JG 26 Schlageter Vol.2 (Air Miniatures 25)
By Krzysztof Janowicz
Publisher: Kagero 2003 94 Pages
PDF 59 MB
Every thing was clear and no pilot asked irrelevant questions. A sweep before a bomber formation flying to bomb Kenley airfield was nothing new - intercept all the British fighters that would appear in the Dormers' way, engage and destroy them. Commander of III./JG 26, Hptm. Adolf Galland, was now in Berlin at Goring's meeting, and was being represented by 27-year-old Obit. Gerd Schopfel, who was the official leader of 9 Staffel. The briefing was short and the pilots soon went to their machines.
The engines were already warm, and the mechanics helped to strap in. Schopfel cast a glance at the instrument board - oil temperature okay, electrical and oxygen cylinder pressure, too. The canopy locked with faint clatter. He leant forward and smiled through the side pane, waving the hand to his mechanic. He knew he could trust him as he could himself. He released the brakes and opened throttle slightly. The "yellow 1" rolled forth, other Messerschmitts following".
As Schopfel circled in the sky to the northwest of Caffiers airfield, one by one he was joined by the other III Gruppe pilots, and they made close formation in two minutes. Looking up, he saw Bf 109s of I. and III./JG 3 circling over the French coast - it was with them that he and his pilots were to complete the task. Having exchanged the agreed signals, they joined the formations. He took a glance around - the view was impressive. As far as the eye could see, slender Messerschmitts flew in fours pretty far from one another and at various altitudes. His pilots positioned themselves on the right side of the entire west-heading group - England-bound. Schopfel knew perfectly well that combat was not to be avoided. Despite intensive attacks on enemy airfields, British fighters would still get airborne to offer hard resistance in the sky. Contrary to reports from German intelligence, the RAF's neck had not yet been broken, and it was very them, the Messerschmitt pilots, who were expected to do it.