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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Feb 2008 10:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

From Popkin’s letter it is apparent that Popkin missed when he first opened fire. The German triplane was heading towards him when this happened. He then fired for the second time and was firing as the pilot of the triplane was going away from him whilst banking. This is quite consistent with Popkin firing a bullet that entered von Richthofen’s body at the ninth rib in the posterior axillary line. The angle of Popkin’s fire was quite consistent with the trajectory of the bullet that killed von Richthofen, that is to say it was in a line from behind the midline of the pilot’s trunk and from below,

Further confirmation of Popkin’s letter is available from a letter from Popkin’s commanding officer, Captain F R Watts, in the Bean Papers:


19 11 29.
Sergeant Popkin allowed the British plane to pass and then fired at Richthofen who made a right swing and then came back to the gun and this time at a lower height when Popkin fired about 200 rounds at him and Richthofen swung round to the right and just managed to clear the ridge and crashed. I can assure you that there was no-one else had a chance to bring him down because there was no other guns close enough except mine.”

GUNNER BUIE’S CLAIM
Dale Titler wrote his book to support the claim of Gunner Buie that it was he who shot down Richthofen with his Lewis gun as the triplane approached the eastern slope of the shallow hill about 1000 yards east of Bonnay. Titler has quoted a statement attributed to Buie (21) as follows:


We were free to fire at any time without command, but as the planes neared us barely 50 feet off the brow of the ridge I was prevented from firing immediately as the two machines were almost in line, with Lt. May's plane blocking my line of fire.

Major Beavis and Lieutenant Doyle were on my right and left respectively, near Evan’s gun position, about 30 yards away. Lieutenant Ellis, on slightly lower ground at my centre, observed the oncoming planes from the flank and shouted, ‘Fire on that plane, Buie!’ But I still could not, owing to Lieutenant May's position.

I was swivelling my gun to follow the red machine, and Snowy Evans, manning the other gun on the opposite flank, got first clearance. He opened up at a range of slightly more than 300 yards. The triplane flew steadily on, still firing short bursts at the Camel it was now barely 20 yards behind and 10 feet above May. Very close indeed. I was at the ready with my finger on the trigger, waiting the clearance.

It came.

I can still remember seeing Richthofen clearly. His helmet covered most of his head and face and he was hunched in the cockpit aiming over his guns at the lead plane. It seemed that with every burst he leaned forward in the cockpit as though concentrating very intently on his fire. Certainly he was not aware of his dangerous position or of the close range of our guns. His position was much as a strafing attack would appear, and had he not been so intent upon shooting down Lieutenant May, he could easily have manoeuvred his machine and fired upon us, had he been so inclined. Richthofen and his men frequently strafed our trenches to the east.

At 200 yards, with my peep sight directly on Richthofen's body I began firing with steady bursts. His plane was bearing frontal and just a little to the right of me and after 20 rounds I knew that the bullets were striking the right side and front of the machine, for I clearly saw fragments flying.

Still Richthofen came on firing at Lieutenant May with both guns blazing. Then just before my last shots finished at a range of 40 yards Richthofen's guns stopped abruptly. The thought flashed through my mind —I've hit him! — and immediately I noticed a sharp change in engine sound (22) as the red triplane passed over our gun position at less than 50 feet and still a little to my right. It slackened speed considerably and the propeller slowed down although the machine still appeared to be under control. Then it veered a bit to the right and then back to the left and lost height gradually coming down near an abandoned brick kiln 400 yards away on the Bray-Corbie road.

I looked to my gun. It was empty. I had fired a full pannier....

Buie also commented on the bullet wounds sustained by Richthofen:

A guard was placed over the body and after awhile it was brought to our position. Major Beavis claimed the body for the 53rd and it was placed on a nearby stretcher. There I saw it. In the crash Richthofen's face was thrown against the gun butts and suffered minor injuries. Blood had come from his mouth which indicated at first glance that a fatal bullet had pierced a lung.

According to the popular version, death came from a single bullet which had entered his back and passed forward through the chest.

This was not true.

Richthofen was struck in the left breast, abdomen and right knee. (23) I examined these wounds as his body lay on the stretcher. His fur-lined boots were missing, as were his helmet and goggles and other personal effects, these having been taken before his body arrived at the battery. He was wearing silk pajamas under his flying clothes.

The wounds were all frontal. Their entrances were small and clean and the exit points were slightly larger and irregular in the back. Later, Colonel Barber of the Australian Corps and Colonel Sinclair of the Fourth Army, both medical officers, made separate examinations of the body and their reports agreed that the chest wound was definitely caused by ground fire. (24)

Interestingly there is also a very similar statement, also said to be told to Titler by Buie, published in a magazine in 1959. (25) However this differs from the statement published in Titler’s book in minor, but appreciable, detail. Although it was stated by Titler, in both publications, that this was Buie’s story, as told to him, the variation in the text of the two versions suggests that Buie’s story was not published verbatim but was, at least, edited by Titler.

CONCLUSIONS
Who shot Baron Manfred von Richthofen? There can only be four possible answers.

