Victories : 11
Hans Rudel, born in July 1916, was the most decorated Nazi pilot. In 2,530 combat missions flying dive-bombers, mainly on the Russian front, Rudel was credited with destroying 519 tanks, 150 gun emplacements and 800 combat vehicles of various types. According to Luftwaffe records, he also sunk a Russian battleship, a cruiser, a destroyer, 70 smaller craft and numerous trains. For this he was awarded the Golden Oakleaves with Sword and Diamonds to the Knights Cross. He was the only recipient of this award. He was also the first German pilot to reach 1,000 sorties. Of his over 2530 sorties, some 400 were in the Focke-Wulf 190 fighter, in which he was credited with 11 air victories. He was so effective that Joseph Stalin himself put a price of 100,00 rubles on his head. He flew more than 600,000 km; fired over 1,000,000 machine gun rounds; dropped over 1,000,000kg of bombs; fired over 150,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition and over 5,000 rounds of 37mm ammunition. He hated to take home leave or sick leave and even after he had his leg amputated, he was back in the air within weeks. He did not limit his attacks to Russian tanks, trains, ships or aircraft. On more than one occasion when food was in short supply, he would bomb rivers and both the German airmen and Russian civilians would feast on the stunned fish that floated to the surface. Rudel was shot down several times, but escaped serious injury until April 1945, when he lost a leg in combat. Rudel flew the Ju87 B-2 Stuka dive bomber and, in all of its ugliness, the bomber was made famous by him. His accomplishments with an aircraft that was outdated and vulnerable were incredible. He was captured by Allied forces at the end of the war, and released from a POW camp in April 1946. He died 18th December 1982.
Click here for artwork signed by this Ace!
Erich Rudorffer by Ivan Berryman.
Gunther Rall by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Walter Wolfrum by Ivan Berryman. (P)
White 8 - Walter Nowotny by Ivan Berryman.
|Squadrons for : Hans-Ulrich Rudel|
|A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Hans-Ulrich Rudel. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
Country : Germany
County of Gloucester, City of Bristol (Auxiliary)
Nil time - Fear nothing
Full profile not yet available.
|Aircraft for : Hans-Ulrich Rudel|
|A list of all aircraft associated with Hans-Ulrich Rudel. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Fokke-Wulf
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1945
The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended.
Manufacturer : Junkers
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1945
Number Built : 6500
By 1935 the German Luftwaffe was developing its first monoplane divebomber which entered production in 1936 as the Ju87 Stuka. The Stuka was to evolve into arguably the most successful single engine Axis divebomber of WW II. Utilizing a nearly vertical dive position the Stuka was stunningly accurate in the days when horizontal bombing was a relatively inaccurate science. The Ju87 was built for functionality and ruggedness. A fixed landing gear and exceptionally strong wing design were incorporated and no attempt was made to minimize protrusions. The Stuka was not designed for speed; it was an aerodynamic nightmare. The Stuka also incorporated a siren which when activated during a dive was designed to inflict psychological damage on the enemy below. The Ju87 was used with tremendous success in the Blitzkrieg attacks on Norway, Poland, Belgium, France, Holland, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Virtually unchallenged in the air during these Blitzkriegs the Stukas took a devastating toll on Allied ground and mechanized forces. Shipping was also vulnerable to the pinpoint attacks of the Stuka, and the Ju87 destroyed more Allied shipping than all other German aircraft put together during WW II. During Hitlers air attacks on Britain the Stukas reputation for invulnerability was shattered. Facing British Hurricanes and Spitfires the slower and less maneuverable Ju87s were destroyed in large numbers, eventually forcing their withdrawal from that conflict. Germanys attempt to develop an improved twin engine divebomber resulted in the introduction of the Messerschmitt 210 which was an unmitigated disaster. As a result, the Stuka remained in production longer than expected and the aircraft played a major role in Germanys surprise attack on Russia. In the first day of combat alone Stukas were credited with the destruction of over 700 Russian aircraft with minimal losses. One of Germanys top aces of WW II was Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Rudel flew over 2,500 combat missions in Ju87s, and was shot down on twelve occasions. Rudel was credited with destroying 519 tanks, 800 vehicles, 150 artillery pieces, one Russian battleship, one cruiser and one destroyer. Rudel was also credited with shooting down nine Russian aircraft in air-to-air combat.
Known Victory Claims - Hans-Ulrich Rudel
|23/09/1944||Obstlt. Hans-Ulrich Rudel||Stab||SG 2||Il-5||37 481: 800-1000m||14.25||Eastern Front|
|14/10/1944||Obstlt. Hans-Ulrich Rudel||Stab||SG 2||Il-2mH.||9881: 600m||15.1||Eastern Front|
Known Claims : 2
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