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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 2 May 1892Breslau, Silesia, Germany [now Wroclaw, Dolnoslaskie, Poland]
Date of Death 21 April 1918Vaux-sur-Somme, Somme, France  (killed in action - shot down)
Birth NameManfred-Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen
Nickname Der Rote Kampfflieger, Der rote Baron, Der Rote Teufel, The Red Baron, La Petite Rouge.

Mini Bio (1)

Born in 1892 in Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland) Richthofen was the son of a hereditary baron. A daredevil for life, he was an avid hunter and mountain climber. With Germany's entrance into WW1 in 1914, Richthofen mobilized in a Silesian cavalry unit, and survived the first battle of Verdun in 1915. Soon after, he transferred to the Luftwaffe (Imperial German Air Force) as a bombardier. By 1916, however, he was tapped for training in the then-new art of fighter combat, flying an Albatros D.2 in March, 1916. By the end of 1916, Richthofen was a certified ace, having downed over 20 aircraft, including the number one British ace up to that time, Maj. Lanoe Hawker. Due to his tally, Richthofen earned the medal "Pour le Merite" (yes, the official name's in French) in December 1916. Throughout the rest of the war, the legend of the Red Baron continued to grow, as did his kill tally, officially reaching 80 kills in April 1918. On April 21 of that year, Richthofen led a routine strafing mission against the British trenches in the Somme region and was killed with a single .303 bullet to the chest, most likely fired from the ground.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trivia (12)

He was called the Red Baron or "Le Petit Rouge" for his practice of painting his aircraft red, for the pragmatic purpose of maximum visibility to his squadronmates.
Commanded Jagdgescwader (Air Wing) no. 2, known as "The Flying Circus" for the colorful paint jobs of the planes. Richthofen's personal squadron in JG2, Jasta 11, all painted their craft in red with different colored highlights, in emulation of Richthofen.
During combat in late 1917, he was hit in the back of the head by fire from another aircraft: he survived (the bullet did not penetrate his skull) and he returned to combat in January 1918.
There were false rumors that the RFC (Royal Flying Corps--the forerunner to the RAF) had formed a special squadron with the express purpose of killing Richthofen.
He was most famous for flying a Fokker Dr.1 tri-plane, although he flew the craft only for the last three months of his life.
The famous Nazi officer Hermann Göring flew in his squadron during World War I.
Richthofen was the highest-scoring pilot in the First World War with 80 confirmed kills (and quite possibly as many as 100 when unconfirmed kills are counted).
Commanded Jagdgeschwader (Air Wing) no. 2, known as "The Flying Circus" for the colorful paint jobs of the planes. Richthofen's personal squadron in Jagdgeschwader 2, Jagdstaffel 11, all painted their craft in red with different colored highlights, in emulation of Richthofen.
Snoopy's imaginary World War I antics and pursuit of von Richthofen in his Sopwith Camel (actually, on top of his dog house) inspired the 1966 hit song "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" by The Royal Guardsmen.
Was killed by Canadian RFC pilot Arthur Roy Brown and the plane was shot down by a trench machine gun just seconds after the blow.
His memoirs were published right after the war ended and have since gone through several editions. The first American edition was released in 1969 and has gone through 2-3 editions here since.
After von Richthofen was shot down and killed, he was buried with full military honors by his enemies. A metal plate was placed on his casket that read in English and German "Here rests Captain Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, fallen on the field of honor at twenty-five years, in an aerial combat on 21 April 1918.".

Personal Quotes (2)

If I should come out of this war alive, I will have more luck than brains.
I like to fly, not to kill

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