Star Of Afrika by Nicolas Trudgian


Among the greatest Luftwaffe fighter pilots, one young ace, Hans-Joachim Marseille, achieved almost legendary status. He began to shine during the Battle of Britain, but it was later when flying with JG27 over the burning wastes of North Afrika that he suddenly transformed into a formidable marksman, earning the title ‘The Star of Afrika’. Flying in support of Rommel’s famed ‘AfrikaKorps’, in their fierce battle for the desert, he quickly became a master of flying the Messerschmitt Bf109F. Other pilots were amazed at his ability to handle the aircraft while ‘ deflection shooting ‘; firing whilst in a turn, almost at a stall and using only short bursts of fire to bring down his opponent. Marseille eventually rose to become the highest scoring ace against the Western Allies and was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. On one day alone, the 1st September 1942, he shot down seventeen Allied aircraft including eight in just ten minutes. On the 26th September 1942, he scored his 158th and final victory against a Spitfire. Four days later, when flying a brand new Bf109G, smoke began to appear from the engine. Marseille managed to fly the stricken aircraft back over German-held territory and elected to bail out. In doing so he struck the tail and fell to his death. He was just 22 years old. Adolf Galland described Hans-Joachim Marseille as ”the unequalled virtuoso of all fighter pilots”


Signed by the artist Nicolas Trudgian and 2 Afrikakorps Veterans,
Luftwaffe pilot Erich Rudorffer and Afrikakorp Gunner Gunter Halm.

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