Hans Ulrich Rudel was a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War 2. The most highly decorated German serviceman of the war, Rudel was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed, including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, a destroyer, two cruisers, one battleship, 70 landing craft, 4 armored trains, several bridges and nine aircraft which he shot down.
The most highly decorated German serviceman of the war, Rudel was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, and the only person to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.
Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, 4 armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat He was shot down or forced to land 30 times due to anti-aircraft artillery, was wounded five times and rescued six stranded aircrew from enemy-held territory.
After the war he moved to South America. He also became involved in business and in politics with far-right political groups.
وقتی کتابی در رابطه با جنگ جهانی دوم میخونم، بیاختیار خودم رو در اون فضا مجسم میکنم. با اینکه نه تابحال در جنگ بودم و نه این صحنهها رو از نزدیک دیدم!
این کتاب، یک اثر فاخر از جنگ جهانی دومه... یکی از دلایلی که باعث میشه توصیه کنم این کتاب رو بخونید، این هست که در نود درصد کتابهای جنگ جهانی دوم، راوی/نویسنده/قهرمان داستان از دیدگاه متفقین به قضایا و اتفاقات نگاه کردن ولی در این کتاب، قهرمان، یک خلبان آلمانیه و سطر سطر کتاب و داستانها و مستندات و فضاها رو خواننده از دید سربازان آلمانی تجربه میکنه!
بعد از خوندن این کتاب متوجه شدم که سربازان آلمانی هم آدم بودن... درد میکشیدن... خونهاشون ریخته میشده... میترسیدن... خانواده داشتن و بعد از مردنشون عزیزانشون براشون اشک ریختن!
انقدر کتاب خوب و بزرگی هست که احساس میکنم در سطح من نیست بخوام نقدش کنم!
اما نتیجه گیری من بعد از خوندن این کتاب؟؟؟؟؟؟ جنگ برنده ندارد!
کتاب به شدت کمیاب هست و خودم کل خیابون انقلاب رو برای پیدا کردنش مغازه به مغازه گشتم، ولی پیدا نکردم! تا اینکه دیجیکالا به تعداد محدود موجود کرد و بلافاصله سفارش دادم... توصیه میکنم بخونید. به هر قیمتی که شده!
This was a detailed personal account of the legendary Stuka flying ace during World War II. Rudel painted the picture of his combat experiences and was able to capture details of these events. His narrative described his missions in detail and made for spectacular history. If you can overlook the fact that he was completely on board with Hitler and National Socialism, he was a courageous individual who lived by the warrior-aviator ethos 'Fly, Fight, and Win' for the German cause.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in first-person accounts of WW2 aviation combat. Thanks!
If you ever watched the 2017 movie Dunkirk, do you remember the sequence in which the British soldiers were on the beach waiting to be evacuated ( Dunkirk 2017 Sinking the Medical Ship Scene Movie clip) and out of know where comes a screaming Ju 87 Stuka Dive Bomber? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO5oO... They were equipped with a propeller driven siren fitted on each undercarriage leg for the purpose of damaging enemy morale and causing physiological damage. The sirens were known as "Jericho Trumpet" and gave the Stuka a terrifying reputation. Search it on You Tube, it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. That was the inspiration of why I wanted to read this book hoping to learn more about the specifics of the Stuka plane. If you are looking for that in this book you might try reading a different book.
This book is about Hans-Ulrich Rudel who was a German ground-attack pilot during World War II, in which he was the most decorated German serviceman Rudel was credited with the destruction of 519 tanks, one battleship, one cruiser, 70 landing craft and 150 artillery emplacements. He claimed 11 aerial victories and the destruction of more than 800 vehicles, usually flying the Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bomber. Instead of a actual biography, this book is more of description of the strategic situation within the sectors in which Rudel happened to be posted to the invasion of Russian in 1941. Things like losses and feelings of himself and his comrades are generally glossed over or mentioned in passing, rather being the focus of attention. There is no remorse for the Russians in this book. If you did not know your history you would think the Nazis were fighting a fight to save the world. I have never read a book by a WWII German pilot, so I jumped on this one but the narrative is dry and emotionless, the story at times so-so. Make no mistake: this guy was a devil in disguise, and he needed to be, in order to survive in the brutal Eastern Front in World War II. Learning about the "Stuka" this book is not.
