25 March 1915|
|Died||10 July 1984
|Years of service||1933–1945|
|Unit||JG 333, JG 77, JG 11, JG 76, JG 26, JG 300|
|Commands held||II./JG 26, JG 76, JG 11|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords|
Anton "Toni" Hackl (25 March 1915 in Regensburg – 10 July 1984 in Regensburg) was a German former Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He was one of the very few Luftwaffe 'first-to-last' Experten who survived the whole war, serving from 1939 until 1945.
World War II
Unteroffizier Hackl was serving with II./Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77—77th Fighter Wing) when war broke out.[Note 1] By May 1940, Hackl was based in Norway, with JG 77 when he claimed his first in June 1940 shooting down two Royal Air Force (RAF) Hudsons. On 27 June he shot down another Hudson, but was also wounded. He claimed four victories during his time in Norway.
In July 1941 he was posted with JG 77 to the Eastern Front. By the end of year his score was 27. By early 1942 he was Staffelkapitän of 5 Staffel./JG 77. His score rapidly increased during the spring of 1942, and by May 1942, after 51 victories he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). During the month of July 1942, Hackl amassed 37 enemy aircraft shot down in the aerial battles around Voronezh, including 6 victories in a day on both 21 July and 23 July. In August, he shot down three to record his 100th victory. After his 106th victory on 6 August he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). He shot down his 118th enemy aircraft on the Eastern Front, (a Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3), in September 1942.
II./JG 77 were then transferred to Tunisia where Hackl claimed 6 victories. In combat with P-38 Lightnings on 4 February 1943 he was badly wounded and was hospitalised for several months. Returning to duties in September 1943, Hackl next operated with III./Jagdgeschwader 11 (JG 11—11th Fighter Wing) on Reichsverteidigung (Defense of the Reich) duties. On 1 October, he became Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) III./JG 11. Hackl went on to claim 25 four-engined bombers shot down during his time with the III. Gruppe. In April 1944, he commanded JG 11 briefly before being badly wounded in battle with a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) P-47 Thunderbolt. He was awarded the Schwerter on 9 July. During July 1944 he became Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) of Jagdgeschwader 76 (JG 76—76th Fighter Wing).
On 8 October he became Gruppenkommandeur of II./Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter" (JG 26—26th Fighter Wing) with 165 victories to his credit. By the end of the year he now had 172 victories. By late January 1945 he was acting Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 300 (JG 300—300th Fighter Wing) and, in late February, Geschwaderkommodore of JG 11. His last 24 victories were never officially confirmed.
Anton Hackl flew about 1000 combat missions and was officially credited with shooting down 192 enemy aircraft plus another 24 unconfirmed aerial victories. 131 victories were claimed while serving on the Eastern Front, six victories have been claimed in Africa and 55 on the Western Front. Among these numbers are 34 four-engined bombers which puts him in second place behind Georg-Peter Eder as the leading daylight bomber claimant. 55 claims were made with JG 11, 10 with JG 26, 1 with JG 300, and 124 while flying with JG 77. He was shot down eight times and wounded four times. Anton Hackl died on 9 July 1984 in Regensburg.
- Wound Badge in Gold
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with Pennant "1000"
- Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Bergström & Mikhailov 2001, p. 197.
- Thomas 1997, p. 235.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 358.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 209.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 60.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 44.
- Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6.
- Bergström, Christer & Mikhailov, Andrey (2001), Black Cross / Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front, Volume II, Resurgence January–June 1942, California: Pacifica Military History. ISBN 0-935553-51-7.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
- Weal, John (1996). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Western Front. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-595-0.
- Weal, John (1999). Bf 109F/G/K Aces of the Western Front. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-905-0.
- Weal, John (2001). Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
- Weal, John (2011). Fw 190 Defence of the Reich Aces. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-84603-482-4.
- Frey, Gerhard; Herrmann, Hajo: Helden der Wehrmacht – Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2004. ISBN 3-924309-53-1.
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Anton Hackl. Archived from the original on 17 April 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Anton Hackl. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
Oberstleutnant Hermann Graf
|Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 11
April 1944 – April 1944
Major Herbert Ihlefeld
Major Jürgen Harder
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 11
8 May 1944 - 20 February 1945
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 76
August 1944 – October 1944
Major Ernst Düllberg
Major Kurd Peters
|Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 300 Wilde Sau
30 January 1945 – 20 February 1945
Major Kurd Peters