Did you know that a Luftwaffe ace flew into battle with lobster and champagne?

Adolf Galland (second from left) at Osterkamp's birthday party, assumably explaining his recent aerial combat (Photo: Bundesarchiv)

Adolf Galland was a celebrated German World War II fighter ace with 104 victories, and a member of the Luftwaffe's high command, eventually reaching the rank of lieutenant general.

On April 15, 1941, then-Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) Galland took off in his fighter to visit Luftwaffe General Theo Osterkamp on the man's 49th birthday. Before taking off, Galland put some lobster and champagne in the cockpit as a birthday gift. Always up for action, Galland and his wingman took a detour toward the coast of Great Britain in hopes of catching some British fighters unawares. They got lucky and came upon a group of Spitfires in the air near the cliffs of Dover. Galland attacked, later claiming two confirmed and one uncomfirmed kills. (British records reveal that he only destroyed one Spitfire; the other two managed to make a forced landing after their pilots were wounded.) Once his desire for action was satisfied, Galland flew on to land at Osterkamp's birthday party, with lobster and champagne still intact. 

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