1. Richthofen was shot by Captain Brown.
The postmortem examinations revealed entrance and exit wounds from a bullet which must have entered the body from the right, from the side, from behind and from below the body as it was sitting in the cockpit. Such a track means that the bullet would have passed through Richthofen’s heart. Although Captain Brown did approach from Richthofen’s right, it is difficult to see how, firing as he did from above, he could have inflicted such a wound unless Richthofen was steeply banking his triplane at the time that he was shot. For what it is worth, the newspaper article in the Chicago ‘Sunday Tribune’, attributed to Captain Brown, did not mention such a bank. In this article Brown referred to Richthofen looking back at him when Brown fired at him and a steep bank therefore seems most unlikely.

Be that as it may, there is ample evidence from eye witnesses that Richthofen continued to pursue Lieutenant May along the Somme valley for about a minute, firing his gun and concentrating on his target. This would have been impossible if Richthofen had been shot through the heart by Brown.

2. He was shot by Gunner Robert Buie.
Again the track of the bullet makes it very unlikely that Buie could have shot Richthofen. From the statement attributed to Buie by Titler, Buie was firing when the triplane: “was bearing frontal and just a little to the right of me” and he could not have inflicted the wound that entered the body from behind. Buie stated: ‘Still Richthofen came on firing at Lieutenant May with both guns blazing. Then just before my last shots finished at a range of 40 yards Richthofen's guns stopped abruptly...” Therefore at no time did Buie fire at Richthofen from behind.

3. He was shot by Sergeant Popkin.
Bean and Carisella both came to this conclusion and this is supported by abundant eye witness evidence and by the track of the bullet Popkin first fired when Richthofen was approaching him from the Somme valley but he failed to stop Richthofen. After coming under fire from Buie and Gunner Evans, at the Lewis gun emplacement, the German aeroplane turned away from the gunfire and it was then, when the triplane was flying away from Popkin, that he opened fire with his Vickers gun for the second time. (26) Popkin continued to fire while the triplane completed the turn, and actually flew towards the Vickers gun, but there is no doubt that Popkin could have inflicted a bullet wound that entered Richthofen from below, from the side and slightly behind, just as was found at the postmortem examination. Neither Captain Brown nor Gunner Buie could have inflicted such a wound and it is therefore more probable than not that it was indeed Popkin who fired the fatal shot.

I say “more probable than not” because it is impossible to exclude the fourth possibility.

4. Richthofen was shot by an unknown Australian soldier who fired his rifle at the triplane as it flew over him and who scored a lucky hit.
This can never be disproved as the .303 rifle bullet was used by the Lee-Enfield Service rifle as well as the Lewis gun and the Vickers machine gun.

All that we can be sure of is that the entry and exit wounds on von Richthofen’s body meant that the bullet passed through the heart, or great vessels, and he could not have remained conscious for more than about thirty seconds after being hit. The fatal bullet had therefore to have been fired at von Richthofen at the end of the pursuit and this is likely to have been at the time when the triplane was observed to turn away from the hill where the Lewis gun batteries were situated.

SUMMARY
The Official post mortem examination report is, in all probability, flawed and it is most likely that the bullet track was along a line joining the entrance and exit wounds. In other words the bullet came from behind, below and lateral to von Richthofen. There is little doubt that the bullet penetrated his heart and was fatal. Neither Captain Brown nor Gunner Buie could have inflicted such a wound.

The only known gunner that could have done so was Sergeant Popkin when he opened fire for the second time when Richthofen was turning away from him. Richthofen then lost control of his aeroplane and crashed, he was dead when his aeroplane hit the ground.

From the evidence of the postmortem examination and from eyewitnesses it was therefore most probably Sergeant Popkin who fired the fatal shot, although a lucky shot from an unknown soldier firing his rifle can not be excluded.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.
I must thank all those who gave me advice and support in writing this article and in particular I must make special mention of Mr Bill Bacon Jr of Canyon, Texas, USA, who not only gave invaluable advice but also made available photostats of many of the articles referred to in the text and even sent me his copy of Carisella & Ryan.

I also thank the Australian War Memorial for permission to publish the original documents in the Bean Papers and the staff of the research section of the Australian War Memorial who were so helpful in making these available to me on the one day that I could be there.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Feb 2008 10:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

