September 2nd 1943
“I need to move the airgroups that flew today but I have no transport, they will be sitting ducks if the allies attack those airfields tomorrow; especially the FW190-Fs of 1SKG10 at St Breuc.”
“Galland, we’ve used all transport available to move flak out of the allies’ way down in Italy. The allies are advancing very fast and we cannot afford to let it fall into their hands.”
“Hell of a way to fight a war.”
Galland had scrambled the FW190Fs, as well as the 110G2 of ZG1 and a flight of FW190-A5 over the western peninsula of France to intercept raids that seemed to be heading towards the depth of the country, likely Nantes, outside of allied fighter cover. The enemy raids however made a hard turn east and attacked Cherbourg instead. The Luftwaffe fighters had to be recalled to their bases not only wasting aviation fuel but also revealing their positions to the allied intelligence services. North of Paris, the veteran 11JG26 with 36 FW190A-5 and the rookie JGR 103 with 31 Bf 109 G-6 had better luck and scored 21 kills between medium bombers and fighters at a cost of only 2 fighters lost. He looked at the sky, worried. If tomorrow brought good weather, the allies had a great chance at his heavier fighters over Brittany and there was precious little he could do about it.
In Berlin, Speer called up the Gauleiter. “Goebbels, what in Teufel is happening with the trains? Galland needs to move his gruppen around France and I need to move flak from southern Italy, and what answer do I get? That the trains are being used by Eichmann. What does he need all those trains for anyway?”
“Why don’t you ask him?”
“I don’t want to talk to him, he, and Bormann give me the creeps.”
“I understand, they are not very pleasant. In any case, we’ve captured a great photograph from one of the B17s downed by Flak north of Paris. It is a picture of the bombs falling in Paris, around the Hispano Suiza engine factory.”
“Yes, it was totaled; as if we had enough engine factories.”
“It’s all right,” the Propaganda minister’s voice was excited, “the photograph will be on the Voelkischer Beobachter” and all over the neutral press by tomorrow. Let the world know how Eisenhower treats his allies. I also have pictures of the ruins in Rome to let everyone see how the allies respect an open city.”
“By the way,” Goebbels asked, “what was yesterday’s score?”
Speer did not like to refer to the aircraft losses as a score; neither did Galland or even Goebbels for that matter. There were, after all, young men in the cockpits of those machines, but there was no good way to refer to it. The butcher’s bill they used to call it in the Royal Navy.
“21 enemy machines over France at a cost of ours. In Italy, nineteen of theirs and nineteen of ours, 14 of them 190Fs. At night, they lost seven and forty damaged. Hajo Hermann released a flight of wild boars over Wilmhemshaven despite the lack of a moon. They sighted two enemy aircraft and attacked and damaged one. Surprisingly, they all landed without losses.”
Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.