SMGP-1003 Fighter Ace G?nther Rall signed 4×6 *SOLD


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The photo shows some wear and a few scratches across the photo. There is a slight curl to the photos but it will be shipped in a ridged card holder to keep it flat.

Rall was posted to Jagdgeschwader 52 of the Luftwaffe in July 1938.[citation needed] He first saw combat during the Battle of France, and on 12 May 1940, he scored his first victory. Three French Curtiss H75-C1 (P-36 Hawk) fighters were attacking a German reconnaissance aircraft at a height of 26,000 feet. Rall “bounced” them and shot down one. He later said:”I was lucky in my first dogfight, but it did give me a hell of a lot of self-confidence… and a scaring, because I was also hit by many bullets.”[4] Later JG 52 was moved to Calais where it took part in the Battle of Britain. Due to heavy losses in the unit, he was given command as a Staffelkapit?n of 8./JG 52[5][Note 1] on 25 July 1940 and was promoted to Oberleutnant a week later, on 1 August 1940. He fought with JG 52 over Britain until the unit was withdrawn to replace losses. Rall then took part in the Balkans Campaign in the spring of 1941. He also partook in Operation Merkur, the airborne invasion and subsequent Battle of Crete in June 1941. After the successful conclusion of Merkur, JG 52 was transferred back to Romania to help defend the oil fields there from Soviet bombers.[6] Eastern Front[edit]

During Operation Barbarossa, Rall scored his third, fourth and fifth victories in three days of June 1941. During a five-day period, Rall and his Staffel destroyed some 50 Soviet aircraft. He had 12 victories in October. JG 52 was then attached to the operations of Army Group South and continued operating on the southern flank of the Eastern Front.
On 28 November 1941, Rall scored his 37th victory, but was himself shot down. He tried to fly back to German lines with a damaged engine, but he crash landed and was knocked out. A German tank crew rescued him from the wreck. X-rays revealed he had broken his back in three places. Doctors told Rall he was finished as a pilot and transferred him to a hospital in Vienna in December 1941. Despite the diagnosis that he would not be able to walk again, Rall defied the odds and returned to combat a year later. During his treatment, he met a Dr. Hertha Sch?n, whom he later married in 1943.[7] He came back to 8./JG?52 on 28 August 1942.[8] From August to November, Rall claimed another 38 victories, bringing his total to 101. On 3 September 1942, Rall was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.[9] On 22 October 1942, Rall was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 28th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[10] On 26 November 1942, he was given the Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross by Adolf Hitler personally. In April 1943, he was promoted to Hauptmann and on the 20th of that month scored the Geschwader’s 5000th kill.[11] He was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 52 on 6 July 1943. On 1 November 1943, Rall was promoted to Major, a rank he retained until the end of the war.
“Defence of the Reich”[edit]

G?nther Rall after his 250th aerial victory
On 19 April 1944, Rall was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 11 (JG 11), where he took up the position of Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 11. JG 11 was tasked with Reichsverteidigung (Defence of the Reich) and Rall led his unit against the bomber fleets of Eighth Air Force. On 12 May 1944, Rall was leading a Staffel of Bf 109s and bounced a flight of three P-47 Thunderbolts led by Colonel Hubert Zemke, with Rall shooting down two Thunderbolts. His squadron were then bounced by other P-47s and was shot down by pilots of the 56th Fighter Group. Rall had his left thumb shot off and was hospitalized for many months because of the onset of infections.
His last posting was with Jagdgeschwader 300 (JG 300), operating from a variety of airfields in southern Germany during the last months of the war. Lack of supplies prevented most planes from going on missions, and the fast progress of the Allies forced his squadron to move several times, and it is unlikely that he saw much combat action during this period.[citation needed] Rall said of the campaign of 1943?1945:
In my experience, the Royal Air Force pilot was the most aggressive and capable fighter pilot during the Second World War. This is nothing against the Americans, because they came in late and in such large numbers that we don’t have an accurate comparison. We were totally outnumbered when the Americans engaged, whereas at the time of the Battle of Britain the fight was more even and you could compare. The British were extremely good.[9]

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