriegsschule München from October 1911 to the end of September 1912. With the promotion to Leutnant on 28 October 1912, Heilingbrunner was transferred to 3. Feldartillerie-Regiment “Prinz Leopold”. Here he was initially served as a battery officer. With the outbreak of the First World War, Heilingbrunner posted as a platoon leader in the front. From October 1915 to May 1917, he also served as battery chief in the Ottoman Army on the Gallipoli Peninsula and in Macedonia. After the demobilization of his regiment in late March 1919, Heilingbrunner joined Freikorps Epp on 26 March 1919, where he remained until the end of September 1919. Subsequent to the Provisional Reichswehr, he served until the end of September 1920 as a battery officer in the Reichswehr-Artillerie-Regiment 21. Heilingbrunner held the same position from October 1920 to the end of September 1923 at the 7. (Bayerisches) Artillerie-Regiment, where he was appointed as a Battery Chief on 1 October 1923. After he served as a teacher at the Artillerieschule Jüterbog from October 1927 to the end of March 1932, he returned as a major in the staff of the 7. (Bayerisches) Artillerie-Regiment on 1 April 1932. On 1 October 1933, he finally became commander of the Fahr-Abteilung Fürth (and after its renaming on 1 April 1935 to Flak-Abteilung Fürth). On the latter date, Heilingbrunner also joined the newly established Luftwaffe. On 1 October 1935, he was appointed as an Höheren Kommandeur der Flakartillerie in Luftkreis V, whose post he held until the end of February 1938. After the dissolution of the office, Heilingbrunner became Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber of Luftgau XII in Wiesbaden on 1 March 1938. On 1 April 1944, he was transferred to the Führerreserve of the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe and dismissed from military service on 28 February 1945.
Hans Jeschonnek, 9 April 1899 – 18 August 1943, was a German Generaloberst and a Chief of the General Staff of Nazi Germany′s Luftwaffe during World War II. He committed suicide in August 1943 after mistakenly ordering anti-aircraft guns to fire upon German fighter planes gathered near Berlin.
Josef Kammhuber, 19 August 1896 – 25 January 1986, was a career officer in the Luftwaffe and post-World War II German Air Force and is best known as the first general of night fighters in the Luftwaffe during World War II. He is credited with setting up the first truly successful night fighter defense system, the so-called Kammhuber Line, but a detailed knowledge of the system provided to the Royal Air Force by British military intelligence allowed them to render it ineffective. Personal battles between himself and Erhard Milch, director of the Reich Air Ministry, eventually led to his dismissal in 1943. After the war, he returned to the military sphere in Germany’s Federal Defense Force.
Gustav Kastner-Kirdorf, 2 February 1881 in Trumpfsee-Warnitz – 4 May 1945 in Berchtesgaden, was a German aviator who served in the Luftwaffe during the first and second World Wars.
Günther Korten, 26 July 1898 – 22 July 1944, was a German Colonel General and Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe in World War II. He died from injuries suffered in the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in July 1944.
Bruno Loerzer, 22 January 1891 – 23 August 1960, was a German air force officer during World War I and World War II.
Alexander Löhr, 20 May 1885 – 26 February 1947, was an Austrian Air Force (Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte) commander during the 1930s and, after the “Political Union of Germany and Austria” (Anschluss), he was a German Luftwaffe commander. Löhr served in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Löhr was one of three former Austrians who rose to the rank of Generaloberst (Colonel General) within the German Wehrmacht. The other two were Erhard Raus and Lothar Rendulic.
Eugen Meindl, 16 July 1892 – 24 January 1951, was a highly decorated German Fallschirmjäger and general during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.