Daily Archives: June 22, 2014

Knight’s Cross with Golden Oak Leaves Swords and Diamonds: Hans-Ulrich Rudel and the Problem of Soldiers Serving Evil Governments

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Nothing new today. Things have been busy, Eucharist at my chapel and preparing for our incoming class at the Staff College. I am getting ready to head out to the baseball game between the Norfolk Tides and the Indianapolis Indians in a few minutes, when I get home I will be watching the U.S. play Portugal in the World Cup. So with all that in mind I am doing a re-run of what I think is a thought provoking article about military personnel who accomplish great feats in service of an evil state. Some are actually men of very decent temperament who conducted themselves with individual honor despite serving in the militaries of nations whose actions were criminal, or whose ideology was evil. Men like Erwin Rommel, Robert E. Lee and others come to mind. So anyway, enjoy, have a great day and if you get the chance do some thinking about a pertinent topic, for many around the world accuse the United States of some of the crimes that we have placed leaders of nations and military officers on trial, especially in regard to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a place that I served in 2007-2008.
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The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel was undoubtably the greatest ground attack pilot that ever lived. His record is unsurpassed by any combat pilot flying ground attack missions. According to official Luftwaffe records he flew 2350 combat missions beginning in June 1941 and ending when he led the remains of his squadron to crash land on the American occupied airfield in Kitzingen on May 8th 1945.

Born in Rosenheim Bavaria in 1916 he joined the Luftwaffe as an officer cadet. Like many of his era Rudel was an ardent Nazi. Despite that and his unrepentant admiration for Adolf Hitler his combat achievements are unmatched.

His early career was inauspicious. He was not regarded well as a pilot and spent the Polish campaign as an observer and did not take part in a combat role during the campaign in the west, the Battle of Britain or Crete in 1940 to May of 1941. Assigned…

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