Hans-Ulrich Rudel

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Hans-Ulrich Rudel.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel (2 July 1916 – 18 December 1982) was a German ground-attack pilot during World War II. He was the most decorated German serviceman of World War II, being the sole recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds, in January 1945.

During the war, Rudel was credited with the destruction of 519 tanks, as well as one battleship, one cruiser, 70 landing craft and 150 artillery emplacements. He claimed 7 aerial victories and the destruction of more than 800 vehicles of all types. He flew 2,530 ground-attack missions exclusively on the Eastern Front, usually flying the Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bomber.

After War II, he surrendered to the Americans, who refused to hand him over to the Soviet Union and released him. He lived for some tine in Latin America, where he is stated to have helped others escape to Latin America and the Middle East. He died in West Germany.

He authored wartime memoirs and books on the war, supported National Socialist policies, and attacked the German military high command for "failing Hitler". He was prominent in the German Reich Party and the German People's Union.

See also

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