World War Two ended in Europe on May 8, 1945. Despite all efforts to defend the Reich, Germany was finally defeated. Her armed forces including the Luftwaffe, had fought a bitter fight to the end. But on the morning of May, the 8th it was all over. Well, almost, but not quite.
At 07:00 hours no official word of surrender had been received at the Luftwaffe airfield near Deutsch-Brod in Czechoslovakia, where JG 52 was stationed under the command of Erich Hartmann. At dawn on this historic morning Hartmann, out of habit climbed into the cockpit of his Me 109G to fly the first mission of the day.
After he had taken off into what was a beautiful early spring day he routinely patrolled the skies in the vicinity of the airfield to check for enemy aircraft that might pose a threat to his unit and airfield. He didn't have to search for long. A few minutes into the flight he spotted what was at first only a small black speck on his windscreen. Flying towards it, the speck quickly became larger until it had grown into the clearly distinguishable shape of a Soviet Yak 9, bright red star and all. Hartmann didn't hesitate. With the experience of 351 aerial victories behind him this unlucky Russian quickly became his 352nd and last victory.
Each print is conservation mounted in corners on a back plate. A further filler and colour matched double matting gives a three dimensional effect. The top matt features three cutouts to show the print's title and a replica of the Luftwaffe day fighter pilot clasp in gold. Erich Hartmann's original signature is in the third cutout.
Overall size: 26" x 28"
Available in the following editions
With Erich Hartmann signature
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