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Black Devil of the Ukraine by Stan Stokes. - armynavyairforce.co.uk

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Black Devil of the Ukraine by Stan Stokes.


Black Devil of the Ukraine by Stan Stokes.

Erich Hartmann, with an amazing 352 confirmed victories, is the all time ace of aces. Born in Weissach, Germany in 1922, Hartmann was the son of a doctor, and the Hartmann family had lived in Shangai, China for several years. In 1929 the Hartmann family returned to Germany. Mrs. Hartmann learned to fly, and took her two young sons flying on many occasions. In 1933, when Hitler came to power, many flying clubs were organized throughout Germany, and Erich learned to fly gliders. When Hartmann had graduated from high school in 1940, he immediately applied to join the Luftwaffe. During his training Hartmann was arrested for an unauthorized aerobatic display. After earning his wings, he was posted to JG 52 on the Russian front. Hartmann reported to a Luftwaffe supply depot in Poland hoping to pick-up a new Bf-109 for his flight to the front. When no 109s were available, he offered to fly a Stuka Ju-87 to the front. Inexperienced with the 87, Harmanns debut was not very impressive as he managed to crash the aircraft into a wooden building prior to taking off. Hartmann did not attain his first victory until November 5, 1942. He missed the opening phase of Operation Barbarossa, when many Luftwaffe pilots ran up amazing victory totals against an ill-equipped and relatively inexperienced Red Air Force. In the month of August 1943 Hartmann shot down 49 aircraft. After scoring his 148th victory, he was awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross on October 29, 1943. Four months later when his tally had reached 200, he was awarded the coveted Oak Leaves. In August of 1944 upon attainment of his 301st victory, Hartmann was awarded Germanys highest decoration, the Diamonds to his Knights Cross. Only ten Luftwaffe pilots received this decoration. Hartmann was shot down twice, and on fourteen occasions had to crash land his aircraft. Erich flew the Bf-109, which was very recognizable with its distinctively painted black tulip design on its nose. The Soviets nicknamed Hartmann, The Black Devil of the Ukraine. A price of 10,000 Rubles was placed on his head. At Wars end Hartmann was captured by the Soviets, who imprisoned him for ten years. He was released in 1956, and rejoined the Luftwaffe with his former rank of Major. He learned to fly jet aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Hartmann served in the Luftwaffe until his retirement. He passed away in 1994 at the age of seventy-two. It is highly unlikely, modern warfare being what it is, that any pilot will ever match the score of Erich Hartmann, the ace of all aces.
Item Code : STK0112Black Devil of the Ukraine by Stan Stokes. - This Edition
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PRINT Signed limited edition of 4750 prints.

Print size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm) Supplied with signed and numbered certificate of authenticity.Artist : Stan Stokes£10 Off!Now : £27.00

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The Aircraft :
NameInfo
Me109Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.

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