Here is the life story of the most successful fighter pilot of all time, with 352 air combat victories - who spent ten and a half years behind Soviet barbed wire, surviving prison uprisings, hunger strikes, resistance against the NKVD and forced labor.
After being released he was still mentally and physically fit enough to fly F-86 jet fighters in the post - World War II German Air Force.\nThis photo album presents the stages of his life - a man who wished to become a doctor, but whose fate it was to become and remain a soldier.
If Erich Hartmann were "only" the most successful fighter pilot of all time, that itself would be noteworthy.
But its uniqueness would no doubt fade with time. What makes Erich Hartmann stand out from the crowd even by today\s standards is that personal integrity and unshakable character which helped him remain true to his convictions while enduring merciless burdens, and the courage to be tough when his convictions demanded it