Generaloberst Ernst Udet
1 in stock
Original WW2 Luftwaffe postcard of “Generaloberst Ernst Udet”. Approx. size is 5 and 1/2 inches high by 3 and 1/2 inches across. The photo is by Hoffmann, Munich. Condition is very good.
Colonel General Ernst Udet (26 April 1896 – 17 November 1941) was the second-highest scoring German flying ace of World War I. He was one of the youngest aces and was the highest scoring German ace to survive the war (at the age of 22). His 62 victories were second only to Manfred von Richthofen, his commander in the Flying Circus. Udet rose to become a squadron commander under Richthofen, and later, under Hermann Göring.
Following Germany’s defeat, Udet spent the 1920s and early 1930s as a stunt pilot, international barnstormer, light aircraft manufacturer, and playboy. In 1933, he joined the Nazi Party and became involved in the early development of the Luftwaffe. He used his networking skills to be appointed as director of research and development for the burgeoning air force. He was especially influential in adoption of dive bombing techniques and the adoption of the Stuka dive bomber. By 1939, Udet had risen to the post of Director-General of Equipment for the Luftwaffe. However, the stress of the position and his distaste for administrative duties led to an increasing dependence on alcohol.
When World War II began, the Luftwaffe’s needs for equipment outstripped Germany’s production capacity. Udet’s old comrade in arms Hermann Göring first lied to Adolf Hitler about these material shortcomings when the Germans lost the Battle of Britain, then deflected the Führer’s wrath onto Udet.
Operation Barbarossa, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union to begin war on a second front, may have been the final straw for Udet. On 17 November 1941, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
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