Armour Collection B11B191 German Messerschmitt Bf 109F Fighter - Erich Hartmann, VII/ Jagdgeschwader 52, Eastern Front (1:48 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
Designed to replace the popular Bf 109E "Emil" fighter, the Bf 109F "Friedrich" was viewed at first with some skepticism by its wary pilots. Powered by a Daimler-Benz DB 600 piston engine and equipped with all sorts of forward firing machine guns and cannons, the Bf 109F nevertheless became a lethal killing machine in its own right, especially when it was handled by a skilled airman.
This particular 1:48 scale replica of a Messerschmitt Bf 109F fighter was flown by the "Blond Knight", Hauptman Erich Hartmann. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 7.5 inches
Historical Account: "The Black Devil" - Erich Alfred "Bubi" Hartmann, nicknamed "Bubi" by his allies and "The Black Devil" by his enemies, was a German fighter pilot and is still the highest scoring fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. He claimed 352 aerial victories (of which 345 were won against the Soviet Air Force, and 260 of which were fighters) in 1,404 combat missions and engaging in aerial combat 825 times while serving with the Luftwaffe in World War II. During the course of his career, Hartmann was forced to crash land his damaged fighter 14 times. This was due to damage received from parts of enemy aircraft he had just shot down, or mechanical failure. Hartmann claimed never to have been shot down or forced to land due to fire from enemy aircraft.
Hartmann, a pre-war glider pilot, joined the Luftwaffe in 1940 and completed his fighter pilot training in 1942. He was posted to Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern front and was fortunate to be placed under the supervision of some of the Luftwaffe's most experienced fighter pilots. Under their guidance Hartmann steadily developed his tactics which would earn him the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds on August 25th, 1944 for claiming 301 aerial victories.
He scored his 352nd and last aerial victory on May 8th, 1945. He and the remainder of JG 52 surrendered to United States Army forces and were turned over to the Red Army. In an attempt to pressure him into service with the Soviet friendly East German Volksarmee, he was convicted of false/unjustifiable War Crimes, a conviction posthumously voided by a Russian court as a malicious prosecution. Hartmann was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor, and spent 10 years in various Soviet prison camps and gulags until he was released in 1955. In 1956, Hartmann joined the newly established West German Luftwaffe and became the first Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 71 "Richthofen". Hartmann resigned early from the Bundeswehr in 1970, largely due to his opposition to the F-104 Starfighter deployment in the Bundesluftwaffe and the resulting clashes with his superiors over this issue. Erich Hartmann died in 1993.