During world war II German pilots Could be introduced as Real geniuses and according to some people’s opinion, any pilot was not able to reach the skills shown by them.

His photographs while he working in the Nazi Air Force and German air force (Erich Hartmann)
Picture: His photographs while he working in the Nazi Air Force and German air force

German air fighter pilots were in the front of the list of pilots who was dropped down most enemy aircraft that introduce as A factor that shows their skills. But because Allied side armies win world war II, the skills of German pilots were not focused on.

In today’s letter, we are going to discuss a great attacker like that. His name is Erich Hartmann. This young German pilot who became a headache for Russian pilots was the pilot who dropped down the highest number of enemy aircraft during world war II.

As a consultant of Hitler youth organization

German fighter aircrafts
Picture: German fighter aircrafts

Erich Hartmann was born in Wurttemberg, Germany on 22th of April 1922, as a first child of a father who worked as a doctor and a mother who worked as a pilot during world war I, on 22nd April 1922. He spent his small stage with his family in China. that was because his father believed the economy of china better than Germany.

Erich who came back to Germany in childhood, had the interest to become a pilot of a fighter aircraft. Another reason is that his mother was a pilot. Erich was able to get the certificate of flying light aircraft at age of 14.

This clever boy was able to work as a consultant of Hitler’s youth organization at age of 15. Erich who admitted to an air combat school in East Prussia at age of 18 that was October 1940 and Erich had training until January 1942 and joined to Nazi Air Force as a lieutenant in march 1942.

The best in the air

After training, he was assigned to an Air Brigade called Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) that was made by clever pilots, On the Eastern Front. Alfred Grislawski (132 enemy aircraft was fallen down) and Walter Krupinski (197 enemy aircraft was fallen down) can be introduced as Contemporary pilots who were with him at that time.

Erich had every characteristic that should have pilot by born and he completed his first target successfully by destroying ground attack aircraft called IlyushinIl-2 which was owned by the Soviet air force. That was on the 5th of November 1942. After this incident, he was promoted to Staffelkapitan (Squadron Commanding Officer) in the Nazi air force.

By March 1943, he had fallen down 5 aircraft and destroyed 7 Russian fighter aircraft in an air attack during the Kursk battle on the 7th of July 1943. He used his own strategy to get these Triumphs and he called that See – Decide – Attack – Reverse.

On the 19th of August in that year, his aircraft and a soviet aircraft were in a fight. Eventually, Soviet aircraft destroyed and because of the attack his aircraft damaged and he had to get an emergency landing. He landed in Soviet-controlled territory. Suddenly Erich got arrested by the Soviet army and they have taken Erich by truck. He managed to run away on the way and after that, he was able to enter a German-controlled zone.

German black devil who intimidated allied pilots

Erich boarded his plane
Picture: Erich boarded his plane

Erich’s bf 109 fighter jet had painted black flower petal behind the front propeller because of those Russian fighter pilots called Erich who was driving this plane, as a black devil.

On the 20th of September 1943, the number of the plane that had been fallen down by him increased to 100. In May 1944, he was called to Romania’s battlefield. In there he fought with American pilots and fell down several American P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.

He became the first pilot who fell down 300 aircraft by falling 11 aircraft on the 24th of August. Also made a record by falling down 11 aircraft in a day. In April 1945, he was promoted as A Major, and on the 8th of May 1945, he fell down the 352nd aircraft which was his last victory in the Czechoslovakian sky. Like this during air fights his aircraft was damaged 14 times but he was able to survive all the time.

Medals won

 On the right is Erich
Picture: On the right is Erich

Erich was able to win the Ehrenpokal medal which was only given to pilots and Air Staff Members who showed great talents in the Nazi air force, on 13th September 1943.

He was awarded by Deutsches Kreuz in Gold also known as the German Cross medal that gives to soldiers who did a great thing in an unexpected way in the war, in October 1943. Also, October in of that year he won the Ritterkreuz medal also know as the knight’s cross of the iron cross medal that awards for Leadership that went beyond the boundaries on the battlefield.

In march 1944 oak leaves added to the knight’s cross of the iron cross medal. In July A pair of swords added that medal and on the 25th of August in that year, diamonds were added to that medal. In those three times, the medal was worn by Hitler. After adding all of this the medal was called like this. Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. This medal was awarded to soldiers who continued to fight against enemies bravely. this was offered only to talented in the German army and only 27 were able to win this.

Arrest by Russian Army

Erich Hartmann in later time
Picture: Erich Hartmann in later time

Because Germany was defeated from world war II Erich was arrested by America, later delivered to Russian armies. Their court-martial named him as a war criminal and Imprisoned him with hard labor for 25 years.

But under the program of releasing war criminals in Russia Erich who was released within 10 years, went back to Germany in October 1955.

He joined to New western German air force and give support to brigadier JG 71. He said goodbye to his air force life in 1970 and died on 19th September 1993.

Erich Hartmann is a genius born during world war II. but he represented the Axis side and his side was defeated in the war therefore it seems to be German soldiers like Erich Hartmann’s skills were not appreciated.


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