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Corgi (#AA38907) 1/48 Scale
One of the early aviators who helped to establish the importance of military aviation on the battlefield, Rudolf Berthold learnt to fly by paying for his own flying lessons whilst serving in the pre-war Imperial German Army. At the start of the Great War, he was initially sent back to his Army unit for training, but quickly transferred to the Luftstreitkräfte and an initial posting as an aerial observer. By the beginning of 1916, Berthold was at the controls of a Fokker Eindecker and his first aerial victory soon followed – by the end of the year, he would be one of Germany’s first air aces, with eight victories to his name.
Serving throughout the Great War, Berthold earned the nickname ‘Iron Man’ due to the many serious injuries he received during combat, several of which saw him discharging himself from hospital so he could return to his unit. Incredibly, his final sixteen aerial victories were all gained flying the magnificent Fokker D.VII fighter and all whilst flying using just one hand. Injured during combat with SE5a fighters of No.56 Squadron RFC in October 1917, Berthold’s right arm was shattered so severely by a bullet which ricocheted into his cockpit, that amputation was seriously considered. Although avoiding such drastic surgery, the injury would trouble Berthold for the rest of his flying career, even though he would end the war with 44 aerial victories. Serving throughout the Great War, the combat flying career of Germany’s seventh most successful air ace Ru
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