NOTES and REFERENCES
1. C. E. W. Bean, Official History of Australia in the War of 1914 - 1918 Angus & Robertson, Vol. V. 1935, Appendix No. 4, ’The death of Richthofen’
2. Philip Markham, “The Events of 21 April, 1918", Over the Front; Vol. 8, Number 2, 1993, pp. 123 - 137.
3. Dale M. Titler, The Day the Red Baron Died. Ian Allan , London, 1973.
4. P. J. Carisella and James W. Ryan, Who Killed the Red Baron, Paperback Edition, Avon Books, New York, 1979; originally published by Daedalus Publishing Company, 1969.
5. Australian War Memorial Archives; AWM 38 30RL, 606 Item 270 (1). Richthofen Papers.
6. Dennis Newton, “The Spectre of the Red Baron, Part 2”, Journal of the Australian War Memorial; No. 9, 1986, p. 47.
7. Bean, ibid: p. 699.
8. William J. O’Dwyer, “Post-Mortem: Richthofen”, Cross & Cockade Journal; Vol 10, No. 4, Winter 1969. P. 289.
9. It is worth mentioning that, even though there is no evidence that the bullet was deflected by the vertebral column as stated by Dr Sinclair, if that event had happened the bullet would still have passed through the heart or great vessels and consciousness would still have been lost in 20 to 30 seconds. The difference between the opinions on the bullet’s track relates to the angle that the bullet made to the axis of the body, rather than the severity of the wound.
10. Carisella & Ryan, ibid; p. 77.
11. Carisella & Ryan, ibid. pp. 122 and 123.
12. Bean, ibid; p. 694.
13. Bean, ibid; p. 694
14. There was a hand written notation in the margin: “Note to Dr Bean that this was the number of the plane Richthofen was flying when he brought down his 79th and 80th victories.”
15. Bean, ibid; p. 696.
16. This statement about von Richthofen’s head wound was not confirmed by any of the doctors who examined the body. The postmortem injuries to von Richthofen’s face, caused by the gun sights, may have been mistakenly attributed by Travers to a gunshot wound.
17. Bean Papers.
18. This is incorrect, the red German triplane was chasing Lt May and was attacked by Captain Brown who dived on von Richthofen’s tail.
19. Bean Papers.
20. The reference to the X and the two crosses applies to a sketch map that Popkin attached to his letter. Unfortunately It was not possible to reproduce this sketch as photostat reproductions were not permitted by the Australian War Memorial Archives section; however the sketch indicated that Popkin opened fire as Richthofen was flying away from him at the beginning of Richthofen’s turn and continued firing as von Richthofen continued to turn and came towards Popkin. He then stopped firing and the triplane then crashed.
21. Titler, ibid.; pp. 229-230.
22. The change in sound of the triplane’s engine may have been a Doppler effect causing a change in pitch as the aeroplane passed over.
23. This was not confirmed by the postmortem medical examinations
24. Only Dr Barber made such a statement.
25. Robert Buie, as told to Dale Titler, “I Killed Richthofen!”, The Cavalier Magazine; December 1959.
26. Popkin’s letter to Bean in the Bean Papers.

Created: Sunday, August 09, 1998, 12:42 Last Updated: Sunday, 16 September 2001, 1106

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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Feb 2008 11:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Red Baron Blazed High Over World War I

It was the spring of 1918, and World War I was going badly for Germany.

The Allies were gaining air superiority over Europe's battlefields, with planes and tactics that erased the Germans' earlier edge.

Viewing the gloom, Germany's high command wanted its top propaganda tool out of harm's way.

But Manfred von Richthofen refused to leave the front. He wouldn't let his fame give him the safety and comfort not afforded others in the trenches.

Richthofen -- the legendary Red Baron -- was credited with 80 wins in just two years of combat, before his death in battle in that last year of the war.

He was the most decorated German flier and had more wins than any pilot in the war.

The Baron was feared in the skies. Those who opposed him also respected him.

The Australian troops who recovered his body from his downed tri-wing airplane buried him with full military honors. Six Australian captains carried his casket. An honor guard fired off a rifle salute.

"Irrespective of nationality, that kind of daring and bravery are very admirable qualities," Peter Kilduff, an author of six books on the Baron and an editor of a World War I aviation historical journal, told IBD. "You may not like the country he represents, but you have to appreciate what the man did."

In Step

Richthofen was born in 1892 in Kleinburg, a town in Germany that later became Wroclaw, Poland.

His father was an army officer, and even though Richthofen expressed disinterest in the military, his dad insisted. So he entered a cadet institute at age 11. Upon graduation, he landed in a cavalry unit.

After World War I broke out in 1914, he served on the Eastern and Western fronts as a cavalry scout.

But warfare evolved quickly. The Great War bogged down into a conflict of trenches, defended by barbed wire and machine guns. The cavalry couldn't roam behind enemy lines, gathering intelligence, the way it had in previous wars.

"He had been reduced to a dispatch rider," Kilduff said. "He was just taking mail from there to there. It was very frustrating for him. He was trained to be a man of action."

One day, Kilduff says, Richthofen looked up and saw scout planes crossing the lines with impunity. So he asked for a transfer to the army flying corps, the Luftstreitkraefte. Then he asked again. And again.

"He was not content with the status quo," Kilduff said. "He was a guy who knew what he wanted and just kept pushing and pushing until he got it."

Once the flying corps accepted him, Richthofen scoured the Eastern front. Accompanying a pilot in a two-seater, he looked for Allied artillery positions and formations. Soon he was training as a pilot.

Now with his hand on the throttle, Richthofen saw combat over both fronts in 1916. The next year, he took command of a fighter squadron on the Western front.

With that group, he would see his highest one-month win total, downing more than 20 British aircraft that April. His and other German pilots' success led the British to dub it Bloody April.

By June, he was in charge of a new force -- fighter squadrons that could be rushed to any part of the front that needed support. With their bright colors, these planes were called Richthofen's Circus.

"He wanted to do more," Kilduff said. "He was ambitious, very, very ambitious."

That Richthofen was a superbly skilled pilot is without doubt. But flying ability alone may not account for his dogfight victories. He also had luck, says Vwani Roychowdhury.

