Hans Ulrich Rudel was the most highly decorated fighter in the German forces during the second World War. He was the only service man to be awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, with Golden Oak leaves, Swords and Diamonds. If you want to read about him you can in the two books below. He also wrote a book about climbing high volcanoes in the Andes. He is perhaps the most heroic, or certainly one of the most successful predators of many a war, depends on how you look at him.I'am not an advocate of war or killing,
but I am great admirer of courage and skill, and luck. Hans Rudel must have had oodles of luck and exactly how did they get his balls into a Stuka dive bomber is a question I keep asking my self. There's a bit somewhere in one of the books where Mr Rudel waxes lyrical about flying blindly, but in formation through fog, wing tips six inches apart, it's scary.
Hans was a teetotal athlete who was careful about what he ate, he loved walking, swimming, diving, and the mountains, he was also a confirmed Nazi from what I have read. I found these books very interesting. The foreword to Stuka pilot was written by Group Captain Douglas Bader DSO., DFC. a hero/ killer from the other side during the great conflict of tribes, economics, politics and unreason.
This is the battle ship the Marat which Mr Rudel sunk. Hans was credited with destroying 500 tanks, 2,000 ground targets, two cruisers. He was shot down 24 times and lost a leg. There is much to write about him, his complete cavalier attitude toward death and destruction leaves me aghast. If you are reading this please understand I am not a Nazi, I find this mans bravery in a class of its own and only wish to offer this story as an interesting counterpoint to American Sniper. The fact that Hans loved the mountains and sliding through the snow at Barriloche might have made him easy to talk to I always thought, the fact that he had a signed photo from Hermann Buhl on his wall would perhaps have greatly endeared him to me. There is no Hollywood film about him by Clint Eastwood, and it's a very good job that Hitler didn't have a few other lads as capable as Hans Rudel, a man who only drank fizzy water.