2 x AK v. Erich Hartmann and Mertens
and its BF 109
Flighter pilots do not become are easily defiance of the fast first air victory developed hard man quite slowly. so it had 7 firings on its tail unit in April 1943 already over 100 raids, however only.
On 17 July hard man obtained 7 firings with the offensive with Kursk.
The "black devil" on record hunt on 29 October received Erich hard man on the occasion of its 148. Air victory the knight cross and on 2 March 1944 for its 200. Air victory, which it in the meantime as a captain of the 7. Relay had obtained, oak leaves.
From now on its firing numbers constantly rose: On 1 July 1944 it was promoted to first lieutenant, three days later lent one to it then the swords to the knight cross of the iron cross. Within four weeks it shot then 78 Russian airplanes. On 23 August it defeated eight opponents, on the day after eleven, which brought it on 301 air victories. On 25 August one lent oak leaves with swords and brilliants to it. The 7. Relay of the fighter wing 52 was at this time with 1200 firings the most successful of the Air Force.
Among the Russian pilots Erich hard man was as the "black devil" well-known and most hostile flier looked for their welfare in the escape, if they saw the Messerschmitt with the characteristic black nose.
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