By late April 1945 most of the Third Reich had been cut to shreds by the advancing Allied forces and those units remaining intact were regrouping in southern Germany and Austria. With American advance units nearing the outskirts of Munich, on 28th April Adolf Galland took the decision to evacuate his precious jets to Salzburg, deep in the mountains. Bad weather prevented their departure until the following morning and they only just managed to escape under the noses of the encircling Americans. Galland had hoped to battle on with JV44 but the unsuitable mountain airfields prevented the famous fighter wing from doing much to delay the inevitable. So the beautiful Alpine meadows became the final resting place for what was potentially the most formidable fighter unit of the war. In just a few days the jets were left abandoned. Their short, exhilarating war, consigned to history.
By: Nicolas Trudgian