Until very recently the remote forward airstrip had been deep inside Soviet Russia, but now it was Nazi territory. The men of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 StG. It would be nothing like raining bombs and fear over fleeing enemy infantry and civilians, as Stukas had across Spain, Poland, Belgium and France. And Rudel had flown his first combat mission just three months earlier.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Stuka Pilot by Hans-Ulrich Rudel ,. Lynton Hudson Translator. Rudel flew 2, combat missions claiming a total of 2, targets destroyed, including vehicles, tanks, artiller Hans Ulrich Rudel was a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War 2.
Rudel flew 2, combat missions claiming a total of 2, targets destroyed, including vehicles, tanks, artillery pieces, a destroyer, two cruisers, one battleship, 70 landing craft, 4 armored trains, several bridges and nine aircraft which he shot down.
Get A Copy. Mass Market Paperback , pages. Published by Ballantine Books first published More Details Original Title. Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Stuka Pilot , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Stuka Pilot. Jan 07, Phil rated it it was amazing Shelves: challenge. An excellent account of the war from one of the best pilots in history.
Hans-Ulrich Rudel describes how he goes from a pilot nearly washing out to the deadliest bomber pilot of the entire Eastern Front. His dealings with the Luftwaffe and even the Nazi leadership demonstrate a soldier whose only concern is to fight, not who's in charge.
A must-read for those interested in history. Dec 02, Michael Flanagan rated it really liked it Shelves: ww What a rip snorter of a read. This book is pure action and puts you right in the cockpit with the author, kicking the rudder bar, watching the tanks burns and dodging the flak. This memoirs reads like the author is sitting in a pub telling his story why sharing a drink with you.
Feb 10, Joe Krakovsky rated it it was amazing. Excellent book about a warrior and another story shedding light on the massive war of the Eastern Front.
What I found it interesting was that these guys did not suffer from PST or anything even though some, like Hartmann, spent years in a Soviet work camp after the war. Why is that? Sep 28, Schwarzegeld rated it it was amazing. First book I've read in years. This guy explains more truth about the war than the history channel.
The dude was a frickin beast. Escaping death and dodging Russians like no other. He was not only extremely lucky but incredibly skilled. Dodging bullets like Neo. Busting more tanks than a squadron of Ps. Feb 09, Mark Veira rated it really liked it. A richly insightful account of a born aviator's exploits on the Eastern front.
Several aspects of this book are striking. First and foremost is the almost mythical tenacity, devotion, and stamina possessed by Rudel, who often flew back-to-back combat sorties from dusk til dawn, often in terrible weather, and almost always under intense anti-aircraft fire.
Rudel was shot down over 30 times and survived - an unbelievable feat in itself. You are amazed as he casually describes being repeatedly brou A richly insightful account of a born aviator's exploits on the Eastern front. You are amazed as he casually describes being repeatedly brought down in flames, only to return to his squadron and be back in the air within the hour I cannot fathom how Rudel managed to beat the odds in more than twenty-five hundred sorties over hostile territory.
Countless encounters with enemy fighters and intense flak would seem to have curtailed his illustrious career much earlier than was dictated by the end of the war. Rudel's bounding confidence in his own abilities, along with his belief in, and devotion for his men both in the air and on the ground are evident throughout the book.
Rudel's account became required reading later on in the U. S "Fighter Mafia" as they worked to design a new close air support aircraft. The lessons learned from Rudel were successfully woven into the framework that led to the development of that venerable guardian angel of the ground soldier - the A Thunderbolt.
Another interesting observation was the fact that mastering the Stuka, and beating back the Russian war machine was clearly his life's work. Rudel vigorously recounts his many wartime exploits with detail, but barely a passing mention is paid to his life outside the military, I can only recall twice when his wife was briefly mentioned.
This was a man who clearly dedicated himself entirely to his work. I've read several accounts from the German side of the war, Rudel's at times can be disconcerting for the western reader - simply because despite being a masterful soldier of the skies, Rudel was also a thoroughly devoted Nazi officer who talks fondly of his several encounters with Hitler and his undying belief in the German cause.
