Hobby Master HA8750 German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Fighter - Erich "Bubi" Hartmann, 4./Jagdgeschwader 52, Hungary, 1944 (1:48 Scale)
"As England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, still shows no signs of willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare, and if necessary to carry out, a landing operation against her. The aim of this operation is to eliminate the English Motherland as a base from which the war against Germany can be continued, and, if necessary, to occupy the country completely."
- Fuhrer Directive No. 16, announcing Unternehmen Seelowe (Operation Sea Lion), the invasion of England, July 16th, 1940
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 1:48 scale replica of a German Messerschmitt Bf-109G-6 fighter that was piloted by Erich "Bubi" Hartmann who was attached to 4./Jagdgeschwader 52, then deployed to Hungary during 1944.
Pre-order! Ship Date: August 2020.
Release Date: ?
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.