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Łukasz Matuszczak
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Erich Alfred Hartmann BF-109G

July 26, 2021 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.3K

From the Author:
It was one of my dreams to build one of BF-109's. I decided to paint as The Yellow One from The Western Front flown by Germann Ace Major Erich (Bubi; The Black Devil) . The model is BF-109G Profi Pack. Decals were bought separately from Eagle Decals.
I have tried to imitate on propeller the effect presented in the last pic.

A lot of BF-109's was posted on iM, therefore I will post the story of its pilot.
Erich Alfred Hartmann (19 April 1922 – 20 September 1993) was a German fighter pilot during World War II and the most successful fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. He flew 1,404 combat missions and participated in aerial combat on 825 separate occasions. He was credited with shooting down a total of 352 Allied aircraft: 345 Soviet planes and seven Americans while serving with the Luftwaffe. During the course of his career, Hartmann was forced to crash-land his fighter 16 times due either to mechanical failure or damage received from parts of enemy aircraft he had shot down; he was never shot down from direct enemy action.
In October 1942, Hartmann was assigned to fighter wing Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52), based at Maykop on the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union. The wing was equipped with the Messerschmitt Bf 109G, but Hartmann and several other pilots were initially given the task of ferrying Junkers Ju 87 Stukas down to Mariupol. His first flight ended with brake failure, causing the Stuka to crash into and destroy the controller's hut. Hartmann was assigned to III./JG 52, led by Gruppenkommandeur Major Hubertus von Bonin, and placed under the experienced Oberfeldwebel Edmund "Paule" Roßmann, although he also flew with such experienced pilots as Alfred Grislawski, Hans Dammers and Josef Zwernemann. After a few days of intensive mock combats and practice flights, Grislawski conceded that, although Hartmann had much to learn regarding combat tactics, he was a talented pilot.
Hartmann flew his first combat mission on 14 October 1942 as Roßmann's wingman. When they encountered 10 enemy aircraft below, an impatient Hartmann opened full throttle and separated from Roßmann. He engaged an enemy fighter, but failed to score any hits and nearly collided with it. He then ran for cover in low cloud, and his mission subsequently ended with a crash landing after his aircraft ran out of fuel. Hartmann had violated almost every rule of air-to-air combat, and von Bonin sentenced him to three days of working with the ground crew. Twenty-two days later, Hartmann claimed his first victory, an Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik of the 7th Guards Ground Attack Aviation Regiment, but by the end of 1942, he had added only one more victory to his tally.
His preferred method of attack was to hold fire until extremely close (20 m (66 ft) or less), then unleash a short burst at point-blank range—a technique he learned while flying as the wingman of his former commander, Walter Krupinski, who favoured this approach. This technique, as opposed to long-range shooting, allowed him to:
• Reveal his position only at the last possible moment
• Compensate for the low muzzle velocity of the slower-firing 30 mm MK 108 equipping some of the later models (though most of his victories were claimed with Messerschmitts equipped with the high-velocity 20mm MG 151 cannon)
• Place his shots accurately with minimum waste of ammunition
• Prevent the adversary from taking evasive action
Hartmann's guidance amplified the need to detect while remaining undetected. His approach was described by himself by the motto: "See–Decide–Attack–Reverse"; observe the enemy, decide how to proceed with the attack, make the attack, and then disengage to re-evaluate the situation.
On 1 February, Hartmann was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 52, succeeding Hautpmann Adolf Borchers. Hartmann claimed his 350th aerial victory on 17 April, in the vicinity of Chrudim. The last wartime photograph of Hartmann known was taken in connection with this victory. Hartmann's last aerial victory occurred over Brno, Czechoslovakia, on 8 May, the last day of the war in Europe. Early that morning, he was ordered to fly a reconnaissance mission and report the position of Soviet forces. Hartmann took off with his wingman at 08:30 and spotted the first Soviet units just 40 kilometres (25 miles) away. Passing over the area, Hartmann saw a Yak-9, ambushed it from his vantage point at 12,000 ft (3,700 m) and shot it down.
When he landed, Hartmann learned that the Soviet forces were within artillery range of the airfield, so JG 52 destroyed Karaya One, 24 other Bf 109s, and large quantities of ammunition. Hartmann and Hermann Graf were ordered to fly to the British sector to avoid capture by Soviet forces while the remainder of JG 52 was ordered to surrender to the approaching Soviets. As Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 52, Hartmann chose to surrender his unit to members of the US 90th Infantry Division.
During his captivity, Hartmann was first arrested on 24 December 1949, and three days later, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The sentence was carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the district Ivanovo. The preliminary criminal investigation was carried out only formally. He was condemned for atrocities against Soviet citizens, the attack on military objects and the destruction of Soviet aircraft and thus having significantly damaged the Soviet economy. Hartmann protested multiple times against this judgement. In June 1951, he was charged for a second time as an alleged member of an anti-Soviet group. This tribunal was carried out under military authority in the military district of Rostov-on-Don. Hartmann was charged with war crimes, specifically, the "deliberate shooting of 780 Soviet civilians" in the village of Briansk, attacking a bread factory on 23 May 1943, and destroying 345 "expensive" Soviet aircraft.[87] He refused to confess to these charges and conducted his own defence, which, according to Hartmann, the presiding judge denounced as a "waste of time".
Sentenced to 25 years of hard labour, he refused to work and was put into solitary confinement, which led to a riot by some of his fellow detainees, who overpowered the guards and temporarily freed him. He made a complaint to the Kommandant's office, asking for a representative from Moscow and an international inspection, as well as a new trial hearing to overturn his sentence. This was refused, and he was transferred to a camp in Novocherkassk, where he spent five more months in solitary confinement. He was later put before a new tribunal, which upheld the original sentence. He was subsequently sent to another camp, this time at Diaterka in the Ural Mountains. In late 1955 Hartmann was released as a part of the last Heimkehrer.
In January 1997, more than three years after his death, Hartmann's case was reviewed by the Chief Military Prosecutor in Moscow of the Russian Federation, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and he was acquitted of all historical charges against him in Russian Law. The government agency stated that he had been wrongly convicted.