Roychowdhury and fellow researcher Mikhail Simkin, professors at the University of California, Los Angeles, looked at the records of German World War I aces and applied statistical analysis. With the number of pilots in the sky, one of them had to reach 80 wins.

"On the first day you go up, you could be very skilled, but you find yourself in a bad alignment with another fighter pilot, and you could be shot down," Roychowdhury said. "Chance definitely does play a role."

He doesn't dismiss Richthofen's ability. "He was special, of course -- in the top quarter of an elite group," Roychowdhury told IBD. "But it could have been someone else."

But it wasn't. Kilduff lauds the Baron for earning his reputation.

Although Richthofen came from nobility, he had to face the meritocracy of the Prussian academies and German military -- and he thrived.

"Achievements mattered more than background," Kilduff said. "The old-boy network went right out the window. If a pilot started to achieve something, he got rewarded."

Even if Richthofen had luck, it eventually ran out.

In July 1917, he suffered a head wound in a dogfight and had to land. It was the only time he was shot down.

Near the end of his days, some authors say, Richthofen became more fatalistic. Perhaps he expected to die in combat.

But he refused to leave the front.

"Higher authority has suggested that I should quit flying before it catches up with me," he wrote in an essay, translated by Frank McGuire in "The Many Deaths of the Red Baron: The Richthofen Controversy, 1918-2000."

"But I should despise myself if, now that I am famous and heavily decorated, I consented to live on as a pensioner of my honor, preserving my precious life for the nation while every poor fellow in the trenches, who is doing his duty no less than I am doing mine, has to stick it out."

Some speculate that the 1917 brush with death changed him. He apparently suffered depression, headaches and questionable judgment.

Whatever the cause, he chased a plane alone at low altitude behind Allied lines. It was a fatal error -- one he had cautioned younger fliers against.

That final mission came on April 21, 1918, near the Somme River in France. Richthofen was going after a British Sopwith Camel, piloted by a Canadian. A second British plane, piloted by Canadian Arthur Brown, dived and fired at the Baron.

Exactly what happened next is still in dispute.

The Baron dodged that attack and turned back to continue the chase of the first plane. Then his famous triplane crashed into a field.

Some accounts say the Baron died just as Australian troops arrived. Years later, reports in a German magazine claimed that he survived the landing and was executed by the Australian troops.

Kilduff debunks the latter version.

The End

In his book, Kilduff contends the Baron likely died instantly when a bullet pierced his heart in flight. The plane then glided into the field, uncontrolled.

Britain's air force credited Brown with the kill. Kilduff and other historians now say Australian ground fire brought down the great ace.

In his decades of research, Kilduff interviewed many German and Allied World War I fliers before they died. They disputed the idea of chivalry in those early days of air combat.

But the Baron had their respect.

"He didn't get it for his chivalry, I'll tell you that," Kilduff said. "He earned their respect by the fact that he was so effective. If you were an unskilled pilot, you wanted to stay out of his sights. If you were a skilled pilot, he was a challenge."
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Feb 2008 15:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hmmm dit is ook een leuke discussie hierover.

Who killed the Red Baron?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Mrt 2008 20:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kan mij iemand vertellen waar Manfred Von Richthofen precies is begraven ?

Wss niet in Frankrijk

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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Mrt 2008 20:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

lord kitchener @ 30 Mrt 2008 20:24 schreef:
Kan mij iemand vertellen waar Manfred Von Richthofen precies is begraven ?



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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Apr 2008 20:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ik weet niet of deze link al gepost is:

http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/comment/richt.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Apr 2008 10:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het neerschieten van Manfred von Richthofen was vandaag precies 90 jaar geleden!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Apr 2008 11:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Vrijdag nieuw gekocht bij De Slegte in Eindhoven voor € 5.95:

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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Apr 2008 12:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Bedankt voor de tip. Eens kijken hoe dit boek nu weer over von Richthofen denkt. Overigens zijn deze week op ZDF twee programma's over hem te zien: een film die hem nogal ophemelt, en een documentaire die min of meer gehakt van hem maakt. Hij blijft omstreden...
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Apr 2008 13:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lingekopf:
De docu is op ZDF.
Op welke zender en wanneer is de film ?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jun 2008 16:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

An interview with Baron Hermann von Richthofen

This interview with Hermann von Richthofen (HvR) was carried out by the television production company 3BM for the Channel 4 programme Dogfight: The mystery of the Red Baron. Baron Hermann von Richthofen (b. 1933) – the grand-nephew of the Red Baron – was formerly the German ambassador to Nato and to the UK.

Early training

3BM: What was Manfred von Richthofen like as a young man?

HvR: Manfred was a young nobleman. The Richtofen family were landed gentry in Silesia. Most of them were landowners, farmers, lawyers, diplomats or professors ... rarely also soldiers. His father had been a soldier. They had a very happy family life. His father, due to an accident, had to go on early retirement and lived in a town house in Schweidnitz, which still exists today. Manfred had a very happy youth: he was athletic, he was strong, he was joyful and he very much liked shooting, riding, swimming as young boys do!

3BM: Was he a good marksman early on?

