Jump to content

Knights Cross with Golden Oakleaves


Recommended Posts

The Knights Cross with Golden Oak leaves swords and diamonds was the highest gallantry award of the Third Reich. It was only awarded once and that was to Luftwaffe Oberst Hans Ulric Rudel.

This man must rate as the most highly decorated combat pilot in history and when you read his CV you quickly see why:

He flew 2,530 operations as a Stuka Pilot on the Eastern Front.
He personally destroyed 532 Red Army Tanks, & 150 AA Batteries.

He sunk a battleship, a cruiser, a destroyer and 70 landing craft as well as other smaller vessels.

He also unbelievably scored nine aerial victories as a STUKA pilot !!!!

He was shot down thirty times, six of which were behind enemy lines.

He was captured by the Russians once and escaped.

He was wounded five times and he lost a leg in action, but this did not stop him returning to the skies and destroying 26 more Soviet Tanks before the end of the war.

A remarkable man by anyone?s book.

However he became an embarrassment to the new post war Germany, as despite his glorious outstanding record, he was an ardent unrepentant Nazi and was outspoken with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...
  • 2 years later...

His autobiography is entitled "Stuka pilot" and is an excellent account of air to ground and air to air combat on the eastern front. And yes, an incredible pilot who went up the ranks from leutnant to oberst in under 3 years and earning every combat award around. He also flew the FW-190 towards the end of the war.

But as a few have already commented, this man was a hardent national socialist! He clearly and openly blames the lies of generals over the ineptitude of Hitler in his book. And his post war record speaks for itself... Why do you think he moved to Argentina?..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I also read his book a good few years ago and he definately never lost his zeal for the NS cause, I believe he was involved in right wing politics in germany during the 50's, possibly before going to South America, he returned in the early 50's.

Attached is an interesting post war photo of him obviously proudly wearing his wartime decoration, against the law if taken in germany.

regards

Alex

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

One story has it that they were stolen from Rudel sometime after his surrender by a British military policeman and found their way into porn king Paul Raymond's war museum in London in the early 1980s. They were then the subject of a lawsuit in the High Court as Rudel's widow sued for their return. Return was refused because, one suspects, the judge was pressurised into finding against the plaintiff for fear of creating a precedent that could well have emptied Britain's museums! As the story goes, Raymond subsequently did the decent thing by the widow and the medals found their way back to the Rudel family. Rudel surrendered to US forces and while they took his medals and even his false leg, he appealed to the CO of the unit holding him and and his men and got his medals back. He was described as having them with him when he left the custody of the unit in question.

PK

Edited by PKeating
Link to post
Share on other sites

The second story is probably accurate since he was seen with them in his possession prior to his death. Including the photo in this thread. His personality would also support his arguing to get them back (and getting them).

Link to post
Share on other sites

The second story is probably accurate since he was seen with them in his possession prior to his death. Including the photo in this thread. His personality would also support his arguing to get them back (and getting them).

What did he do for a living after the war?

Link to post
Share on other sites

One story has it that they were stolen from Rudel sometime after his surrender by a British military policeman and found their way into porn king Paul Raymond's war museum in London in the early 1980s. They were then the subject of a lawsuit in the High Court as Rudel's widow sued for their return. Return was refused because, one suspects, the judge was pressurised into finding against the plaintiff for fear of creating a precedent that could well have emptied Britain's museums! As the story goes, Raymond subsequently did the decent thing by the widow and the medals found their way back to the Rudel family. Rudel surrendered to US forces and while they took his medals and even his false leg, he appealed to the CO of the unit holding him and and his men and got his medals back. He was described as having them with him when he left the custody of the unit in question.

PK

Yes you are quite right. If you read his biography, I think called "Stuka Pilot" he says (From Memory) That as he landed to surrender, an american GI grabbed hold of his RK as he sat in his plane and removed iT, he subsequently complained to the station commander about the theft and it was actually retrieved and returned to him. several other decorations, hungarian etc were however not recovered. Paul Raymond did own some of his decs, but I believe that they were the erkunde documents, rarther than the actual pieces, I could however be wrong on this point as I am once again, working from memory.

Alex

Link to post
Share on other sites

What did he do for a living after the war?

