For his extraordinary abilities as a pilot in the Messerschmitt 109, the Soviets dubbed him "Black Devil of the Ukraine" and placed a 10,000 ruble price on his head. Erich Hartmann, the top scoring ace of the war with 352 victories, was an unassuming and quiet person. He rose to command Gruppe No.1 of the Luftwaffe's most successfull fighter wing, Jagdgeschwader 52, and one of only 27 persons to earn the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. When Germany fell to the Allies in 1945, Hartmann surrended to the Americans. He was turned over to the Russians and spent 10½ years in a Russian prison camp. In 1955, West Germany secured his release and three years later he was chosen to command the first West German air force all-jet fighter wing. During this time, he made several trips to the United States. While there, he shared his experience of 825 air battles with American pilots.
For a book on Erich Hartmann go to Amazon.com for " The Blond Knight of Germany" by Col. Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable