BBI BBI3771 German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 Fighter - Erich Hartmann "The Black Devil of the Ukraine," Jagdgeschwader 52, Eastern Front, 1943 (1:18 Scale)
"Of all my accomplishments I may have achieved during the war, I am proudest of the fact that I never lost a wingman."
- Luftwaffe ace, Erich Hartmann
Numerically the most abundant fighter produced by either side during WWII, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 formed the backbone of the Jagdwaffe on both the eastern and western fronts, as well as in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Of the eight distinct sub-types within the huge Bf 109 family, the most populous was the G-model, of which over 30,000 were built between 1941-45. Despite its production run, only a handful of genuine German Bf 109s have survived into the 1990s, and with the serious damaging of the RAFs G-2 at Duxford in October 1997, only the German-based MBB G-6 and Hans Ditte's G-10 (both composites) are currently airworthy.
Pictured here is a 1:18 scale replica of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 fighter that was piloted by Erich Hartmann "The Black Devil of the Ukraine," who was attached to Jagdgeschwader 52, then serving on the Eastern Front during 1943. Note: A separate packet containing swastikas for the tail fin are included with this model, free-of-charge. Note: Due to the immense size and weight of this item, it does not qualify for the free UPS ground shipping discount. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 21 inches
Length: 19 inches
Release Date: September 2011
Historical Account: "Black Devil of the Ukraine" - Erich Hartmann, with an amazing 352 confirmed victories, is the all time ace of aces. Born in Weissach, Germany in 1922, Hartmann was the son of a doctor, and the Hartmann family had lived in Shangai, China for several years. In 1929 the Hartmann family returned to Germany. Mrs. Hartmann learned to fly, and took her two young sons flying on many occasions. In 1933, when Hitler came to power, many flying clubs were organized throughout Germany, and Erich learned to fly gliders. When Hartmann had graduated from high school in 1940, he immediately applied to join the Luftwaffe. During his training Hartmann was arrested for an unauthorized aerobatic display. After earning his wings, he was posted to JG 52 on the Russian front. Hartmann reported to a Luftwaffe supply depot in Poland hoping to pick-up a new Bf-109 for his flight to the front. When no 109s were available, he offered to fly a Stuka Ju-87 to the front. Inexperienced with the 87, Harmanns debut was not very impressive as he managed to crash the aircraft into a wooden building prior to taking off. Hartmann did not attain his first victory until November 5th, 1942.
He missed the opening phase of Operation Barbarossa, when many Luftwaffe pilots ran up amazing victory totals against an ill-equipped and relatively inexperienced Red Air Force. In the month of August 1943, Hartmann shot down 49 aircraft. After scoring his 148th victory, he was awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross on October 29th, 1943. Four months later, when his tally had reached 200, he was awarded the coveted Oak Leaves. In August of 1944, upon attainment of his 301st victory, Hartmann was awarded Germany's highest decoration, the Diamonds to his Knights Cross. Only ten Luftwaffe pilots received this decoration. Hartmann was shot down twice, and on fourteen occasions had to crash land his aircraft. Erich flew the Bf-109, which was very recognizable with its distinctively painted black tulip design on its nose. The Soviets nicknamed Hartmann, The Black Devil of the Ukraine. A price of 10,000 Rubles was placed on his head. At Wars end, Hartmann was captured by the Soviets, who imprisoned him for ten years. He was released in 1956, and rejoined the Luftwaffe with his former rank of Major. He learned to fly jet aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Hartmann served in the Luftwaffe until his retirement. He passed away in 1994 at the age of seventy-two. It is highly unlikely, modern warfare being what it is, that any pilot will ever match the score of Erich Hartmann, the ace of all aces.