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The Flying Ace as a Hero: An Analysis of the Representations of Douglas Bader and Erich Hartmann
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Air Operations Division.
2023 (English)In: Heroism Science, E-ISSN 2573-7120, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 1-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study develops a four-factor framework (4F model) based on fear, suffering, values, and characteristics for analyzing depictions of physical-risk martial heroism. Specifically, this framework is applied to assess representations of two World War II flying aces, the Royal Air Force pilot Douglas Bader and his German contemporary from the Luftwaffe, Erich Hartmann. On investigation, it is revealed that Bader and Hartmann are either described as fearless or capable of continuing their heroic journey despite their fears. Moreover, the literature contends that both these pilots experienced immense suffering but eventually overcame them. Regarding values, Bader is portrayed as a conservative patriot, whereas Hartmann is said to be a romantic and chivalrous hero. In terms of their characteristics, the depictions of Bader highlight both his positive and negative traits, whereas the darker sides of the hero are virtually absent in the rosy representations of Hartmann.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 8, no 1, p. 1-23
Keywords [sv]
flying ace, hero, Douglas Bader, Erich Hartmann, World War II, fear, representations, suffering, values, characteristics
National Category
Social Sciences Other Social Sciences
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11980OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11980DiVA, id: diva2:1816423
Available from: 2023-12-01 Created: 2023-12-01 Last updated: 2023-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Heydarian Pashakhanlou, Arash

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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