Sunday, March 26, 2006

Vincent Wai's military art.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel's Ju87 G tank buster .

I don't know positively if I was the sole inspiration for this painting, but I know that I suggested the subject a few weeks ago at Vincent Wai's Military Art Blog . Vincent, as usual, you have mastered the subject matter with unequaled precision and flair. I'd like to place an order if it's a limited edition print!
For a refresher on Hans-Ulrich Rudel, look at this previous post .

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Paddy Day Humor

My old boss just forwarded this to me and I felt like sharing. I like the first one the best. I'm on the road so I can't do a sketch to go with it, but hope you all enjoy it:

Into a Belfast pub comes Paddy Murphy, looking like he'd just been runover by a train. His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken, his face is cut and bruised and he's walking with a limp."What happened to you?" asks Sean, the bartender."Jamie O'Conner and me had a fight," says Paddy."That little shit, O'Conner," says Sean, "He couldn't do that to you, he must have had something in his hand.""That he did," says Paddy, "a shovel is what he had, and a terrible lickin' he gave me with it.""Well," says Sean, "you should have defended yourself, didn't you have something in your hand?"That I did," said Paddy. "Mrs. O'Conner's breast, and a thing of beautyit was, but useless in a fight."
Brenda O'Malley is home making dinner, as usual, when Tim Finnegan arrives at her door."Brenda, may I come in?" he asks. "I've somethin' to tell ya"."Of course you can come in, you're always welcome, Tim. But where's myhusband?""That's what I'm here to be telling ya, Brenda. There was an accident down at the Guinness brewery...""Oh, God no!" cries Brenda. "Please don't tell me.""I must, Brenda. Your husband Shamus is dead and gone. I'm sorry." Finally, she looked up at Tim. "How did it happen, Tim?""It was terrible, Brenda. He fell into a vat of Guinness Stout and drowned.""Oh my dear Jesus! But you must tell me true, Tim. Did he at least go quickly?""Well, Brenda... no. In fact, he got out three times to pee."
Mary Clancy goes up to Father O'Grady after his Sunday morning service,and she's in tears.He says, "So what's bothering you, Mary my dear?"She says, "Oh, Father, I've got terrible news. My husband passed away last night."The priest says, "Oh, Mary, that's terrible. Tell me, Mary, did he have any last requests?"She says, "That he did, Father."The priest says, "What did he ask, Mary?"She says, "He said, 'Please Mary, put down that damn gun...'"
A drunk staggers into a Catholic Church, enters a confessional booth,sits down but says nothing.The Priest coughs a few times to get his attention but the drunk continues to sit there.Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall.The drunk mumbles, "Ain't no use knockin, there's no paper on this side either."

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Hans Ulrich Rudel’s book, “Stuka Pilot” is probably my all time favorite book about WWII. If half of what he writes is true, he was the most exceptional soldier of the war. Although he fought for the Third Reich, he was not a member of the Nazi party, and has never been accused of war crimes. That being said, let’s do a brief overview of his military career:
Flew 2530 combat missions (more than any airman in any air force ever).
Destroyed 518 Russian Tanks, 700 trucks, over 150 flak and artillery guns, 9 enemy aircraft, countless bridges, rail lines, and bunkers, and most impressive of all, the battleship October Revolution, and the cruiser Marat, in addition to scores of other smaller naval vessels.

Rudel did not emerge unscathed from these engagements. He was shot down 32 times (one of which, he had to swim a river in freezing temperatures and then sneak through occupied territory for several miles, getting winged in the shoulder outrunning some Russian soldiers), and lost part of his right leg, but still flew until the end of the war.

Rudel was also the most decorated German soldier, being awarded the Knight’s Cross with Golden Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds (an award created especially for him, as he had won every other decoration available). The funniest thing is that he nearly washed out of flight school because he was taking too long to master the aircraft.

Postwar, Rudel carved out a new life in Argentina working for the Focke-Wulf aircraft company, and made a name for himself as a mountain climber, scaling the highest peak in the Americas, Aconcagua.

The book is a great read. Even though I am an American, I can admire the accomplishments of this man and be against him at the same time. If he had been on our side, just think of how much quicker we would have won the war. He can never be a hero to me, as he never renounced the Nazi's after the war. In fact, in 1982 when he died, a West German Luftwaffe general was sacked for authorizing a flight of aircraft in the “missing man” formation over his funeral. I do respect him for what he accomplished. How can one find heroes in the ranks of our soldiers if they can’t face a truly exceptional adversary . Rudel was such an adversary. His motto was "Verloren ist nur, wer sich selbst aufgibt" ("Lost are only those, who give up themselves"). Actually, I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been perfect to play him in a film back in the '80's but in this politically correct age this is one film that will never be made. Ironically, Graz, Austria figured prominently in the lives of both men.

“We fly in low from the south; it is dark and murky; I cannot distinguish anything more than 2000 to 2500 feet ahead. Now I see straight in the line of my flight a black moving mass: the road, tanks, vehicles, Russians. I at once yell: “Attack!” Already at almost point blank range the defense looses off a concentrated fire from in front of me, twin and qaudruple flak, machine guns, revealing everything with a livid brightness in this foggy light. I am flying at 90 feet and have bumped right into the middle of this hornet’s nest. Shall I get out of it? I twist and turn in the crazyest defensive maneuvers to avoid being hit: I shoot without taking aim… my head is as hot as the metal screaming past me. A few seconds later a tell-tale hammering. “Engine on fire!” Flames lick the cockpit. Our Kite will be our crematorium. Can we bail out in time?”

This drawing was done with ink and a number 4 brush. Click on it to see it full size, like all other drawings on this blog.I hope you like it- Tim