It became known as the most exclusive club in the history of air combat – the Three Hundred Club!
Those Aces with over 100 victories were exceptional; to reach 200 victories was a spectacular achievement. Yet two men went even further shooting down more than 300 enemy aircraft which placed them in a league of their own. They were the elite of the elite, and their names are legendary – Erich Hartmann and Gerhard Barkhorn.
It is no surprise that these iconic Aces scored their victories whilst flying with the legendary fighter wing JG52 and the Geschwader boasted some of greatest Luftwaffe pilots of WWII among its ranks – including the top three Aces of all time. Such renowned pilots as Gunther Rall (275 victories), Wilhelm Batz (237 victories), Hermann Graf (212 victories) and Helmut Lipfert (203 victories) helped this formidable unit notch up more than 10,000 victories making it the most successful fighter wing in history.
Robert Taylor, the world’s premier aviation artist, has created a stunning portfolio dedicated to the two highest scoring fighter pilots of all time. Hunters at Dawn is the first release in this pair and features Hptm. Gerhard Barkhorn, Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG52. The great Ace, flying his Bf109 G- 6, leads the Stab as they climb out from their base near the Black Sea, early November 1943. The crisp air of day break is temporarily punctuated by the roar of Daimler-Benz engines as the deadly Messerschmitt fighters set off on their daily hunt for Soviet aircraft over the front line.
The legendary Gruppenkommandeur was by now close to his 200th victory, a feat he achieved on 30 November 1943. Even then little did he or his comrades know that this was only a temporary milestone in his exceptional combat career – although the enemy might have feared it.
Overall size: 24" x 32"
Available in the following editions
Signed by Bf109 pilots, Willi Reschke & Hugo Broch