>seven time amateur flying champion
>joins the military
>gets shot down all the time
>eventually progresses into being a mediocre pilot
To be fair, getting shot down repeatedly is part of what makes him believable. You still see him be a strong and capable pilot when it matters, but what can you expect from the guy when he's forced to brawl with Britai of all people?
If anything, it's his persistent idiocy pertaining to women that's the real problem.
Being a good flyer doesn't make you a good fighter pilot
People forget that Hartmann wasn't a super ace because he could out-fly everyone, but because he was an insane marksman who could put bullets on target reliably no matter the range, not because he could pull acrobatics
Von Richthofen got his status as best ace of WWI by hiding in the sun and sneaking up on his enemy, downing them before they even realized he was there
Barkhorn was a leader who never went into a fight unless the numbers were heavily in his flight's favor
The only real aces that depending on amazing flying were Jap aces, and look at how long that lasted for them after 1943 rolled around and the Americans learned to just stop playing their turn-fight game
Kozhedub - WW2, Korea. Also managed to kill a Me262
Pokryshkin - WW2. Good tactician, author of nice books
Alelyukhin - WW2. Had a duel with Barkhorn above Stalingrad and stayed alive. During last days of war his La-7 was painted red.
Popkov, Safonov (best ace of the early stage of war) and many more.
enlighten me about the quality of russian fighter planes, we know in the pacific the zeroes was the superior plane for a while, one can even argue it was the gold standard for fighter planes before the american developed planes to counter the zeroes
in the battle of britain the Germans clearly had the better plane but the lack of radar is what arguably killed them rather than plane performance.
I practically know nothing about russian planes but if we take anything russian during WW2 one would automatically assume they're mass produced junk that greatly sacrifices quality over an absurd amount of quantity.
While lend-lease was certain a percentage of the Red Air Force, the vast majority of their aircraft were Russian designed and produced.
Is there any hope for green?
Jokes aside, him dying was a very off-the-path event. Even if he had survived, he seems more like the type to settle down and open some shop somewhere, perhaps with a plain but nice girl/Meltran. He doesn't seem the type to end up director of UN Spacy military intelligence or something.
Nah,that's just the popular image.
1941- many new planes are introduced yet the most of the airplanes are old I-16 and I-153. Many planes were destroyed on the ground and many factories were evacuated from the western parts, so the production temps were slower.
Lend-lease planes of 1941 - Hurricanes, P-40, some bombers.
1942 - things are getting better. The new plants are working, the planes are being modified.
Americans have started to import P-39.
Soviet and german air force are equally powerful.
1943-1945- the quality of the planes is increasing.
Most of the aces were flying on the planes with better weapons, like I-16 Type 27/28, La-5/7, P-39/P-63, Yak-9 with 37mm cannon.
The Yak-3 was good to the point where, by 1944, the Luftwaffe was issuing bulletins to its pilots not to engage them below 5000 meters altitude. The later Lavochkin models were also a match for Luftwaffe fighters ca.late 1943. The limiting factor in their cases was pilot skill & training.
MiGs were generally shit, though.
Incidentally, Russian planes were also one of the cases where the prototypes had much better performance than production models, thanks mostly to shoddy craftsmanship on the assembly lines.
Finnish pilots were particularily fond of sharing their memories of fighting against AiraCobras. The P-39's 37mm grapefruit cannon was a curious weapon, and while obviously deadly, one of my favourite stories are from ace Hans Wind, who was smashed two (!) times with an explosive 37mm round, all in the cockpit. One was absorbed by the back armor of his flight seat, the other obliterated his instrument table and filled him with shrapnel, leaving him badly wounded. He landed his plane on home plate succesfully, and survived.
However, as one might understand, Finns felt a bit bitter over having to see their enemies flying planes provided by people previously thought of as friends. It could not be helped, though, since only the germans would oppose the Soviets and offer a chance of reclaiming lost homelands.
Nobody was very fond of 37mm cannon.
The cannon trigger was placed in an uncomfortable place. The grapefruit was okay on short distances, especially when it was fired together with machine guns.
Also at some point 4 Browning MGs placed in the wings were found useless and removed by the request of some pilots
But still Marseille was a good flyer and good fighter pilot with amazing marksman skills.
I am pretty sure that Hartmann was a super ace not because he was an insane marksman instead he ambushed his enemies and fired at close range , but i still think he was a good flyer since he flew gladiers in his childhood.