HvR: Yes, I think he was. It was more the choice of his father for him to go to boarding school to be trained as a later officer. It was not particularly his choice, but he followed his father's example. After having finished the school, he entered the 1st Regiment of Uhlans, named after the Russian emperor Alexander III, and he went in the footpath of his father.

3BM: As a cavalry officer?

HvR: Yes, that's right. It was normal for a young nobleman to serve in the cavalry, which was the élite troop. Particularly if you come from family in Silesia, you would enter that.



First duties

3BM: At the start of the war, what was Manfred doing?

HvR: Manfred was not a 'hoorah' patriot. He was with his regiment on the German-Russian border, and they hoped that peace would prevail. They were surprised that this was not the case. When war started, he thought of entering fresh and in good spirits into this adventure. But later, in 1918, he thought quite differently about war and what it was asking from people.

3BM: Was he attracted to the new aerial fliers?

HvR: The role of cavalry in the First World War was no longer as an attack force but reconnaissance, and that's what Manfred primarily did on the Russian front. But, in a way, he saw no development for himself. He got bored and wanted to have a more exciting role in this war. When he met people who served in the air force (which was not existing as such), he got attracted and he thought that could be something for him. You could have success, it would be a very mobile life and that's what he wanted to have for himself.

3BM: Why didn't he train as a pilot straightaway?

HvR: He thought he should go to the air force, no matter what role he had. He thought to train as a pilot would take much too long a time. He wanted to have it now. Therefore, he was quite happy to be going in reconnaissance and bomber flights as a companion [observer] but not as a pilot.

3BM: Did he enjoy his first flight?

HvR: He was maybe not a talented flier from the outset. He failed his first flying exam, but he was very quick at grasping the essentials, and learned and enjoyed it. He once said, 'It's wonderful to hunt from the air!'

3BM: Was Manfred a natural flier?

HvR: He felt at home in the air, but what is a natural flier? I mean, he was trained as a pilot, and over time, he acquired a competence and quality which hardly anybody else reached. Is it natural? Is it inborn? I don't know.



His relationship with Boelcke

3BM: How important in his life was the first meeting with [Fokker test pilot Oswald] Boelcke?

HvR: I think this is very, very important for him because he considered Boelcke as very competent, which he was, very serious, and a man already practising what Manfred wanted to achieve. Manfred asked his advice and Boelcke told him, 'If you want to have my experience, you must fly and you must become a pilot.' Then Manfred decided to go through the training and become a pilot.

3BM: Boelcke became one of his mentors?

HvR: Yes, Boelcke became a key mentor in his life. But Manfred developed his tactics and theory further on, and in the end, he wrote his own manual on air operations.

3BM: What qualities did Boelcke see in Manfred?

HvR: Certainly Boelcke must have seen his talent, but also his talent as a natural leader – Manfred was very charismatic. They both knew each other very well, so Boelcke knew very well who he was picking out.

3BM: What lessons did he learn from Boelcke?

HvR: He spoke with the highest regard of Boelcke. It must have been the tactics and also the leadership, and Manfred, like Boelcke, was a very modest man.

3BM: What was the effect on Manfred of the loss of Boelcke?

HvR: A great personal loss. A shock as well. And it demonstrated to him how near death was. I remember one scene when he was home in Schweidnitz and he showed a photo to his mother [in which he was] surrounded by young comrades. She was asking, 'Oh, what is this lieutenant doing?' Manfred said, 'He's dead.' Then she pointed to another one, and he was also dead. And then he said, 'Don't ask any further. They're all dead.' That's terrible!



Manfred's character

3BM: What attracted Manfred to the Eindecker [single-wing, single-seater plane] fighter pilots?

HvR: Maybe the question of success. They became, in the early years, already known. Manfred wasn't out for being famous, but it must have played a role as well.

3BM: Were they like pop stars?

HvR: It was the first appearance of mass communication in the 20th century, and indeed, the young men were used to distract from the gruesome warfare on the ground. I think there was a deliberate use of these young men, who were good- looking and had success, and they were developed as stars.

3BM: What was Manfred's character?

HvR: He was fearless, he was bold, he was courageous, but he was never, ever hazardous. He had a very balanced mix of all these good qualities. He was never irresponsible, and he was always feeling a high responsibility for his men who flew with him.

3BM: What separated him from other fliers?

HvR: Manfred had high respect for his opponents. He admired the quality in the British air force and also in the aircraft industry. So I think he had a good feeling of fair competence on the other side as well, and I think he recognised if his people had qualities which he could honour.

3BM: Did he take risks?

HvR: He was very responsible, and he knew that he was a leader and should not bring his people, his men into risk. But once he was attacking another plane, he would never give in.

3BM: Did he believe that his role was to protect reconnaissance aircraft?

HvR: Absolutely. He had a mission to fulfil. And he never, ever picked out easy targets to increase his marks. But he was just knowing that the Allies had superiority in the air and that he had to do everything to protect his own front and to prevent reconnaissance on the German side and to defend the German side against in-flying enemy aircraft. So that was his raison d'être – but not to pick out easy targets.

3BM: Was he a cold-blooded killer?

