By this time Germany and the Soviet Union were at war and so once the Creten operation was over 8. In five days Rall and his men destroyed some 50 Soviet bombers and were next sent to the southern sector of the Eastern Front. Here, however, Rall suffered a severe setback — after destroying his 36th enemy aircraft he himself was shot down by an I and in the resulting belly-landing in a gully he broke his back in three places. He was paralyzed for a long time on the right side and the right leg. In October alone, he downed over 40 Soviet planes.
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I originally requested this for my uncle, then decided to read most of it myself, so their generosity has made two people very happy. Oversized hardcovers with thick glossy pages tend to do that. But for what I read, I greatly enjoyed myself. It was like listening to someone tell you about their awesome new car. So I skimmed over those parts to get back to the "story. Despite this being a memoir, he still seemed a bit standoffish at points, but overall came across as a very even-handed, modest, and likable person.
His comments about Hermann Goering, however I also liked the glimpses into his rather hectic early married life. It was definitely the "human interest" part of this book. His wife Hertha was the doctor who tended him after a crash that fractured his spine in 3 places.
They married soon after and were kept constantly apart by the war. Her pre-war "activities" of helping a few Jewish families escape to England threatened her freedom and his career, but he stood by her and the matter was dropped with intervention by his superiors. The one thing that came across loud and clear was the "special" bond shared by all pilots, no matter which side they fought on.
His sister Lotte, was four years older than Rall. In , the family Rall moved to Stuttgart. For his secondary education, he first attended the humanities -oriented Karls-Gymnasium in Stuttgart and then in transferred to the National Political Institutes of Education Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt—Napola in Backnang , a secondary boarding school founded under the recently established Nazi state. The goal of the Napola schools was to raise a new generation for the political, military and administrative leadership of Nazi Germany. There he received his Abitur university entry qualification. It was posted to western Germany, for Defence of the Reich duties and Rall did not see combat. On 7 March , he was transferred to 8.
My Logbook: Reminiscences, 1938 - 2006