Reader reactions:
20  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. This is an amazing build, Łukasz!
    Loved "Bubi"'s story!
    Nothing better then a Hartmann's 109!

  2. Very nice 109, Łucasz. Great job with the cockpit detail.

  3. Amazing work on your 109, the extra work put into the cockpit and extra little stencils especially on the wheel assembly makes this entire build look great!

  4. Very nice model And work Lucasz.
    I read the story. The War crimes charges against Hartmann We’re an injustice.
    Never happened to Galland and others. Justice is in the hands of the Judge.
    One has to be lucky in that as well as surviving combat I suppose.

    • In my oppinion the Comunist regimes do not need any particular argumentation to imprisoned somebody. If they want to they will put You in jail. I share the wiev that this was only political pressure on Germany after WWII.
      I do not know where are you come from my friend @bernardbedeurBernard but we (Poles) do have some experience with comunism:)

      • Hi Lucasz.

        I know what you mean. Political ideas may be well intended but once one gets vested in a powerful position then human nature takes over.

        Sound democratic principles and openness with out persecuting non criminals is sound. Adhering to it is Difficult. These days “ cancel Culture “ seems to has taken over here.

        Im originally from Belgium living in California.

        The simple Christian principles of my youth still govern me, non judgment. Al least I try.

        I would love to tour Poland where so much history happened in the 2 wars of the 20th Century. keep up Making great models. I get one hour a day into doing this if I am lucky !

  5. Awesome 109, Łukasz.
    Agree that all the variants of 109's and no matter what scheme, they are all beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing Hartmann's story.

  6. Well-done, Lukasz, inside and outside. ALL great.

  7. I loved the history lesson and your model. Well done!

  8. That's a great-looking 109! Very nice.

  9. Lukasz, @dalixan
    This is a fantastic looking Bf-109 you have constructed. It would look perfect on any contest table. In particular, I am impressed with the way you have dirtied up the wheels, and how nicely detailed the cockpit is. It looks very realistic, especially when you compare your model to some of the pictures available of this aircraft.

    I also really enjoyed reading your article and learned a few things in the process. It doesn't get any better than that. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us. I definitely pressed the "liked" button too.

    Well done my friend.

    • Thank You Louis (@lgardner).
      I like the model as much as You, but I was expected less positive comments (do not know why). I really like the progress made by my compering with my first Ju-88 model posted on iM a few years ago.

      Accualy, I will try to go to my first model contest with my BF-109G. Even thou, I do not think that it will get some prize (compeeting with other modeler masterpice), I am hoping to gain some experience though.

      Preparing my model I was inspired by AK Interactive ("True colours of WWII [...]") where lot of brilliant reference photo can be found.

  10. Great story, Lukasz, and excellent model, the cockpit is especially well detailed and finished, definitely liked.

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