HvR: I cannot see that he was ruthless, ambitious and calculating. On the contrary, he was good-natured. He was bold, yes, and, in a way, ambitious to be recognised in what he was doing. But he was not the killer as he is portrayed in certain media. He never was that. And he suffered greatly, as we know, from the last months of his life, by the war and the victims this war cost.

3BM: What did he believe in?

HvR: He believed in his family. He believed in the virtues. He believed also in his country. I mean, he was a patriot like all airmen from both sides were.

3BM: Did he have any weaknesses?

HvR: I don't know of any. He was a natural young man who also could have a drink with his comrades. He could also play a hand of cards with them, but normally he would retire rather early to be fresh the next day.

3BM: Did he enjoy the celebrity of being an ace and a leader?

HvR: He wasn't indifferent. But he took it natural and he never took any star attitudes. I remember a scene when, in Berlin, he was asked to give autographs and he did it. He said to somebody else, 'Well, you know, I have to do it.' But he didn't do it because he wanted to boast.

3BM: What about the duel with [British ace Lanoe] Hawker?

HvR: I have read about this encounter. Here Manfred really found someone who was matching him, and he was the lucky one because, in the end, he could bring him down. But he really respected his competence and talent.

3BM: Why did he devise 'flying circuses'?

HvR: You needed mobility, and you also needed strength. Therefore, he developed a tactic to go out, if necessary, with 30, 40 planes, in order to have the upper hand. I think he had a good feeling for what was necessary to have supremacy.



The end approaches

3BM: Did his attitude to war change?

HvR: The wound he had in his head caused him pain and long-lasting headaches. So that alone changed his attitude, made him more morose, made him more pensive. Also the war, in the third year, was not the same as in 1914, when on both sides people went out with a great hurrah and enthusiasm. You saw the huge victims; you saw the uselessness of this kind of warfare. I think he knew perfectly well that time had changed and that you had to be very sceptical.

But he stayed in his squadron. He was asked whether he would go to the general staff, but he declined because, he said, 'I do not want to be a high-decorated officer in a safe place and my men are in the dirty field and dying.'

3BM: Is it true that he was due to be recalled?

HvR: I do not know whether his mother requested it. But you can imagine, as a mother and also his father, they were interested that, having served for so long very close to death, he was put a little bit more in the rear. But Manfred did not like this idea. I can imagine that the general staff was interested to save him because they used him – for instance, in the peace negotiations with the Soviets, to impress the Russians, who, in fact, were not impressed at all. So there was an interest to save his life, and the likelihood to be killed was very high.

3BM: Was Manfred interested in retiring from the front?

HvR: He was not interested in retiring from the front line. And I do not know whether, in the end, it was a kind of insight into the fatality of life. He had, as I said earlier, been very serious about the question of life and death, and he must have known that one day he would be a victim himself.


The last flight

3BM: It is ironic that he was killed at the height of his skill ...

HvR: It is very sad and ironic that he was killed – let's say, at the height of his competence and success. On the other hand, he would not have survived as a symbol for chivalrous warfare as he has in being killed.

I was invited by the War Graves Commission and was shown the archives of his burial and this whole ceremony. It's all very neatly inscribed in the books, and it's a great honour for my family that he is still so well remembered. Not only in the air forces of the Allies and Nato, but also in China and Japan and all over the world.

3BM: Why did he break the rules on his last flight?

HvR: Manfred, of course, was a human being, and a human being is not without faults. Yes, he disobeyed his own rules for reasons which we do not know, which we cannot pursue nowadays, but he did and he paid it with his life. For his mother, the only possibility was that he was shot by Major [Roy] Brown from the air. She would have never believed that her son could have been killed from the ground.

3BM: What do you believe?

HvR: I believe both happened – that he was hit from above, but also flying very low and also the Australian rifleman hit him and brought him down. I had a very moving letter from a family – the grandfather had been in this section of the front and he saw Manfred's plane coming down and [ran] to the site. So it really attracted people's interest.

3BM: Why is there controversy?

HvR: Because people want to have the real truth. That's very understandable. And, you know, lots of experts make a lot of estimates about it, so that's natural that you want to clarify.



3BM: Why has Manfred become an icon?

HvR: It is astonishing. It has to do with mass communication and being presented as an icon. But people can use it as a kind of personal courage, as a kind of chivalry and galantry, as a kind of warfare that was not so gruesome as the warfare in Verdun or the Somme battle or so.

They could identify also with him as a person, despite his great success, remaining modest, noble, fair in his attitude, good-natured. That's all together a number of qualities which people like to see in one figure.

3BM: Has Manfred become an enduring symbol?

HvR: To me, he is a symbol of chivalry. He is also a bridge between nations. Therefore, he is so well remembered in all the air forces, and I think that's very consoling as well.

© http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/c-d/dogfight03.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tandorini @ 22 Sep 2010 19:34 schreef:
Een oud artikel uit 2003:

The Red Baron is instantly identifiable with World War I. His all red triplane is synonymous with chivalrous knights of the air gallantly fighting in the skies over France. In reality the Red Baron was Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen. A Prussian of noble lineage who became the most effective, the most feared and ultimately the best known exponent of air combat in the Great War of 1914-1918.

