Diamonds in the Sky
by Heinz Krebs
|Adolf Galland, commanding General of all Luftwaffe fighters, and Erich Hartmann, with 352 aerial victories the ace of all fighter aces, fly their Me 109 fighters through the majestic landscape of the Alps. Both are recipients of the very rare decoration; Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
The signature area on this print is placed to the left of the image, please see below.
|Overall size: 27" x 39"||Available in the following editions|
|1500||Ltd. edition||Signed by Adolf Galland and Erich Hartmann||$650|
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Erich Hartmann started his career as Paule Rossman's wingman. Promoted to Staffelkapitan of 7./JG52 in July 1943, he was shot down and taken prisoner, but escaped four hours later. In September he took command of 9./JG52.He later led 4./JG52, then briefly I./JG53, and finally Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG52.
Erich Hartmann scored a total of 352 confirmed victories, making him the highest scoring fighter
Ace ever. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.
He obtained his Private Pilot Licence in 1932, joined the airline Lufthansa a year later and finally
He fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 and pioneered fighter bomber tactics that would later be used extensively throughout WW II. After working in the Ministry of Aviation upon his return from Spain, he was made commanding officer of 1./JG433 and later 5./LG2. It was in this latter unit that he participated in the Polish campaign, flying over 50 missions during the initial phase of WW II. Posted to JG27 he won his first three aerial victories in May 1940, quickly adding ten more to them by the end of the French campaign. Awarded the Knight´s Cross on July 28th, 1940 and promoted to Officer Commanding (Kommodore) JG 26 "Schlageter" about a month later. In this role he fought during the entire duration of the Battle of Britain. 40th victory and award of the Oak Leaves on September 24th, 1940. The Swords followed after his 69th victory when he was shot down and injured in a dogfight but managed to bale out.
Recovering quickly, he succeeded Werner Mölders as General of the Luftwaffe Fighter Forces on December 5th, 1941 when Mölders was killed in a flying accident. He was awarded the Diamonds to his Knight´s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, and promoted to Major General at the age of 30. In his position of Fighter General, Adolf Galland experienced every detail in the rise and fall of this formidable force. He pioneered many of the new technical advances and their testing to operational status, including the world´s first operational jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me-262. His loyalty to his men got him into serious trouble with his Nazi superiors, and as a consequence of these mounting tensions he was finally relieved of his command as Fighter General in January of 1945. He survived the end of the war, flying jets in JV44 which operated under his command. He once again scored several victories and was eventually captured by U.S.