Qué alegría da encontrar un libro que te atrape de semejante forma. Le he dado 4 estrellas (4,5 en realidad) porque hasta ahora ha sido el libro de historia militar sobre la Segunda Guerra Mundial en el que he visto y sentido de manera más clara el poderío arrollador de los primeros años del ejército alemán y su posterior derrota y retirada hasta la mismísima Berlín. No le doy las 5 estrellas por la falta de documentos de apoyo (mapas, documentación sobre divisiones, unidades...) y porque no es ni muchísimo menos comparable en cuanto a escritura a obras como las de Antony Beevor o Stephen Ambrose. No obstante, como se puede ver por las reseñas, eso no es un impedimento para que muchísima gente lo considere un señor libro.
Aunque es un libro autobiográfico, entra muy poco en su vida personal. Prácticamente sus años de niñez y aprendizaje en la escuela de pilotos se cuentan en pocas páginas. La mayoría del libro es un relato de su participación en el frente Este contra la Unión Soviética, con su más de 2500 misiones, en las que destruyó todo lo que se puede destruir en una guerra, que no son pocas cosas. Todo ello le valió para ser el soldado más condecorado del ejército alemán.
Lejos de ser una apología de la guerra, su visión se centra puramente en el combate, sus ascensos y cómo se desarrolla el conflicto, aunque no oculta en absoluto su fervoroso anti-bolchevismo . Creo que es una obra muy buena para entender el conflicto desde el punto de vista alemán en el frente este (siempre militarmente hablando). No creo que sea un libro entretenido para alguien a quien no le guste especialmente la historia militar, pero se lee muy bien y de forma rápida, sin caídas de intensidad.
Por supuesto, es imprescindible acompañar la lectura con un buen surtido de mapas, pues el libro, al menos mi edición, no contaba con ninguno.
Muy recomendable para lectores compulsivos sobre la segunda guerra mundial.
Pročitao sam do sada hrpu memoara iz drugog svjetskog, ali ovo su valjda najdosadniji od svih. Čovjek bi očekivao više od nekog tko se svojim letačkim sposobnostima popeo od običnog pilota do visokog zapovjednog mjesta, ali jok. Ne znam je li problem u prevodiocu, u zapisivaču ili u samom autoru, ali knjiga je ispripovijedana u prvom licu prezenta (!), gotovo bez dijaloga, i usprokos tome što je krcata uzbudljivim događajima, od Barbarosse do pada reicha, totalno je dosadna za čitanje. a kao dodatni bonus ispresijecana je autorovim nacističkim fanatizomom, takvim da mi se mjestimično bljuvalo. jer njegov je fuehrer očito bio savršen, uvijek u pravu, sve je znao i njegovo govno ne smrdi. dalje detalje neću ni pisati. Mislim da sam s dvojkom bio i velikodušan.
Excellent book about a warrior and another story shedding light on the massive war of the Eastern Front. Like Eric Hartmann and Michael Wittmann, his story tells just what the Germans were up against facing the Soviet hordes in WWII. 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?
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.
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.
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 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-10 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.
Altogether a fascinating read, well worth the time of anyone with an interest in WW2 history and/or aviation.
I read this "flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" combat memoir as a teenager during the early 1980s and was thrilled by it. Rudel joined the Luftwaffe in 1936 and underwent flight training as an officer cadet, But, as he had difficulties in perfecting his flying skill, Rudel was transferred to a reconnaissance flight school. He saw limited action early in the war with a reconnaissance unit in the Polish Campaign and was regarded as a pilot with marginal skill. Back for additional training he went, as a dive bomber pilot. He went on to serve in the campaign against Crete in May 1941 with a dive bomber unit, albeit in a non-combat role.
It wasn't until the Russian Campaign that Rudel came into his own as a pilot and established an outstanding combat record. The way he writes about his experiences in Russia is so vivid and intense. the reader will feel him/herself in Rudel's Stuka, caught amid screaming, explosive flak bursts and attacking enemy planes.
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. You may agree or disagree with Rudel on many political and ideological questions (I, for one, still do) but if you disregard those instances, Rudel’s missions and skills are definitely worth reading about. As a cadet, he was a slow student who was dreaming of becoming a fighter pilot. Instead, he found himself in a Ju-87’s cockpit, had quite a few mishaps with it, spent the beginning of his career grounded and was all but dismissed as hopeless by his squadron commanders. 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. Playing ice hockey with his leg in a plaster; driving the Stuka on a highway as one would drive a car due to the thick fog; helping the infantry fellows on the ground with “fishing” by dropping a bomb into the river; almost shooting a friend instead of a hare during a hunt - the hell of the war is mixed with a healthy dose of humorous situations, which makes a grim subject a bit easier to read about. Do not expect much from a literary point of view; it’s definitely not “The Forgotten Soldier” or “All Quiet on the Western Front” and there won’t be any marvelous descriptions or heart-wrenching paragraphs that will steal your breath away. But it’s a remarkable book nevertheless just because a remarkable pilot wrote it. I’d definitely recommend it to everyone interested in WW2 and namely the Luftwaffe.