The memory of Richthofen has been mythologized in modern media. Unfortunately his death has received the same treatment. The mystery generated by mass media has surrounded his death. This was due to the uncertainty of the events in the last hour of his life. This mystery has led to disputes, past and present, over who actually shot Richthofen down. The issue in 1918 was handled in a secretive manner by the Royal Air Force. To the point that speculation and rumour replaced documented fact.

Historians such as Floyd Gibbons, Pat Carisella, Dale Titler and Charles MacDonald have studied in depth, the final day of Manfred von Richthofen's life. More recently Norman Franks and Alan Bennett published, "The Red Baron's Last Flight". In the light of this recent publication and their authoritative research, it is timely to ask the question again; Who killed the Red Baron?

Lees verder:
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/12/25/13258/202

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tandorini @ 22 Sep 2010 19:46 schreef:


Het wrak van zijn vliegtuig.



De stoel uit de Fokker Dr I van von Richthofen. ( verzameling Royal Military institute)

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tandorini @ 15 Okt 2010 22:09 schreef:
The Death of Manfred von Richthofen

It is now eighty years since Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Germany’s greatest WW1 fighter pilot, was shot down and killed over the Australian lines in the Western Front in France on 21 April 1918.

Captain Brown, a Canadian pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, flying a Sopwith Camel single seat fighter, was known to have attacked von Richthofen and he was officially credited with shooting him down, eventually receiving a bar to his DSC for the feat. Brown’s claim to have shot down von Richthofen was immediately contested by the Australians because von Richthofen had flown at a very low height directly over their lines and had been fired on by Australian anti-aircraft machine gunners, as well as by many Australian soldiers.

The controversy as to who was responsible for shooting down von Richthofen has continued over the years. C E W Bean, the author of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914 to 1918, carried out considerable research into the death and devoted an Appendix, in Volume V of the Official History, published in 1935, to describe the circumstances in detail (1). Bean was of the opinion that Sergeant Popkin, an Australian Vickers machine gunner, was responsible for shooting down von Richthofen and that Captain Brown had not fired the fatal shot.

There have been many books and articles published since then on the subject of who was responsible for shooting down von Richthofen. Most authors agree that it was an Australian, but disagree as to his identity, however Markham, (2) as late as 1993, did not consider that any Australian was responsible and wrote an article re-attributing the death of von Richthofen to Captain Brown.

This present paper will refer in particular to two books. DaleTitler (3) published a book agreeing that Australian machine gunners were responsible but considered that Gunner Robert Buie, firing a Lewis gun, shot down the German triplane. Carisella and Ryan (4) disagreed with Titler, and supported Bean’s opinion that it was Sergeant Popkin who was responsible.

Lees verder:
http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/comment/richt.htm

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tandorini @ 25 Jun 2011 21:24 schreef:
Vaux sus Somme, dinsdag 21 april 1918

Richthofens formatie vloog op een behoorlijke hoogte, waarschijnlijk op 7000 voet, en ging de strijd aan met een formatie van onze eigen vliegtuigen. Er was een luchtgevecht en plotseling maakte een van onze RE8-vliegtuigen een snelle duik naar 150 voet, gevolgd door Richthofen. Hij haalde onze kist snel in en beschoot het met lichtspoormunitie. Iedereen in de wijde omtrek met een machinegeweer opende het vuur en dat maakte een ongelooflijke herrie. Plotseling haperde Richthofens machine, maar hij herstelde zich en het leek alsof hij weg wilde vliegen. Hij maakte een draai om zijn as en stortte met een geweldige klap neer en lag totaal in puin.
Het duurde even voordat de machine kon worden benaderd want de vijandelijke artillerie, die het vliegtuig ook had zien neerstorten, legde een spervuur rond deze plek. Ze gingen daar een halfuur mee door terwijl Richthofens formatie vier of vijf keer overkwam en ten slotte majestieus wegvloog. Dat was het requiem voor deze onverschrokken en ridderlijke krijger. Toen onze mensen bij het toestel kwamen ontdekten ze dat Richthofen door hoofd en hart was geschoten. Hij droeg papieren bij zich dus we wisten precies wie hij was.
Onze Royal Air Force was snel ter plekke; het wrak en het lichaam van Richthofen werden opgehaald en later die dag is hij met militaire eer begraven. Zijn persoonlijke spullen werden later naar de Duitse linies overgebracht en afgegeven samen met een condoleance boodschap van de Royal Air Force.

Generaal Sir John Monash, Australian Infantry Force.

Uit: Ooggetuigen van de Eerste Wereldoorlog
Uitgeverij Bert Bakker.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tandorini @ 26 Jun 2011 22:26 schreef:
Funeral of the Red Baron:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJUzIKeJJdY&feature=player_embedded#at=102

De stuurkolom van Richthofens vliegtuig (foto: Australian War Memorial):


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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tandorini @ 05 Aug 2012 15:38 schreef:
WHO KILLED THE RED BARON?

