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Heinz Lange - Pilot Profile - Heinz Lange

Heinz Lange

Victories : 70
Country : Germany
Fought in : WW2
Fought for : Axis
Died : 26th February 2006

Awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross

At the outbreak of war Heinz Lange was with I./JG21 scoring his first victory in October 1939. He flew 76 missions in the Battle of Britain with 8./JG54, and never lost a wingman. After flying in the Balkan campaign he took part in the invasion of Russia, scoring 7 victories during the first week. In October 1941 he was given command of 1./JG54 and in 1942 command of 3./JG51. In January 1944 Heinz Lange returned to JG54 to command 1.Gruppe and then back to JG51 where he was appointed Kommodore of JG51 Molders, leading IV./JG51 at the same time. Heinz Lange flew over 628 missions and achieved 70 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross. Born 2nd October 1917, died 26th February 2006.

Heinz Lange signing the print - Fighter General - by Graeme Lothian

Heinz Lange with a model of his favourite aircraft.

Click here for artwork signed by this Ace!

Latest Axis Aviation Artwork !
 The Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 54 Erich Rudorffer is depicted in Fw190A-6 'Black Double Chevron' over the misty forests of Finland in June 1944. Credited with 222 aerial victories, he survived being shot down no less than sixteen times and survived the war until eventually passing away in 2016 aged 98.

Erich Rudorffer by Ivan Berryman.
 With 275 victories credited, Gunther Rall is the third highest scoring Ace in history  He was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Gunther Rall by Ivan Berryman. (P)
 Walter Wolfrum, a Knight's Cross winning German WW2 Ace with 137 victories, in his Bf109G.

Walter Wolfrum by Ivan Berryman. (P)
 Austrian-born Walter Nowotny was one of Germany's highest scoring aces of WWII with 258 victories to his credit, three of them flying the Messerschmitt Me.262. He is depicted here flying White 8 of Kommando Nowotny based at Achmer, Germany in 1944. He was killed in action later that year following a fraught combat with US fighters during the Defence of the Reich.

White 8 - Walter Nowotny by Ivan Berryman.

Heinz Lange

Squadrons for : Heinz Lange
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Heinz Lange. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.


Country : Germany
Founded : 1st April 1936
Fate : Became Stab./JG26 on 1st May 1939.

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG132

Formed 1st April 1936 in Döberitz. Until 1st November 1938, JG132 carried the traditional name Richthofen. On 1st November 1938 redesignated Stab/JG131. Reformed 1st November 1938 in Düsseldorf. On 1st May 1939 redesignated Stab/JG26. From 1st April 1936, the squadron flew He51s and Bf109s (B and D) from Döberitz. From 1st November 1938 to 1st May 1939 the squadron flew Bf109 (D and E) from Düsseldorf.


Country : Germany

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG21

Full profile not yet available.


Country : Germany

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG234

Full profile not yet available.


Country : Germany

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG26

Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated mainly in Western Europe against Great Britain, France and the United States but also saw service against Russia. It was named after Albert Leo Schlageter, a World War I veteran and Freikorps member arrested and executed by the French for sabotage in 1923.

Commanders of II. Gruppe JG 26

Hptm. Werner Palm, 1 May 1939 – 27 June 1939
Hptm Herwig Knüppel, 28 June 1939 – 19 May 1940
Hptm Karl Ebbighausen, 20 May 1940 – 31 May 1940
Hptm. Erich Noack, 1 June 1940 – 24 July 1940
Hptm Karl Ebbighausen, 25 July 1940 – 16 August 1940
Hptm Erich Bode, 17 August 1940 – 3.10.40
Hptm Walter Adolph, 4 October 1940 – 18 September 1941
Hptm Joachim Müncheberg, 19 September 1941 – 21 July 1942
Hptm Conny Meyer, 22 July 1942 – 2 January 1943
Maj Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland, 3 January 43 – 17 August 1943
Hptm Hans Naumann, 18 August 1943 – 8 September 1943
ObLt Johannes Seifert, 9 September 1943 – 25 November 1943
Maj Wilhelm Gäth, 26 November 1943 – 1 March 1944
Hptm Hans Naumann, 2 March 1944 – 28 June 1944
Hptm Emil Lang, 29 June 1944 – 3 September 1944
Hptm Georg-Peter Eder, 4 September 1944 – 8 October 1944
Maj Anton Hackl, 9 October 1944 – 29 January 45
ObLt Waldemar Radener, 30 January 1945 – 22 February 1945
Hptm Paul Schauder, 23 February 1945 – 1 May 1945


