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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Major Franz Kieslich (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60
|Franz Kieslich born in Bochum ion 12th March 1913 and served with 7./St.G. 77 in France in 1940, and later serving in Yugoslavia. Transferring to the Russian Front he was promoted Gruppenadjutant III./St.G. 77. And in October 1942 became Staffelkapitan 7./St.G. 77. In February 1944 he was promoted Kommandeur III./SG 77. He fought at Stalingrad, Kursk, Kiev and most of the other major engagements on the Eastern Front. In February1945 he became Kommodore erganzungs-SG148. Awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, he flew over 1000 combat missions, and had been shot down twenty times. His wards were awarded Ritterkreuz on 05.01.1943 as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitän 7./StukaG 77 and ( 619 ). Eichenlaub on 10.10.1944 as Hauptmann and Kommandeur III./StukaG 77. He passed away on 31st August 2012.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Ju87||By 1935 the German Luftwaffe was developing its first monoplane divebomber which entered production in 1936 as the Ju87 Stuka. The Stuka was to evolve into arguably the most successful single engine Axis divebomber of WW II. Utilizing a nearly vertical dive position the Stuka was stunningly accurate in the days when horizontal bombing was a relatively inaccurate science. The Ju87 was built for functionality and ruggedness. A fixed landing gear and exceptionally strong wing design were incorporated and no attempt was made to minimize protrusions. The Stuka was not designed for speed; it was an aerodynamic nightmare. The Stuka also incorporated a siren which when activated during a dive was designed to inflict psychological damage on the enemy below. The Ju87 was used with tremendous success in the Blitzkrieg attacks on Norway, Poland, Belgium, France, Holland, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Virtually unchallenged in the air during these Blitzkriegs the Stukas took a devastating toll on Allied ground and mechanized forces. Shipping was also vulnerable to the pinpoint attacks of the Stuka, and the Ju87 destroyed more Allied shipping than all other German aircraft put together during WW II. During Hitlers air attacks on Britain the Stukas reputation for invulnerability was shattered. Facing British Hurricanes and Spitfires the slower and less maneuverable Ju87s were destroyed in large numbers, eventually forcing their withdrawal from that conflict. Germanys attempt to develop an improved twin engine divebomber resulted in the introduction of the Messerschmitt 210 which was an unmitigated disaster. As a result, the Stuka remained in production longer than expected and the aircraft played a major role in Germanys surprise attack on Russia. In the first day of combat alone Stukas were credited with the destruction of over 700 Russian aircraft with minimal losses. One of Germanys top aces of WW II was Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Rudel flew over 2,500 combat missions in Ju87s, and was shot down on twelve occasions. Rudel was credited with destroying 519 tanks, 800 vehicles, 150 artillery pieces, one Russian battleship, one cruiser and one destroyer. Rudel was also credited with shooting down nine Russian aircraft in air-to-air combat.|
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