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Author Topic: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.  (Read 7578 times)

Offline AVIATOR

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Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« on: June 05, 2009, 02:41:16 PM »
Hans-Ulrich Rudel



Place of birth    Konradswaldau, Silesia
Place of death    Rosenheim, Germany
Resting place    Dornhausen, near Gunzenhausen
Allegiance    Flag of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch    Luftwaffe
Years of service    1936 – 1945
Rank    Colonel (or Oberst)
Unit    StG 3, StG 2
Commands held    III./StG 2, SG 2

Hans-Ulrich Rudel (2 July 1916 – 18 December 1982) was a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War II. Rudel is famous for being the most highly decorated German serviceman of the war. Rudel was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, and the only one to be awarded the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.

Achievements on the Eastern Front.

According to official Luftwaffe figures, Rudel flew some 2,530 combat missions (a world record], during which he destroyed almost 2,000 ground targets (among them 519 tanks, 70 assault craft/landing boats, 150 self-propelled guns, 4 armored trains, and 800 other vehicles; as well as 9 planes (2 Il-2's and 7 fighters). He also sank a battleship, two cruisers and a destroyer. He was never shot down by another pilot, only by anti-aircraft artillery. He was shot down or forced to land 32 times (several times behind enemy lines), but always managed to escape capture despite a 100,000 ruble bounty placed on his head by Stalin himself. He was also wounded five times and rescued six stranded aircrew from enemy territory. The vast majority of his missions were spent piloting the the Junkers Ju 87 armed with twin 37 mm guns.
By the end of the war, because of the advancements of the allied aircraft he flew the ground-attack variant of the Fw 190.

He went on to become the most decorated serviceman of all the fighting arms of the German armed forces in World War 2.


Rudel's Stuka armed with twin 37 mm guns.



The Russian Battleship Marat that Rudel sank with a single bomb.


« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 02:49:09 PM by AVIATOR »

Offline alyster

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Re: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 11:48:03 PM »
He was the highest Knight cross which was with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds as mentioned before. I always wondered what went wrong here, wasn't it supose to be that fighter pilots make the movies(aka getting all the fame and girls) and bomber pilots make history(aka simply doing the job)?
Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes

Offline AVIATOR

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Re: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 02:05:06 AM »
What always staggers me when I read of the vehicles and guns destroyed by just one pilot, is the amount of military equipment actually in the field on the Eastern Front.
Imagine a country placing an order for 519 tanks today. This guy destroyed that many himself.

The other thing to consider is the incredible destructive power of the 37 mm gun.

Offline RecceJet

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Re: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 03:12:18 AM »
Definitely an impressive record! 519 is a lot of tanks, though. Keeping in mind that the cost of a tank these days is far higher because of the technology involved, it's a massive number for today's armies. Back then, though, the T-34 was produced in great numbers. Not sure if the term "tank" is perhaps lost in translation, but it could actually include armoured vehicles in general. Many people see any tracked vehicle as being a tank. Even then, the early Russian and German tanks had very light armour that would provide good cover against light arms, but nothing much bigger.

But what I would find most amazing about this guy is the number of sorties flown and that the only times he was shot down was due to surface-to-air fire. Putting it into a little perspective, the Russians didn't initially have a strong fighter force to match the Nazis on the Eastern Front. I think many bomber pilots that were sent to bomb England in the Battle of Britain may have had similar successes if they had been posted to the east.

Offline AVIATOR

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Re: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 03:40:19 AM »
I read this guy's book recently. He was in fact shot down 32 times by ground fire.

Offline RecceJet

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Re: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 03:47:26 AM »
I didn't disagree ;)

Offline shawn a

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Re: Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Perhaps the greatest pilot ever.
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009, 06:49:58 AM »
Shot down 32 times by enemy ground fire, and lived? Not only to tell the tale, but to fly again and score more victories?
This guy must have made a pact with the devil!!!!
How does one get shot down by defensive ground fire and even get back to ones own lines in a conflict like WWII? Let alone be uninjured enough to fly again?
Charmed beyond belief!!

 



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