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Author Topic: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.  (Read 9733 times)

Offline AVIATOR

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Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« on: June 06, 2009, 11:00:26 AM »
Erich Hartmann



Erich Hartmann joined the German Air Force in October 1940 at age 18. In March 1941 he entered flight school, and in October 1942, already in the 2nd half of World War 2, he graduated as a fighter pilot at age 20, and was posted to fighter wing 52 (JG52) which operated Me-109 fighters in South Russia.
He remained in JG52 until the last day of the war, and in 1400 combat sorties he scored 352 victories which make him the all time ace of aces, the most successful fighter pilot in history. All his victories were in the eastern front. Most of them were Russian aircraft.



This was Erich Hartmann's first of 352 victories, including 61 Sturmoviks. It took three months before his second victory.
An amazing series of victories
As he gained more knowledge, experience, and opportunities, his success rate rapidly increased.
In the first half of 1943 he had 17 more victories.
In July 1943 he had 23 victories, including 7 victories in July 7th.
In August 1943 he had 48 victories, including, again, 7 victories in the 7th.
In September 1943 he had 25 victories, reaching over 100 total.
In October 1943 he had 32 victories.
In March 2, 1944, he shot down 10 aircraft in one day, reaching a total of over 200.



He crash landed 14 times, but always emerged unharmed.

Erich Hartmann was promoted to the rank of Captain, and was decorated several times, each time receiving a higher level of the Knights Cross medal. His highest decoration was the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, which was basically the highest German decoration, awarded to just 27 men since mid 1941. There was actually one higher level decoration, supposed to be awarded after the war to Germany's 12 greatest war heroes but was awarded, during the war, only to Hans Ulrich Rudel, the Stuka dive bomber pilot who destroyed over 500 Russian tanks.

Hartmann's favourite aircraft throughout the war.



Near the end of the war Erich Hartmann flew the Me-262 jet fighter for a while, but then returned to the Me-109 . His last base was in Czechoslovakia. His last victory, a Russian fighter, was in the last day of the war. When the war ended, at age 23, he was captured by the Russians and spent 10 years in a hard labor Russian prison.

In 1955, at age 33, Erich Hartmann returned home, to his wife, and joined the new West-German Air Force.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:22:48 AM by AVIATOR »

Offline Raptor

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 04:41:24 PM »
Ah old news is always good news.  ;) Good article, Aviator. I never knew about that extra higher award.  ::)
-JCLim

Offline shawn a

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 06:41:16 AM »
I've heard about him from early on in my life, but only recently wondered if he was a superb air combat tactician, or an aerobatic pilot applying those kind of skills to combat flying.
Any opinions on this?
Shawn a.

Offline AVIATOR

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 02:53:44 PM »
I read the book on him too. He nearly got washed out of the Luftwaffe as a pilot when he first started. Couldn't do anything right and kept pranging planes. Then all of a sudden it clicked.
I think that people make their own luck.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:23:04 AM by AVIATOR »

Offline Webmaster

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 12:08:05 PM »
I read the book on him too. He nearly got washed out of the Luftwaffe as a pilot when he first started. Couldn't do anything right and kept pranging planes. Then all of a sudden it clicked.
I think that people make their own luck.

I think a lot of people are like that. But they continue to drop out of whatever air force, because if you can't keep up with the program, you are costing too much for the force.
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Offline SukhoiLover

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 02:43:48 PM »
Great article AVIATOR.

Can someone tell me the name of the decoration that was given to that Stuka pilot?
http://sukhoitribute.blogspot.com/

English version: http://sukhoitributeenglish.blogspot.com/


Pavel be proud of your legacy!!!!

Offline AVIATOR

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 01:43:42 AM »
Great article AVIATOR.

Can someone tell me the name of the decoration that was given to that Stuka pilot?


Just about everything Suck. Here is the list of awards.

Decorations

    * Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with Pennant
    * Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds
    * Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (13 September 1943)
    * German Cross in Gold (17 October 1943)
    * Iron Cross 2. and 1. class
    * Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
          o Knight's Cross (29 October 1943) as Leutnant and pilot in the 9./JG 52]
          o 420th Oak Leaves (2 March 1944) as Leutnant and Staffelführer of the 9./JG 52
          o 75th Swords (2 July 1944) as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitän of the 9./JG 52
          o 18th Diamonds (25 August 1944) as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitän of the 9./JG 52
    * Mentioned twice in the Wehrmachtbericht
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:23:22 AM by AVIATOR »

Offline panzerman

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Re: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring air ace in the World.
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 07:04:26 PM »
Hans Ulrich Rudel was the highest decorated warrior in WW2. Here are his awards:
18/7/41 Iron Cross
23/9/41 Sinks Russian battleship "Marat" in Kronstadt Harbour, sinks cruiser and destroyer same day
8/12/41 awarded German Cross in Gold
6/1/42 awarded Knights Cross
10/2/43 flies 1000th mission
March/43 sinks 70 Russian landing craft Kuban bridgehead
14/4/43 wins Oakleaves
9/10/43 1500th combat mission
31/10/43 destroys his 100th Soviet tank
25/11/43 wins "Swords"
25/3/44 1800th combat mission
29/3/44 wins "Diamonds"
3/6/44 wins Pilots Badge in Gold for 2000 th combat mission
19/8/44 destroys his 320th Soviet tank
23/12/44 463rd tank killl, 2400 combat missions
1/1/45 receives Golden oak Leaves, only soldier too win this award.
8/2/45 destroys 12 tanks, shot down losses leg
5/8/45 surrenders too US forces, having flown 2530 combat mission! Destroyed 519 Soviet tanks, sunk 1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, 1 destroyer, 70 landing craft, 9 enemy fighters, destroyed 800 combat vehicles, 150 artillery emplacements, numerous military targets. Not bad for a guy flying a plane that was obsolete by 1940.
 
John ;)
 

 



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