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The Fighter Aces Of World War II Europe Face Off Against One Another In Great Aerial Battles Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD, MP4 Video Download Or USB Flash Drive! (Color, 1990, 58 Minutes.) #PropsAndJets #FighterAces #FlyingAces #AirAces #Aces #FighterAcesOfWorldWarII #FlyingAcesOfWorldWarII #AirAcesOfWorldWarII #AcesOfWorldWarII #FighterAcesOfWWII #FlyingAcesOfOfWWII #AirAcesOfOfWWII #AcesOfOfWWII #Fighters #Interceptors #BattleOfBritain #AirWarfareOfWWII #WWIIAvation #WorldWarII #WWII #WW2 #WorldWarTwo #WorldWar2 #SecondWorldWar #KoreanWar #KoreanConflict #DVD #VideoDownload #MP4 #USBFlashDrive
A Fighter Ace, Flying Ace or Air Ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an ace are varied, but is usually considered to be five or more. The concept of the "ace" emerged in 1915 during World War I, at the same time as aerial dogfighting. It was a propaganda term intended to provide the home front with a cult of the hero in what was otherwise a war of attrition. The individual actions of aces were widely reported and the image was disseminated of the ace as a chivalrous knight reminiscent of a bygone era. For a brief early period when air-to-air combat was just being invented, the exceptionally skilled pilot could shape the battle in the skies. For most of the war, however, the image of the ace had little to do with the reality of air warfare, in which fighters fought in formation and air superiority depended heavily on the relative availability of resources. Use of the term ace to describe these pilots began in World War I, when French newspapers described Adolphe Pegoud, as l'As (the ace) after he became the first pilot to down five German aircraft. The British initially used the term "star-turns" (a show business term). The successes of such German ace pilots as Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke were much publicized, for the benefit of civilian morale, and the Pour le Merite, Prussia's highest award for gallantry, became part of the uniform of a leading German ace. In the Luftstreitkrafte, the Pour le Merite was nicknamed Der blaue Max/The Blue Max, after Max Immelmann, who was the first pilot to receive this award. Initially, German aviators had to destroy eight Allied aircraft to receive this medal. As the war progressed, the qualifications for Pour le Merite were raised, but successful German fighter pilots continued to be hailed as national heroes for the remainder of the war. The few aces among combat aviators have historically accounted for the majority of air-to-air victories in military history. In World War II many air forces adopted the British practice of crediting fractional shares of aerial victories, resulting in fractions or decimal scores, such as 11+1/2 or 26.83. Some U.S. commands also credited aircraft destroyed on the ground as equal to aerial victories. The Soviets distinguished between solo and group kills, as did the Japanese, though the Imperial Japanese Navy stopped crediting individual victories (in favor of squadron tallies) in 1943. The Soviet Air Forces has the top Allied pilots in terms of aerial victories, Ivan Kozhedub credited with 66 victories and Alexander Pokryshkin scored 65 victories. It also claimed the only female aces of the war: Lydia Litvyak scored 12 victories and Yekaterina Budanova achieved 11. The highest scoring pilots from the Western allies against the German Luftwaffe were Johnnie Johnson (RAF, 38 kills) and Gabby Gabreski (USAAF, 28 kills in the air and 3 on the ground). In the Pacific theater Richard Bong became the top American fighter ace with 40 kills. In the Mediterean theater Pat Pattle achieved at least 40 kills, mainly against Italian planes, and became the top fighter ace of the British Commonwealth in the war. Fighting on different sides, the French pilot Pierre Le Gloan had the unusual distinction of shooting down four German, seven Italian and seven British aircraft, the latter while he was flying for Vichy France in Syria. The German Luftwaffe continued the tradition of "one pilot, one kill", and now referred to top scorers as Experten. Some Luftwaffe pilots achieved very high scores, such as Erich Hartmann (352 kills) or Gerhard Barkhorn (301 kills). There were 107 German pilots with more than 100 kills. Most of these were won against the Soviet Air Force. The highest scoring fighter ace against Western allied forces were Hans-Joachim Marseille (158 kills) and Heinz Bar (208 kills, of which 124 in the west). Notable are also Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, with 121 kills the highest-scoring night-fighter ace, and Werner Molders, the first pilot to claim more than 100 kills in the history of aerial warfare. Pilots of other Axis powers also achieved high scores, such as Ilmari Juutilainen (Finnish Air Force, 94 kills), Constantin Cantacuzino (Romanian Air Force, 69 kills) or Mato Dukovac (Croatian Air Force, 44 kills). The highest scoring Japanese fighter pilot was Tetsuzo Iwamoto, who achieved at least 94 kills. A number of factors probably contributed to the very high totals of the top German aces. For a limited period (especially during Operation Barbarossa), many Axis victories were over obsolescent aircraft and either poorly trained or inexperienced Allied pilots. In addition, Luftwaffe pilots generally flew many more individual sorties (sometimes well over 1000) than their Allied counterparts. Moreover, they often kept flying combat missions until they were captured, incapacitated, or killed, while successful Allied pilots were usually either promoted to positions involving less combat flying or routinely rotated back to training bases to pass their valuable combat knowledge to younger pilots. An imbalance in the number of targets available also contributed to the apparently lower numbers on the Allied side, since the number of operational Luftwaffe fighters was normally well below 1,500, with the total aircraft number never exceeding 5,000, and the total aircraft production of the Allies being nearly triple that of the other side. A difference in tactics might have been a factor as well; Erich Hartmann, for example, stated "See if there is a straggler or an uncertain pilot among the enemy... Shoot him down.", which would have been an efficient and relatively low-risk way of increasing the number of kills. At the same time, the Soviet 1943 "Instruction For Air Combat" stated that the first priority must be the enemy commander, which was a much riskier task, but one giving the highest return in case of a success.