PHOTOGRAPH – AUTOGRAPHED – EDUARD RITTER VON SCHLEICH – ORIGINAL LARGE FORMAT – FROM WORLD WAR II.
This is an original photograph of General der Flieger Eduard Ritter von Schleich (1888-1947). The large photograph. It shows von Schleich seated at a table or desk. He is wearing a General’s uniform, with the Orden Pour le Mérite that he received during WW I around his neck. He is also wearing a large medal bar that would have included Bavaria’s Military Max Josef Order (whereby he was knighted and given the title “Ritter”). He retained that title for the rest of his life.
Von Schleich was one of the better-known Bavarian Aviation Aces, with thirty-five confirmed victories over British and French airplanes. His planes sported Bavaria’s Lion rampant on a blue and white checkerboard background. He eventually became known as the “Black Knight of Germany” when he had his airplanes painted all black to honor the death of a fellow pilot. While not known as well as Manfred von Richthofen and his red airplanes, von Schleich made his mark over the Western Front’s skies. He also later commanded Jagdgruppe Nr 8, JG 4b.
Prior to WW II he commanded JG 26, which went on to become the most famous on the second war’s Western Front. He was then reassigned to command a fighter pilot school. During the later part of WW II, he commanded Luftwaffe forces in both Denmark and Norway. After the war, he was held in British custody for war crimes. These charges were never proved and he was never brought to trial. He died in captivity in 1947.
The photograph displays a large, bold, black ink, “Ritter von Schleich” signature. This very fine example is a consignment item.