Saturday, July 01, 2023


A yearly NATO exercise involving 10,000 personnel and some 250 aircraft. Magnificent images of, a.o., the venerable MRCA Tornado, still in service with the Luftwaffe.

Notice, at the 16:09 mark, the Luftwaffe Typhoon with the stylized portrait of General Johannes Steinhoff on its vertical stabilizer. Steinhoff was a famous ace in WW2's Luftwaffe. In the last weeks of the war, he was a member of the famous, albeit small, JV (Jagdverband) 44, an ad hoc Gruppe of Me262 jets raised and commanded by Adolf Galland and grouping together 'Experten' as well as promising novices. Sometime in mid-April 1945, Galland took off in a Kette (a 3-aircraft formation) from JV44's base at Muenchen-Riem, and burst a tire. His Me262 crashed and, choke full of jet fuel, immediately took fire. Somehow Steinhoff managed to get out of the jet, but engulfed in flames as it was, he suffered severe burns all over his body. Although he maintained his sight, his eyelids, severely singed, died off, and it wasn't until some 20 years later that Steinhoff (by then a General in the postwar Luftwaffe) was operated so that finally he could close his eyes again!

Hat tip Kuruki (twitter handle @Kuruki23882260 ).