Country : Germany
Founded : August 1939

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG51

Jagdgeschwader 51 Mölders was a Luftwaffe fighter wing during World War II, named after the fighter ace Werner Mölders in 1942. JG 51's pilots won more Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes than any other Jagdgeschwader, and flew combat from 1939 in all major theatres of war. Flying Bf 109s and then FW 190s, the wing claimed over 8,000 air victories. Experten included 'Toni' Hafner, Heinz Bär, Richard Leppla, Karl-Gottfried Nordmann, Günther Schack and the legendary Mölders.

Formed in August 1939, and commanded by 48-year-old World War I ace Onkel Theo Osterkamp, the early months of the war JG 51 was based in the West, fighting in the French campaign, and in the Battle of Britain. From late June to mid July JG 51 was the only fighter Geschwader engaged against the RAF constantly. During the whole battle JG 51 lost 68 pilots, the highest casualty rate of the Luftwaffe fighter units engaged. JG 51 was one of the two Geschewader that had four Gruppen. The other being JG 1.

Four Bf 109 of JG 51 in France 1940Whilst based out of the Belgian airfield at Mardyik in late 1940, the German ace Josef Pips Priller was a Staffelkapitän with JG 51, flying Bf 109-E Yellow One. Josef Priller went on to score over 100 victories, the third highest scoring Luftwaffe day fighter ace on the Western Front, fighting solely against the Western Allies.

Against the Western Allies JG 51 had claimed 345 aircraft destroyed by May 1941. JG 51 were therefore one of the Jagdwaffe's elite units, with 'top ten' aces at this time including Werner Mölders with 68 claims, Walter Oesau with 34 claims, and Hermann-Friedrich Joppien with 31. Major Werner Mölders became unit Geschwaderkommodore during July 1940 and led the unit into the invasion of Russia in June 1941.

Barbarossa (1941)

Claiming 69 kills on the first day of the offensive, by 30 June 1941 JG 51 became the first fighter Geschwader to claim 1,000 air victories (113 kills in 157 sorties were claimed for the day). On 24 June JG 51 claimed 57 bombers shot down for the day. Mölders became the first fighter pilot to reach 100 claims in August and in the same month JG 51's Oberfeldwebel Heinz Bär reached 60 claims and was decorated with the Oak Leaves. A total of 500 Soviet claims was reached on 12 July 1941, although 6 pilots had been lost by JG 51 in the intervening 3 weeks since the offensive had started.

After Mölders' departure in September 1941 (and death later that year) the Geschwader adopted his name as a title of honor in early 1942. Jagdgeschwader 51 Mölders was to remain on the centre sector of the Russian front throughout the rest of 1941. However Oberstleutnant Friedrich Beckh ( one of the few fighter pilots to wear spectacles) proved an uncharismatic commander after Mölders, and it was not until Major Karl-Gottfried Nordmann took over in April 1942 that a worthy successor to Mölders was found. In the period 22 June - 5 December 1941 the unit destroyed 1,881 Soviet aircraft, in return for 84 losses in aerial combat and a single aircraft on the ground.

Air support for the Wehrmacht's Army Group Centre was entrusted to General Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen's VIII. Fliegerkorps. In early January 1942, among the fighter units available to von Richthofen were II, III and IV/ JG 51. With the onset of the sub-zero conditions of the Russian winter, the majority of JG 51's available aircraft became grounded.

The Russian winter counter offensive forced III./ JG 51 into flying numerous fighter-bomber operations in direct support of the infantry, and the gruppe filed few aerial 'kill' claims through January 1942. II./ JG 51 however, accounted for most of VIII. Fliegerkorps's aerial victories during the Soviet offensive. Particularly successful was the duo of Lt. Hans Strelow and Ofw. Wilhelm Mink, both of 5. JG 51. They claimed five MiG-3s of 16 IAP on 4 January (Mink claimed three) and 9 days later Mink claimed a Pe-2 and Strelow destroyed two R-Z biplanes for his 30th and 31st victories. On 4 February, Strelow increased his victories to 36 by shooting down four Russian aircraft. The 19 year-old Strelow claimed his 40th victory on 28 February and claimed 4 victories on both 6 March and 17 March. The next day he was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes and also shot down seven Soviet aircraft. He was awarded the Eichenlaub on 24 March, his claims total at 66.

