Erich Hartmann, the leading German air ace during the second World War also had some hard times! On 20 August 1943 Hartmann flew a mission over the Russian front when he noted some low flying Il-2 Shturmovik’s.

Hartmann classic painting

Hartmann classic painting

He dived into a good position to open fire at an Il-2, but before he could fire he was attacked by an aggressively flown other Il-2. His Bf 109G-6 received hits in his engine and had to belly-land his fighter. He was captured by Soviet soldiers driving a German lorry. Hartmann simulated to be seriously injured and he managed to escape during an air attack by German Stuka’s. Walking through the front zone he finally reached the German side where he was almost killed when a German soldier fired at him.

Nico Braas

Classic painting by Srecko Bradic