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Illustrated with numerous historic photographs-many from Hartmann's own personal files-and silhouette drawings and statistics on the aircraft downed by Hartmann, The Blond Knight of Germany is a colorful tribute to an heroic airman. In the words of Lt. General Adolf Galland, General of the Luftwaffe Fighter Arm from 1941 to 1945 and a personal friend of Hartmann's: "I believe this to be the most remarkable book ever written about a fighter pilot, and all the more noteworthy because it is the leading fighter pilot of all time who has lived through these experiences. I recommend this book as a worthy addition to aviation history."
|1||Caliber of a Hero||1|
|2||The Making of a Man||15|
|4||Winning His Spurs||48|
|5||In the Bear's Grasp||64|
|7||Aces of Fighter Wing 52||94|
|8||Fame and Swords||104|
|10||300 Down and Diamonds||134|
|15||Persuasion and Pressure||209|
|17||The Shakhty Revolt||238|
|Erich Hartmann's Victory Record||290|
|Types of Planes Flown by Hartmann||294|
|Movements of III Gruppe/JG-52||295|
|Tops and Firsts-Luftwaffe, WWII||297|
|Luftwaffe Aces with Top Decorations||298|
|Hartmann's Handbook of Enemy Strength||299|
Posted September 11, 2008
It is perhaps unamazing that Harmann's incredible lethality is lost in accolades to our far less dangerous allied pilots. Hartmann was, after all, the enemy. Still, it is a great shame that the greatest ace who has ever lived has been relocated to the dustbin of history. I know all the arguments: 'Hartmann fought against 'inferior' Russian pilots Hartmann's victory numbers were inflated Hartmann wasn't rotated home [like allied pilots]. He fought for years... Well, we can't be certain and, odds are great, that he didn't shoot down a precise total of 352 enemy aircraft. Post WW II studies indicate that fighter pilots overstate their kills by an average of fifty percent. There is, after all, the fog of combat with multiple pilots, unaware of one another, ganging up on the same aircraft. One aircraft shot down is multiplied by the number of aircraft shooting at it. There's also the issue of unsubstantiated claims i.e. the aircraft 'going down in flames' that miraculously survives. There's also that oldest of human sins--false witness. Fighter pilots, eager for accolades, sometimes overstate their own prowess although the Germans, in particular, seem to have been more meticulous in their scoring than were the allies. Hartmann would seem to be free of most of these faults. He has clearly forgotten the details of most of the combats he participated in. This is entirely natural. No one could remember over 300 kill, no matter how dramatic. Make no mistake, a liar would 'remember' them well. He would recite every emotion, every scene, evey smell. Hartmann's memory is sometimes hazy which, in my opinion, serves to confirm his incredible score. Was he the greatest ace of all? Marseilles is usually given the credit, which is fine. 157 Western Ally kills in less than a year was an incredible fete in and of itself. Marseilles was unfortunate enough to die in an accident else his score would have gone higher. Then again, what is survival and high scores, but a turn of fate.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2001
The Blond Knight of Germany, A Biography of Erich Hartmann is an outstanding book. The book details the life and military career Hartmann a WWII German fighter pilot who became the worlds top fighter ace with 352 kills to his credit. The books details his career rise and subsequent captivity in a Russian prison camp, in which his love of family sustained him through his inhuman treatment. This book is a great tribute to a man whose virtues are inspirational. This is a well written and researched book and, I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2000
Generally a well-written book that details Hartmanns life very well. I personally feel that the authors were a little biased in their opinions of Hartmann, who I would never agree was a war criminal, but he did serve Nazi Germany. The Cold War and consequent distrust of 'Ivan' definitely colored the authors thoughts. The authors did a good job detailing life at the front for the pilots of JG52, but didn't go into enough detail concerning Hartmanns tactics. All around, a good read though.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 19, 2011
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