erich hartmann

Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, known as the Black Devil during World War II, was the greatest ace fighter pilot in the history of aviation with a credited 352 kills. Although he was forced to land his plane because of mechanical failure or damage from falling debris 14 times in his career, he was never shot down or forced to land due to enemy fire.

Hauptmann Erich Hartmann gets an enthusiastic lift from some buddies following his successful interception of General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery’s private Skytrain, Sicily 1943.

An interesting side note is the fact that several copies of this picture were obtained by Allied authorities, who tried to use it to promote the notion that the Luftwaffe was rife with homosexuality. Understandably, the campaign never really got off the ground (pun almost intended, ha ha).