Дата: 12.01.2012 11:43
Re: День 12-01-1893: Родился Герман Вильгельм...
Aviation History: Interview with World War II Luftwaffe Ace Günther Rall
Published Online: June 12, 2006
WWII: What are your personal feelings about Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring? Is it true that most of the pilots did not like him?
Rall: You could not like him. He was perhaps a capable man before the war. He was a great organizer, helping to build the air force after the First World War. Also, he was a great fighter pilot in World War I. As you also know, he was injured in 1923, and he had a very difficult injury. He had to take morphine for the pain and became addicted. It might have changed his character. At the time I became acquainted with him, I was cold to him. He was a big fat man, a very pompous man, and not only I but my comrades felt that he was out of touch with reality. He was certainly not respected as an air force leader. Actually he did not lead the air force at all; it was somebody else, but not Göring. Hermann Göring would make silly statements to Hitler. Hitler said, 'You are the leader of the air force,' and he (Göring) made a long statement about the Battle of Britain, you know, that he would triumph over the Royal Air Force, which was wrong, as we had tremendous losses in our fighter fleet that we never recovered from during the war. He said, 'We can support Stalingrad, the air force can do it,' which he was not able to do, which was a very wrong and costly statement.
WWII: It has been said that Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the great Stuka pilot, was something of a maniac. Did you know him?
Rall: Absolutely, he was a bit of a maniac. I flew with him as his fighter escort for his group several times. They were flying normal Ju-87 missions, and we escorted them. This was in Russia, of course. He was a great Stuka pilot, no doubt–after all, he shot up 519 tanks among other things, which is quite something. After the war I was a fellow prisoner with him in France, as guests of the Americans. Rudel and I were in the same camp, and later we were borrowed by the Royal Air Force. I was sent to the British Fighter Leaders School at Tangmere. This was for interrogation, which lasted three weeks. I was there with Rudel as well, and we slept in the same room. Living very close together you get acquainted, and you come to understand the thinking of such a man, but I had known him before that. Anyhow, I was really surprised at this egocentric man; he was the greatest in his own mind, that sort. It was a little disgusting to me.