Normandy (1944)

7./JG 51, (with Bf 109G-6's) was attached to II./JG 1 in May 1944 from Brest-Litovsk, with pilots arriving at Störmede late in May and hurriedly converting to the FW-190. (It was later renamed 8./JG 1 on 15 August 1944 when the four-Staffeln Gruppe became standard) 7. Staffel was led by Ritterkreuzträger (Knight's Cross winner) Hptm. Karl-Heinz Weber with 136 confirmed kills. Its two other experten were Lt. Friedrich Krakowitzer (23 kills) and Ofhr. Günther Heckmann with 12 kills.

7./JG 51 joined II. Gruppe with 15 pilots on strength at the end of May, and during the first two months of the Normandy campaign the staffel was decimated, with twelve pilots killed, one POW and one severely wounded.

As the war turned against Germany JG 51 was forced to operate closer and closer to Germany, finally staging out of East Prussia.


Country : Germany

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG54

I./JG 54 was initially formed as I./JG 70 near Nuremberg in July 1939, just two short months before hostilities broke out. As was to become tradition within Grunherzgeschwader, the Gruppe took the Nurember coat-of-arms (a veritcally divided shield with a black heraldic bird on the left, and red and white diagonal stripes on the right) to represent the region the unit came from.

On September 15, 1939, I./JG 70 was redesignated I./JG 54

The initial unit designation for II./JG 54 was I./JG 138. This unit was raised in 1938 after the Austrian annexation. Naturally many Austrian nationals were recruited when I./JG 138 was formed. The Aspern coat of arms (black lion's head surmounting a white cross on a red field) was taken by the Gruppe for its identity.

I./JG 138 was briefly designated I./JG 76 before finally becoming II./JG 54 on April 6, 1940.

The III./JG 54 has its roots in Prussia. Initially I./JG 21, the members were drawn from the Jesau region in Prussia. The modified Jesau coat-of-arms (a shield with a Jesau cross with three diving aircraft on a red background, with a white outline on the shield) was adopted as the Gruppe's own.

On July 15, 1939, I./JG 21 was redesignated III./JG 54. However, the bureaucratic nature of the young Luftwaffe was such that it was over a year before records would reflect the new designation. Consequently, III./JG 54 fought in Poland and France as I./JG 21.

Kommodoren of JG 54 :

Major Martin Mettig; 2 Feb 40 to 25 Aug 40.
Oberst Hannes Trautloft; 25 Aug 40 to 5 Jul 43.
Major Hubertus von Bonin; 6 Jul 43 to 15 Dec 43.
Oberstleutnant Anton Mader; 28 Jan 44 to Sep 44.
Oberst Dieter Hrabak; 1 Oct 44 to 8 May 45.
Aircraft for : Heinz Lange
A list of all aircraft associated with Heinz Lange. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Fw190 aircraft.

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.