Huge disappointing. The book is terribly written (or perhaps translated, who the hell writes a memoir in present tense?) It's full of typos and factual errors. Its "human side" is also disappointing, I have learnt very little about its author except that he was a Nazi idiot who idolized Hitler. It's the worst WWII autobiography I have read so far. Avoid at all costs.
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 500 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 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 300 Mustangs returning from an escort mission, which he manages to evade. Whilst flying in desperate conditions in February 1945, 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.
I didn't know who Rudel was. I once found this book on a shelf in a used book store and decided to buy it after reading "Iron Coffins", another report of WWII on the German side which I found very interesting. After finishing the book I looked for some informations about the author and learned that, after WWII, he became a member of an extreme-right wing party in Western Germany and this made me think: "I should have expected that". The book is actually permeated with hate against the Russians, fanaticism towards duty, false modesty, lack of objectivity and factual errors. For example, according to Rudel, the only culprits for the German defeat in Stalingrad were Romanian and Italian soldiers not the suicidal strategy imposed by Hitler that he tries to portrait as the good man that all knows and all can do that wasn't responsible for the final defeat because he was badly advised by his generals. Implicitly Rudel is constantly saying that Adolf Hitler was infallible and if only he was well advised, victory would have been certain.
I wouldn't suggest this book unless you have nothing better to read about WWII. not only for the reasons listed above, but also because is terribly written (or, at least, translated).
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 P-51s. Rudel had BALLS OF STEEL.
Second greatest war book I have ever read (after Storm of Steel by Earnst Junger). Rudel is a superhuman character and an inspiration to all walks of life. 2530 combat missions, 17 in one day. I thought he operated with fighter top cover, but no, most often his squadron was unprotected and many times he would go out alone between sorties to find a few more soviet tanks. He single handedly plugged gaps in the Eastern Front for two years, no exaggeration. In fact the book is understated throughout; perhaps a dramatisation would be incredible. Refused Hitler to his face many times to stop flying.
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, 519 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. It was almost four full years and it's all at the eastern front!
Vaguely interesting start, not much in the way of actual air-to-ground tactics and combat (which is what the book was recommended to me for). Devolves into pure fantasy and Nazi apologetics as it goes.
If there's one thing Rudel wants you to take from this book, it's this: Rudel is the greatest pilot who ever lived, bar none.
OK read if you take it with a gigantic pile of salt and enjoy unintentional irony, otherwise give it a wide miss.
I enjoy reading about WWII and there are few that seem available in English that area such telling and potent views from the other side. Earning the highest decorations issued for air aces, Rudel saw the war from the Eastern front to the fall of Berlin losing limbs and hope along the way. His aspect from altitude and heroic attitude makes for a fascinating read.
I read the version released by Black House Publishing Ltd. I cannot recommend it purely on the basis of its numerous grammatical errors. But if one can get past the egregious grammar there are some neat stories and interesting tidbits about life on the Eastern Front during World War II. Also fuck Rudel for being an unrepentant Nazi. A real piece of shit.
You can tell Rudel read Storm of Steel, for the prose is similar and like Junger, he is at his best describing action and conflict. The trouble is, while Junger had moments where we see the man and there was a kind of poetry, Rudel is just a killing machine. Furthermore, he is barely honest about his Nazism. This is important because Rudel was no unwilling conscript or just acting out of devotion to country, the desire to protect his people, or even anti-communism. He was a hardcore Nazi and fairly unrepentant about it in the years after. A little more honesty was unlikely when he wrote this, but all the same it detracts from what is supposed to be a personal account. Still, I give it two stars as both a historical resource and his effective prose when he describes combat. The part on the sinking of the Marat is hair-raising.
Autobiography of Hans-Ulrich Rudel where he covers his amazing WW2 military career and some of his life after the war in Argentina. He glosses over the "fanatic Nazi" aspect of his life, but the book is still a great read.
Rudel was the most highly decorated German serviceman of the war. He flew 2,530 combat missions. Rudel's credited with destroying 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery guns, a destroyer, two cruisers, one Soviet battleship. He also shot down nine aircraft.
