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The First And The Last: The Rise and Fall of the German Fighter Forces, 1938-1945

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  452 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
A fearless leader with 104 victories to his name, Galland was a legendary hero in Germany's Luftwaffe. Now he offers an insider's look at the division's triumphs in Poland and France and the last desperate battle to save the Reich. "The clearest picture yet of how the Germans lost their war in the air".--Time. Illustrations. (War History)
Paperback, 280 pages
Published 1954 by Ballantine Books, Inc. (first published 1953)
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Apr 10, 2013 Jeff rated it it was amazing
"The First and The Last". by Adolph Galland, 1953. The parents of a colleague of mine shared a table with Adolph Galland sometime during the 1970's at a reunion of fighter pilots. Apparently there was a disagreement regarding the allocation of a bottle of fine Champaign on their table, leading to my friend's mother to exclaim in retrospect, "Adolph Galland, he was an ace all right. - he was also an ass." I am not sure what to make of this story, except that I wish I could have been at their tabl ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2, memoirs
I have a lot of respect for Adolf Galland. The first and the last describe the good parts of this book. The first chapters are enough to hook you and then it gets good from chapter 27 on. I really wanted to hear more personal accounts that Galland had with the Condor Legion and his personal experiences with all of the aircraft that he piloted, but instead I got a lot of complaining about the high command and I really hate to say it and it probably wasn't his fault, but excuses. I do realize the ...more
Oct 02, 2015 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech, nonfiction, history, war
The First and the Last (1953) by Adolf Galland is an account of Luftwaffe fighter arm from the perspective of a man who was both a highly successful pilot with 104 kills and a General of the fighter arm who was very familiar with Hitler, Goering, Speer and other senior German politicians and commanders. The book has been sufficiently influential that a number of the points that Galland makes have become popular wisdom.
Galland flew in Spain and then flew in the Luftwaffe in France and during the
Tom Landry
Jul 30, 2010 Tom Landry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great book. It really gave me an understanding of what it was like for the German fighter pilots of WWII from the beginning to the end of the war. No Hitler. No Nazis. Just the story of the pilots flying in the war.
May 30, 2015 Les rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A first-hand account written by a man who was part of the upper echelons of the WW2 German Luftwaffe and also at the forefront of the air war over Britain and mainland Europe. There's many interesting insights into strategic decisions made by the German leaders, and Galland's in-person dealings with Hitler and Goring give us a rare look at the minds behind Germany's war effort. I found it fascinating how much of a hindrance the mindset of Hitler was against the defence of the German Reich, thus ...more
Colin Woods
Aug 03, 2014 Colin Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating inside look at the chaos and poor decisions inside the third reich. Must read for anyone interested in this period.
Jul 30, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book ages ago, but still recommend it to anyone wanting a first hand account of the aerial war in world war 2.
Sep 02, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic, along with Rudel's memoire, from the Luftwaffe side of the war.
A very interesting account of Gallands time through the war years
Edward Burton
This book details Adolf Galland's helm as Major-General of the Luftwaffe. Galland's frustration at Hitler and Goering's ineptitude pours forth, and I found myself almost feeling sorry for Germany in the final days. Galland gives his impressions of all facets including his dogfights against the English and the Americans, and his experiences in the jetfighter, Me-262. Not to be missed by fans of Wolrd War II or air combat.
Walter Dean
May 18, 2016 Walter Dean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For such a gifted pilot and warrior, Galland is a terribly inept writer. His egotistical self-promotion left no room for the kind of details his readership - pilots and/or history buffs - would find requited in other war diaries.
His prose reads like an Excel spreadsheet or the excruciating who-begat-whoms of Genesis. His agenda appears to be to quantize the folly of Allied strategic bombing - an obvious conclusion already known to anyone familiar with the more didactic treatments by Joseph Hell
Apr 10, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. Particularly highlights the disjoint that existed between the high command and the pilots/commanders in the field.
May 06, 2016 Alfredo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adolf Galland fue el General del Cazas de la Luftwaffe. As con 108 derribos confirmados, respetado por amigos y enemigos, y que tuvo una larga y feliz vida después de la guerra. Su autobiografía es una interesante visión al "otro lado" de la contienda, y muestra el punto de vista de un soldado profesional y general sobre las decisiones e idioteces de Goering y Hitler. Muy, muy interesante autobiografía. La recomiendo 100%.
Bryan Mcquirk
I enjoyed this book. I would have given it a higher rating if he had focused more on the pilots and battles and left out as much of the politics. We all know how bad Goering and Hitler screwed up with the Luftwaffe, I wanted to read more about the early days and the fighting.
Mar 05, 2015 Ville rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as I had hoped. Offers an interesting insight into the internal conflicts of the Nazi regime and wartime leadership but also smacks of a whitewash for Galland himself. It is not bad as such. Just way more average than you would expect.
Mike K
Jul 29, 2015 Mike K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good view of what went on behind the scenes and the political elbowing that went on and all for nothing as Hitler had the final say.
Started this then stopped for awhile, the finish is better than the start.
Feb 25, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic-history
An excellent book about the Luftwaffe in WWII by a man who was one of the architects of the Luftwaffe's development.
Stephen Gill
Jan 05, 2015 Stephen Gill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good and honest wartime account of the experience and assessment of a German Fighter Pilot General.
Bernardo Hourmat
Confirma-se a ideia de que por um conjunto de más decisões políticas, não falamos todos alemão, hoje em dia.
Jun 09, 2012 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
Really good first hand account of the air way in WW2 from the German point of view
Aug 29, 2014 Tetref rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
válečné paměti velitele stíhačů Luftwaffe. Úžasné svědectví z nedávné doby.
Chris Brimmer
Refreshingly honest, of course Galland didn't face the dock at Nuremburg.
Yan Naroditsky
Mar 12, 2013 Yan Naroditsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent book about history of the fighters arm of luftwaffe
belum tuntas dibaca, soalnya bukunya keburu perlu dijilid ulang.
Muhammad Iqbal
Jan 08, 2011 Muhammad Iqbal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately he is on the looser side
(Read during High School)
Walter Yucra
Walter Yucra rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2016
Neil rated it really liked it
Jul 20, 2016
Rod Beer
Rod Beer marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2016
Alecio marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
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