The U.S. Air Force’s A-10 is an ugly, low-flying, slow-moving beast of an aircraft known affectionately by the troops as the Warthog. But even as the flying tank gets ready to shred ISIS terrorists to pieces over Iraq and Syria with its massive 30mm cannon—firing depleted uranium shells the size of a Coke bottle—it hides a dark secret: an unrepentant Nazi fighter pilot helped to develop the ungainly warplane.
Engineer Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon procurement official who helped design the A-10, confirmed to The Daily Beast that none other than legendary Luftwaffe Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel was consulted to develop the Warthog.
Rudel was the Nazi-era Wehrmacht’s (which included the Heer, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe) most highly decorated officer and the only man to have been awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. During his wartime career, Rudel flew over 2,530 combat sorties over the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union and amassed a combat record of over 2,000 targets destroyed–800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, four armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat.
However, as good a fighter pilot as Rudel was, it is an undeniable fact the he was an unrepentant Nazi and devotee of Adolf Hitler. After, the war Rudel—who became a relatively successful businessman–continued to advocate for the Third Reich and its genocidal, racist policies. One example of that: Rudel was a prominent member of the neo-Nazi German Reich Party from 1953 onward.(1)
War is ugly.
And not only Nazis do war.
An ugly truth we want to forget…
We claim to be different from the Nazis.
And indeed we are.
The Nazis said publicly that they wanted to conquer the world.
The US say publicly that they just want peace and justice…
The Nazis said publicly that they wanted to kill people.
The US claim publicly that they want to save people from harm…
The Nazis did not try to project their crimes to others.
The US bombs countries while Discovery or History Channel play Hitler documentaries…
We need an evil escape goat to fight against.
But this escape goat is 60 years old and will soon die.
Let him without sin scramble the first A-10… Or Stuka… Or whatever…
It is also a gorgeous aircraft with wonderful nose art. The art adorning such aircrafts is a passion of mine and is what fuels my own blog “nose and tail art appreciation”. Love the piece.
A very interesting blog you have there! 🙂
Thank you very much. I’m really glad you like it and hope you will continue to do so
Unbeliavable, I would never know this aircraft was developed and tested by a Nazi pilot. A very interesting story, it is sad to discover so many brilliant men were forced to serve such a evil regime.