Several other accounts from high-ranking German soldiers often contain some form of remorse, or at least an expression of their disillusionment with the wild machinations of their leader as time went on, but not so from Rudel. Apart from some grumblings about operational decisions, he appears to have firmly believed in his fuhrer's abilities, or if there was any real doubt in his mind - he does not express it here.
This memoir is worth reading simply because Hans Ulrich Rudel - its author - was the most successful dive bomber pilot of WW2 and therefore, he definitely had quite a few stories to tell. As a cadet, he was a slow student who was dreaming of becoming a fighter pilot. Instead, he found himself This memoir is worth reading simply because Hans Ulrich Rudel - its author - was the most successful dive bomber pilot of WW2 and therefore, he definitely had quite a few stories to tell.
But with the sheer persistence and almost admirable stubbornness, he managed not only to learn the ropes of dive bombing but soon became the most successful of them all. His posting in the Eastern front in its various parts shows him as an already mature pilot who not only knows the enemy, weather, terrain, possibilities of his aircraft and its advantages and disadvantages compared to the enemy but also does his best to teach his newest replacement pilots in order for them to survive in the air.
Besides various missions and front movements, which are all described in great detail and are an invaluable research source for any history buff, I particularly enjoyed reading about little bits of regular air base life and different anecdotes involving Rudel and his comrades. It seems some reviewers have rated this based on Rudel's politics rather than the content.
That's a shame. Its an almost unbelievable story of death-defying proportions. Six years of war, three thousand five hundred sorties 17 in one day , over tank kills 13 in one sortie , the list goes on and on.
Shot down countless times by flak and never by another aircraft, he survived incredible odds to end the war the most decorated serviceman in Germany. What is even harder to credit is that he f It seems some reviewers have rated this based on Rudel's politics rather than the content. What is even harder to credit is that he flew almost exclusively in the infamous Ju 87 Stuka, an aircraft that conventional wisdom says was outclassed and outfought by Allied aircraft.
Well this book puts paid to that idea. Going up against odds of up to 20 to 1, he would attack Soviet tank columns with the sky 'infested' with enemy aircraft and return to base unscathed. After one mission, his handful of aircraft are attacked by up to Mustangs returning from an escort mission, which he manages to evade. Whilst flying in desperate conditions in February , with one leg in plaster from a flak wound, he was brought down again and lost his other leg.
Within a month he was back in the air, operating the rudder bar with his one leg still in plaster! His descriptions of the last months of the German nation are not often written about. Similarly, his meetings with Hitler are full of small observations and details that you will not read about in regular history books.
A fascinating glimpse into the life of a true soldier and warrior. You may not like his politics but Hans Rudel is arguably the finest combat pilot of all time. Apr 25, Jack Hwang rated it really liked it. This is a very good memoir of the leading German Stuka pilot and commander. He was the leading German Stuka pilot and commander, with one battleship, one cruiser, two destroyers, scores of crafts, tanks, hundreds of artillery and vehicles, and various bridges and trains destroyed.
It is really amazing to read how he could have almost incessantly in constant battle from the beginning of Operation Barbarossa till the end of the war.
After Hans-Ulrich Rudel ended his combat career by purposely crash-landing on an American airfield, the defiant Nazi refused to surrender. Considering his options, he decided to surrender to the Americans, in the hope that he would receive medical attention for his right leg, which had been amputated below the knee and was still swollen and bleeding. After thanking his officers for their loyalty and courage, he said farewell to his ground personnel, who were leaving in trucks and other vehicles. Rudel radioed the U. Garrett Jackson. The XIX TAC contacted the anti-aircraft units at Kitzingen to let them know a group of Luftwaffe aircraft was inbound and the pilots wanted to surrender.
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The most decorated combat pilot of all time was not, as you might expect, a fighter pilot, though he did shoot down nine enemy aircraft. However, his courage, tenacity and resilience in the face of horrendous wounds brought him the highest awards in Nazi Germany. Like most military aviator trainees, Rudel dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot. He went through basic training in the newly created German Luftwaffe in the late s and as the date of passing out approached, all the trainees in his year began to wonder to which arm of the air force they would be posted. Most hoped for an assignment to fighters but, as the time approached, a rumor swept the school that all the trainees from that year were to be assigned to heavy bomber squadrons.