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Major Erich Hartmann ~ Free Shipping

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11" x 14" Print Size ~ Unlimited Print Edition

Major Erich “Bubi” Hartmann

Ace of Aces (352 victories)

       The highest scoring fighter pilot in history, Erich Alfred Hartmann was born on 19 April 1922 in Weissach. His boyish looks gave rise to his lifelong nickname “Bubi”. Joining the Luftwaffe in October 1940, Hartmann benefitted from the full peacetime training regimen for fighter pilots. Joining JG 52 on the Eastern Front, Hartmann, like many other outstanding pilots, took an uncommonly long time to get started, having only 17 kills by July 1943. The commencement of Unternehmen “Zitadelle” marks the true beginning of his unique career. Within 6 weeks his score had risen to 90 victories. In October he ran up 33 additional victories for a total of 148 which was rewarded on the 24th by the Ritterkreuz. Kill tallies needed to be far higher in the east to gain the Ritterkreuz - a sore point with many Ostjäger who certainly had no easy time of it in the huge air battles involving hundreds of fighters at a time. By the time of his receiving the Oakleaves on 2 March 1944, Leutnant Hartmann had achieved 202 aerial victories. In the period between 21 May and 24 June 1944, Hartmann downed 43 enemy aircraft, including 4 P-51 Mustangs of the U.S. 15th Air Force over Rumania. The Swords followed his 266th victory on 2 July 1944 succeeded by the Diamonds (his 300-301 victories) on 24 August 1944. By war’s end, Hartmann had surpassed all other fighter pilots with 352 confirmed victories - last on 8 May 1945!

 Erich Hartmann passed away September 20, 1993.


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