|Luftwaffe aces in the Bundeswehr. Photo from the 1960's: Walter "Graf Pinski" Krupinski (1920-2000; 197 aerial victories), Erich "Bubi" Hartmann (1922-1993; 352), Johannes "Mäcky" Steinhoff (1913-1994; 176) and Günther Rall (1918-2009; 275).|
|Another photo of Pips, this time with his 2 BMW powered machines. A Focke Wulf 190 and a BMW 327/55 (colorized).|
|Hans Ulrich Rudel, ace Stuka dive-bomber during the Second World War. While not technically an ace, he was a legend with his attacks on Soviet tanks.|
|Bf 109 G-6 of Hptm Gerhard Michalski, Gruppenkommandeur II./JG 53, Comiso, Italy, 1943. Note the unit insignia above and between the men.|
|Werner "Vati" Mölders.|
|Werner Mölders' legacy, the finger four formation.|
|Colorized photo of night fighter ace Major Martin Drewes.|
Herman Graf is credited with 212 victories in over 830 missions. He recorded 202 victories over the Eastern Front. Of his 10 victories recorded over the Western front, six were highly prized four-engine bombers
|Hermann-Friedrich "Jupp" Joppien.|
|Refilling the German fighter Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-4 staff link from JG 26, the 26th Fighter Squadron|
|Walter Nowotny receives his oak leaves, swords & diamonds.|
Kammhuber was an excellent organizer, strategist and theorist, which is precisely what the top levels of the Luftwaffe needed. While not an ace himself, Kammhuber formed the famous "Kammhuber Line" which was a layered defense using Freyda radar designed to shield Germany from Allied air attacks. While his program worked for a while, ultimately the balance of forces and the porous nature of the line destroyed the line's effectiveness. Kammhuber was dismissed after running afoul of General Gerhard Milch (who himself was dismissed afterward) on a minor issue, though reinstated in the Reich's last days.
Kammhuber had innovative ideas, such as the Wilde Sau ("wild boar") concept of using day fighters at night by the light of the moon. The German night fighter force was extremely capable and feared, but as the war wound on it was simply overwhelmed. In a backhanded and indirect way, Kammhuber was responsible for the creation of the Allied "bomber stream" that dominated the Allied air campaign; it was formed to overcome his chain of defense.
Kammhuber did not commit any crimes and was just an officer doing his job. He was one of the rare Luftwaffe officers who was essentially reinstated after the war (after joining General Galland in Argentina for a while) and thereafter rose to great heights in the German Air Force. He became Inspekteur der Bundesluftwaffe until 1962.
|A formal portrait showing Hanna Reitsch (March 29, 1912 - August 24, 1979) wearing the Iron Cross 1st Class and the ribbon of the 2nd Class. Probably taken when Hitler awarded her the Iron Cross First Class.|
|Hanna Reitsch with League of German Girls (BDM) members.|
And what have we now in Germany? A land of bankers and car-makers. Even our great army has gone soft. Soldiers wear beards and question orders. I am not ashamed to say I believed in National Socialism. I still wear the Iron Cross with diamonds Hitler gave me. But today in all Germany you can't find a single person who voted Adolf Hitler into power ... Many Germans feel guilty about the war. But they don't explain the real guilt we share – that we lost.2020