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Stuka Pilot: The War Memoirs of Hans-Ulrich Rudel [Paperback]

Hans-Ulrich Rudel
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Jan 2007
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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Barbarossa Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (31 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953877795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953877799
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 951,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The life story of the highest decorated soldier of the Wehrmacht. Many photos of Rudels aircraft. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hans-Ulrich Rudel - The man who never gave up 4 Oct 2010
If you want a straight forward insight into Rudel's life as a pilot, this is it. It tracks his life from training through to front line action and the German surrender. His descriptions of this various accidents (including losing his leg) and escapes/rescues are compelling and horrifying - he certainly rode his luck. Image yourself in a Stuka, with an engine fatally damage by flak and losing power, trying to find some where to land in thick fog and only 30m above a forest - it boggles the mind.
He was obviously a brilliant pilot, perhaps now tarnished by his association with the Nazi party. A great read, if your interest is real life stories of WW2.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most successful pilot ever ? 24 Feb 2010
By Siko
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rudel had an incredible career, intially written off as a pilot he was given a second chance and the rest is history.

He destroyed more tanks than any other man and also shot down many russian ac (when flying fighters later on), sank a battleship and countless other exploits.

This is an interesting memoir and he clearly had a traumatic war, reading between the lines (and by common consent) he was an ardent Nazi and evidently highly motivated by the many rewards and encouragement bestowed on him by the Nazi hierarchy. If you can put the political side of his make-up to one side, this is a good read with many hairy adventures and escapes well described....how many other personal memoirs of Stuka pilots are there out there......?!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stukameister 14 Oct 2011
Hans-Ulrich Rudel has been labelled 'mad' and 'Nazi', but if you're interested in one of the most extraordinary wartime pilots - and survivor of one of the harshest battlegrounds - it's best to first seek the man's own words.

Rudel was an incredible pilot - to survive 2,500 missions on the World War II Russian Front in a lumbering Stuka dive-bomber - he simply had to be. Some luck could be involved, but without talent the odds are rather stacked: a slow aircraft, withering ground fire, mechanical failure, and vengeful enemy fighters. It seems Rudel flew his Stuka like a fighter plane - and in doing so, in addition to his huge number of ground kills, destroyed at least one top Russian fighter ace who was determined to shoot him down. Curiously, Rudel remarks that he was a slow learner.

Rudel has compassion for his comrades and respect for the best of his enemies. He's a tenacious soldier, driven by honour and the military oath. He says that he fought for Germany and not a political party. Despite adhering closely to the Germanic doctrine of orders, he breaks orders to save his comrades - and, extraordinarily, defies several direct personal orders from Hitler and Goering.

Yet the character traits that rise above the rest are Rudel's phenomenal survival instinct and self-belief. He never gives up, even in the direst circumstances: captured behind enemy lines with guns pointing at him. "Only he is lost who gives himself up for lost" - seizing at once the slimmest of chances, Rudel breaks free, dodging small arms fire from point-blank range.

The translated style of Stuka Pilot is quite different, yet characterful and eminently readable, with surprising humour running throughout. My annoyance is that Stuka Pilot is the re-edited 1958 version of Rudel's 1949 German autobiography 'Trotzdem'. In Stuka Pilot, Rudel's courage and skill are unquestionable, but perhaps outside of Trotzdem - Rudel's true opinions will never be known.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book you cannot put down 5 July 2011
By Gomez
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do not generally know much about the Luftwaffe, but I had heard about Rudel.

This man's account of his experiences during WWII is truly remarkable; he was obviously very dedicated to his country and he surely must be one of the few people in Germany to get away with defying Hitler, not once but several times.

I wanted to read this book all the way through in one go. I could not put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stuka Pilot 8 April 2010
One of the few WWII flying tales from a German pilot - there need to be more!
Well written and descriptive - good read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Is this the best war memoir ever written? It's certainly the best I've ever read, and I've read a few now. The subject helps, Hans-Ulrich Rudel was one of the most remarkable warriors in history. Driven to prove himself after being considered a failure in his early training period (who initially could not master the difficult Stuka dive-bomber) he was finally tested in combat shortly after the start of the German invasion of Stalin's Soviet Union. Driven by this desire to prove himself to his comrades and superiors he soon began to receive the respect he so desperately wanted until he slowly became 'noticed', then respected, and then finally revered throughout wartime Germany as a living legend. His record and ability to destroy enemy targets was so mind-boggling that no propaganda 'enhancement' was necessary. Over 2,500 combat missions (a world record, on one day alone he did 17), 519 tanks destroyed, 800 other vehicles, armoured trains, a battleship among other warships, shot down over 30 times (always by Flak, never by enemy aircraft), personally hated by Stalin himself who became obsessed with shooting 'this Devil' down and even offering a huge bounty for killing or capturing him - if Rudel had not existed people would say that what he did was simply impossible. The German leadership had to literally invent 2 awards because they ran out of medals to give him. He must have been one of the few men to have had the audacity to disobey Hitler to his face when Hitler on more than one occasion told Rudel to stop flying, insisting that he had 'done enough' and Rudel threatened to turn down his promotion/ medal if he could not fly in combat any more! Read more ›
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