Known Victory Claims - Heinz Lange









30/10/1939Ltn. Heinz Lange1JG 21BlenheimGross-Bersen/Emsland12.5Western Front
30/06/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54DB-3Dünaburg14.48Eastern Front
30/06/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54DB-3Dünaburg14.53Eastern Front
05/07/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54DB-3Ostrow12.3Eastern Front
05/07/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54DB-3Ostrow12.32Eastern Front
29/07/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54SB-3SSW Staraja-Russa15.45Eastern Front
02/08/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54I-18Ilmensee18.4Eastern Front
23/09/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange8JG 54I-18Leningrad11Eastern Front
07/10/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54MBR-2Oranienbaum16.4Eastern Front
06/11/1941Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54I-26Tichwin-Eastern Front
03/02/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54I-18-14.27Eastern Front
03/02/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54I-18-14.27Eastern Front
06/02/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54R-5-14.1Eastern Front
06/02/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54R-5-14.1Eastern Front
14/03/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54Il-2-16.17Eastern Front
01/05/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54MiG-319 28: 3500m16.27Eastern Front
15/05/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54Jak-1-10.51Eastern Front
07/08/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54Jak-120 522: 900m12.22Eastern Front
07/08/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54Jak-120 5223: 900m12.22Eastern Front
23/08/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54Il-247 592: 50m9.27Eastern Front
29/08/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54I-16 Rata10 142: 1700m7.02Eastern Front
30/09/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange1JG 54I-16 Rata00 264: 2100m10.27Eastern Front
17/12/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2NE Syberplowka: 1200m13.44Eastern Front
17/12/1942Oblt. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2NE Syberplowka: 900m13.46Eastern Front
07/01/1943Oblt. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-207 683: 600m8.01Eastern Front
17/01/1943Oblt. Heinz Lange3JG 54MiG-307 754: 1800m11.15Eastern Front
24/02/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51MiG-354 283: 800m7.35Eastern Front
11/05/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51LaGG-363 521: 1800m13.34Eastern Front
28/05/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51I-15364 353: 1000m8.11Eastern Front
10/06/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.44 383: tiefflug19.28Eastern Front
05/07/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Jak-163 613: 2500m15.55Eastern Front
11/07/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51LaGG-563 611: 2200m17.27Eastern Front
12/07/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.63 239: 500m5.55Eastern Front
12/07/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-264 896: 700m6.02Eastern Front
15/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.51 846 [SE Bogoduchoff]: 800m13.29Eastern Front
17/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-241 631: 500m9.45Eastern Front
18/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-260 187: 600m7.41Eastern Front
18/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Pe-2SSE Charkov: 3000m10.05Eastern Front
26/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2W. Charkov: 500m15.1Eastern Front
31/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51LaGG-5SE Yelnya: 2500m17.44Eastern Front
31/08/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51LaGG-535 388: 2000m17.58Eastern Front
05/09/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51LaGG-3N. Smolensk: 3800m6.25Eastern Front
06/09/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51LaGG-3S. Yelnya: 3000m17.56Eastern Front
06/09/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Boston IIIW. Novgorod: 6000m15.37Eastern Front
14/09/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Pe-2NW Yelnya: 1300m7.17Eastern Front
20/09/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Jak-9SE Smolensk: 4000m15.3Eastern Front
26/09/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Jak-9Smolensk: 5200m12.31Eastern Front
21/10/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Jak-9Loyev: 4000m13.44Eastern Front
22/10/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Pe-25km E. Loyev: 1200m12.01Eastern Front
29/10/1943Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.E. Dubrovno: 30m14.07Eastern Front
01/01/1944Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.S. Vitebsk: 200m13.57Eastern Front
01/01/1944Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.S. Vitebsk: 100m13.55Eastern Front
01/01/1944Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.S. Vitebsk: 200m13.57Eastern Front
04/01/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab I.JG 51Il-2mH.W. Vitebsk: 600m11.48Eastern Front
04/01/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab I.JG 51Il-2mH.W. Vitebsk: 300m11.57Eastern Front
04/01/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab I.JG 51Il-2mH.W. Vitebsk: 200m12Eastern Front
06/01/1944Hptm. Heinz Lange3JG 51Il-2mH.05 193: tiefflug9.59Eastern Front
29/06/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51LaGG-595 748: 4000m10.12Eastern Front
24/07/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab III.JG 51Airacobra21 845: 400m13.37Eastern Front
31/07/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab II.JG 51Il-2mH.45 141: 600m11.48Eastern Front
17/08/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Jak-936 346: 300m11.02Eastern Front
29/08/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Jak-913 518: 1800m9.53Eastern Front
05/09/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51LaGG-513 368: 1500m9.5Eastern Front
07/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Boston13 318: 2000m13.24Eastern Front
07/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Boston03 468: 3500m15.56Eastern Front
07/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Boston03 468: 3200m15.58Eastern Front
10/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Il-2mH.13 545: tiefflug15.25Eastern Front
15/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Jak-713 573: 800m11.11Eastern Front
15/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Il-2mH.13 544: 400m11.44Eastern Front
16/10/1944Hptm. Heinz LangeStab IV.JG 51Jak-913 179: 700m14.5Eastern Front

Known Claims : 70

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