After the war, Rudel became a close friend and confidante of Argentine president Juan Peron. He wrote two books, "In Spite of Everything", and "Stuka Pilot". Even without a leg, he remained an active sportsman, playing tennis, skiing, and even climbing the highest peak in the Americas, Aconcagua (6,962 meters or 22,841 feet). He also ascended the second highest volcano on Earth three times, the Llullay-Yacu in the Argentine Andes (6,739 meters or 22,109 feet). In addition, Rudel's input was used during the development of the A-10 ground attack aircraft.

Rudel returned to West Germany in 1953 and joined the German Reich Party. He became a successful businessman in post-war Germany. He died in Rosenheim in 1982, and was buried in Dornhausen.

Rudel was a teetotaler and abstained from alcohol and tobacco. His fellow pilots coined the phrase Hans-Ulrich Rudel, er trinkt nur Sprudel (Hans Ulrich Rudel, he drinks only mineral water).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you are quite right. If you read his biography, I think called "Stuka Pilot" he says (From Memory) That as he landed to surrender, an american GI grabbed hold of his RK as he sat in his plane and removed iT, he subsequently complained to the station commander about the theft and it was actually retrieved and returned to him. several other decorations, hungarian etc were however not recovered. Paul Raymond did own some of his decs, but I believe that they were the erkunde documents, rarther than the actual pieces, I could however be wrong on this point as I am once again, working from memory.

Alex

I remember the story and it was about documents rather than awards. One of the award documents was auctioned to Paul Raymond who already had some of Rudel's other documents. Rudel's widow went to court to try to stop the auction. It was her view that the document in question could not be legally sold as it was stolen because she was the rightful owner. I don't ever remember hearing what the outcome was and I don't know what happened to Raymond's collection.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When he landed at Kitzingen he had stolen his Log Book with everyone of his 2530 operational flights listed, the Urkunde for the Diamond Pilots badge, The high level Hungarian award and some other items he does not list.

Taken from "Stuka Pilot" pg 233

Edited by Laurence Strong
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the end, I think Raymond did the decent thing by her. The man to tell us would be Chris Ailsby, aka here as Warlord. He knew more of the story than I did. I saw the documents and I saw some diamond-studded awards presented as Rudel's. However, I do not recall the awards I saw being displayed publicly. But I do remember the documents.

PK

Link to post
Share on other sites

When he landed at Kitzingen he had stolen his Log Book with everyone of his 2530 operational flights listed, the Urkunde for the Diamond Pilots badge, The high level Hungarian award and some other items he does not list.

Taken from "Stuka Pilot" pg 233

The "high level Hungarian award" was the Hungarian Officer's Gold Medal for Bravery (A Magyar Tiszti Arany Vit?zs?gi ?rem). Rudel was one of only three German recipients. (source: "Vit?zs?gert" by P?ter Ill?sfalvi, Vilmos Kov?cs and Roland Marusz, Budapest, 2001)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi K I am only aware of this one entitled "Stuka Pilot"

http://www.amazon.com/Stuka-Pilot-Hans-Ulr...r/dp/0887402526

your'e not possibly confusing it with his other publication called

"In Spite of Everything"?

Edit, which according to Wikepedia Rudel wrote a book entitled "In Spite of Everything" that supported the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Alex K

Edited by Alex K
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • Sounds great other than the Orange & Mango squash only because I prefer cran-pomegranate juice.
    • "(...) disgusting herbal concoction (...)" I took note of this description, to enrich my otherwise limited, English "Wortschatz"...
    • At work the standard indian tea such as PG tips is referred to as chimp tea. This goes back to the days when we had a Spanish girl working for us whose command of the English language was extremely limited. One lunch she said she was going to the shop could she get anything. I asked if she could get a pack of tea bags. She returned with some disgusting herbal concoction. I tried to explain what was required but without success. I then remembered PG tips had a picture of a chimpanzee on the packe
    • When I read Lapsang Souchong i decided to post something about these Tea . Many years ago I dont  know about Lapsang until I read James Michener book Centennial and the description of the savour of the Lapasang as a mix of tar and salt & smoked made me proof . It was exact ! and i liked it since then .
    • I have been known to drink Lapsang Souchong and Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... both "without pollutants". I normally have one mug of coffee in the morning, then spend the rest of the day drinking Orange & Mango squash (by the pint). Then evening comes and it's a pint, followed by red wine with dinner and sometimes a drop of Laphroaig afterwards.
×
×
  • Create New...