Let me say up front, he was a dyed in the wool, hard corp, unrepentant Nazi to his dying day (in 1982!). But none the less, he was one muy malo hombre! had big brass cojones and was a heck of a soldier, any way you slice it.
He flew the whole war on the Russian front in a Ju87, familiarly known as ye olde Stuka. Remember the American pilot who landed and rescued another fighter in a P51? Well, this guy made a habit of it, allowing there was a bit more room in the Stuka. He got himself captured that way and managed to escape from the Russians with a bullet in his shoulder no less. Though shot down a number of times by ground fire, he was never brought down by a fighter. He lost his leg and returned to flying combat.
He is credited with sinking a Soviet battleship. By March 44 he had flown his 1500th mission. I m not sure how many he flew in all, the number in the film I expect is much inflated but still, to have flown so many missions in a Stuka and survived?! He was so highly decorated they even created a decoration just for him! In 1944,Major Rudel was awarded Diamonds to his Knights Cross with Oak leaves and Swords, the highest German military award. Then in November of 1944, while flying near Budapest, he was shot in the thigh but returned to service few days later with his leg in a plaster cast. He was then awarded the Knights Cross with Golden Oak leaves, Swords and Diamonds, being the only recipient of this award specially created just for him
Being a Nazi to his roots, you can't admire him but, no matter his politics, you have to respect his courage, dedication to what he belived and his skill in combat. Such successes cannot be attributed to luck alone by any means though he no doubt had more than his share of that too. Here's a link with more about him... http://www.achtungpanzer.com/gen9.htm
I just thought this might be of interest. As a foot note to this, I have been on duty in Kitzigen where he landed to surrender to the Americans. (They shoulda turned him over to the Russians. That would have fixed him. Maybe. After all, Bader escaped the Nazis with two artificial legs...)