Too bad he was on the "wrong side" of the war - Rudel's life should be an inspiration everyone who wants to live the life they dream.
This book is written very well. Rudel does a good job of putting you into the cockpit with him as he flies and fights his way through the Eastern Front. That being said, the copy that I read had many grammatical and spelling errors, presumably the translators fault. On top of all this it was hard to develop any sort of sympathy for a man who led a Neo-Nazi political party after the war.
All during my reading of the book in the back of my mind Im constantly remembering that this man was a unapologetic Nazi till the day he died. Perhaps this shouldnt be reflected in my rating of the book itself, as very little about this is opined on but regardless it did effect my enjoyment as I read it.
Great war memoir by arguably the most highly decorated and skillful pilot ever to fly in combat. Rudel takes you to flying in combat over the Eastern Front and it is amazing that he survived with all the odds stacked so heavily against him. He evidently was a firm believer in what Germany was fighting for and it comes through strongly in the book, but that should not detract anything from this great book.
"Stuka Pilot" by Hans Ulrich Rudel, 1958. "Stuka Pilot" is the autobiography of Germany's most decorated serviceman, dive bomber pilot, Hans Ulrich Rudel. Relentlessly driven to the of point obsession, Rudel's combat record is a testimony to the determination of Germany's elite aviators. Fearless, courageous Rudel accomplishes what seems to be beyond what is humanly possible. He is, with out question, one of the greatest aviators of the Second World War. While most of the famous, high scoring Luftwauffe pilots remained above the fray of politics and ideology, Rudel was a staunch exponent of Nazism. Under the pretext of fighting Bolshevism, Nazi Germany's underlying strategic goal was the extermination of the Slavic peoples. Unlike the Western Front, where combat flyers harkened back to an era of gallantry and unwritten rules of engagement, no such protocol existed with the battle between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It was a struggle to the death with, as Rudel refers to, the "Asiatic hordes". Rudel's relationship with Adolph Hitler is warm, amiable. Both men obviously admired each other's perseverance and intelligence. Rudel meets with Himmler, Geobels and has a few truly, bazaar meetings with Riechmarschal Herman Goering. At their first meeting, Goering is practicing archery, clad in an outlandish, medieval hunting costume. On their second encounter, he wares a red Grecian toga with a bright golden clasp. Apparently not only the Russians, but even Goering looks down upon the ungainly Stuka with contempt. Goering offers Rudel a fighter command, apparently thinking that his most decorated aviator should be more appropriately piloting sleek Messerschmidt jet fighters, not hammering tanks in the sinister Stuka.
After six years of combat flying, completing over two thousand five hundred missions, Rudel had been shot down more than a dozen times. He finishes the war flying with one leg in a cast, the other leg freshly amputated.
The translation to English is crude and the editing appears to be nonexistent. This stark rawness, which is perfectly congruent with the brutality of the Eastern Front, gives Rudel's book authenticity. In an unconventional twist, Rudel's Mother and Father write a short introduction. Could this superhuman warrior have once been the nervous and delicate, little boy that his mother describes?
Absolutely amazing account of the air war, mostly on the Eastern Front, from the Nazi perspective. Hans Ulrich Rudel remained a convinced Nazi through the end of the war and this is his account of the war. His own part in the war was not insignificant as his story includes dozens of rescues of other downed airman, many planes shot out from under him, an escape on foot from over 50 miles behind enemy lines, and the destruction of a battleship and as many as 500 tanks.
The style is part of the experience as well, as the author subjects you to his philosophies of life, German sensibilities, and opinions about various people, including Hitler and Goering. If you are even slightly interested in WWII history this is a must read book!
Stuka Pilot is a memoir by a German dive bomber ace who served on the Eastern front. It is told in a basic style in which he describes his operations but only occasionally tells us how he feels about what is going on. There is little of his personal life here. Up until about a third of the way through, I was finding it interesting but not that special but it gradually shifts up several gears through the number of extraordinary exploits he recounts, to the point that I was unable to put it down. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the subject matter.
I had low expectations for this book. Found a 54 YO copy hanging around at my folks house, took a gander and decided to give it a go. Paperback, paper was orange from old age. Enjoyed the hell out of it; almost could not put it down. Interesting to hear from the other side (USSR beat the Germans - we played an important role, but they did the bulk of the dirty work - no offense to our team). He was a truly remarkable pilot, and he was unbelievably lucky on high number of occasions. He fought hard, was fearless and very brave. He killed a shit ton of Ivans (his term).