PBS Airdate: October 7, 2003

NARRATOR: April 20th, 1918: In the skies over northern France, Allied and German fighter aircraft are locked in a ferocious dogfight. One of the contenders in this aerial battle is the legendary German ace, Manfred von Richthofen: the Red Baron. His distinctive red Fokker triplane is in hot pursuit over the Somme Valley; in its sights are two British Sopwith Camel fighters. First one, and then the second are swiftly eliminated by the deadly marksman. They are the 79th and 80th kills of the Red Baron's career.

Below, the Germans are engaged in a final, massive offensive to end the First World War. German troops and supplies pour into the Somme Valley in northeastern France. To counter them, British and Australian soldiers set up defensive artillery and machine-gun positions on high ground overlooking the River Somme. Part of their job is to watch out for German reconnaissance planes. Both armies need to know the position of each other's forces. This vital intelligence can only be gathered properly from the air.

Protecting German reconnaissance flights, Manfred von Richthofen, Germany's greatest ace, has brought his feared "flying circus" up to the front. Opposing them are Royal Air Force squadrons flying the Sopwith Camel, one of the nimblest fighters ever built. Both sides are flying airplanes vastly more advanced than the primitive machines at the outset of the First World War.

Verder lezen:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3011_redbaron.html

Nog meer:
Inside the Red Baron's Mind
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/mind-red-baron.html

Americans Against the Baron
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/redbaron/americans.html

How Did the Red Baron Die?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/red-baron-theories.html

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

9. November 2012 11:47 Jagdflieger im Ersten Weltkrieg
"Pardon kenne ich nicht mehr"


Um den Mythos vom Roten Baron Manfred von Richthofen als Ritter der Lüfte zu beerdigen, braucht man nur dessen eigenes Buch zu lesen.

Von Markus C. Schulte von Drach

Quote:
Der 23. November 1916 ist ein trüber Tag. Die Schlacht an der Somme ist gerade einige Tage vorüber, als der britische Pilot Laone Hawker mit zwei Kameraden über der Westfront nahe der französischen Stadt Bapaume in einen Luftkampf mit deutschen Jagdfliegern gerät.

Einer der deutschen Piloten bemüht sich, hinter den Briten zu kommen, während dieser das gleiche mit dem Gegner versucht. So kurven die zwei Jagdflugzeuge über dem von den Deutschen besetzten Gebiet umeinander, immer tiefer sinkend, während der Wind die Maschinen weiter in das von den Deutschen besetzte Hinterland bläst.

einem von beiden gelingt es, in Schussposition zu kommen, doch nach einer halben Stunde in diesem Kreisel geht Hawker langsam der Treibstoff aus. Schließlich bleibt dem Briten nichts anderes mehr übrig, als das Kurven aufzugeben und zu versuchen, in hundert Metern Höhe zurück zur Front und hinter die britischen Stellungen zu kommen.

Doch darauf hat der deutsche Pilot nur gewartet. Zwar versucht Hawker noch, seinem Gegner das Zielen mit Zickzack-Flügen zu erschweren, doch der Deutsche braucht sich nun nur noch hinter ihn zu setzen, und jedes Mal, wenn der Brite sein Visier kreuzt, den Abzug seiner zwei Maschinengewehre durchzuziehen.



Über den deutschen Gräben trifft eine der Kugeln Laone Hawker in den Kopf. Die Maschine mit dem toten Piloten an Bord bohrt sich in den Boden. Manfred von Richthofen kann seinen elften Abschuss melden.

Zum Zeitpunkt seines Todes war Laone Hawker das größte britische Flieger-Ass, von Richthofen war bereits einer der erfolgreichsten deutschen Kampfpiloten.

Kein "ritterlicher Kampf"
Doch war das nun der "ritterliche Kampf" zweier Flieger-Asse, "die aufstiegen aus ihren Lagern zum Gefecht Mann gegen Mann, er oder ich", wie 1933 Herman Göring im Vorwort zu von Richthofens Buch "Der rote Kampfflieger" schrieb, und der selbst als letzter Kommandeur des Jagdgeschwaders Richthofen geführt hatte?

Tatsächlich waren hier zwei erfahrene Piloten aufeinander gestoßen. Doch das Gefecht "Mann gegen Mann" war eher ein wenig ritterlicher Kampf "Maschine gegen Maschine" gewesen, noch dazu unter extrem ungünstigen Bedingungen für den Briten.

Der 26-jährige Hawker flog eine Airco D.H. 2, die langsamer war als Richthofens Albatros D II. Das britische Flugzeug konnte weniger gut steigen und besaß nur ein Maschinengewehr. Noch dazu war der Brite gezwungen, das sichere Kreiseln aufzugeben, wollte er nicht auf dem von den Deutschen besetzten Gebiet landen.

Von Richthofen musste demnach nicht viel mehr tun als ruhig zu bleiben und zu warten, bis sein Gegner gezwungen war zu flüchten. Dann hatte seine Stunde geschlagen. Es war Richthofen selbst zufolge "der schwerste Kampf, der mir bisher vorgekommen ist."

Insgesamt 80 gegnerische Flugzeuge waren es am Ende, die von Richthofen abgeschossen hatte, bevor er selbst in seiner Maschine starb. Und die wenigsten Maschinen besiegte er in Luftkämpfen wie jenem am 23 November 1916.

Die meisten seiner Opfer waren leichte Gegner: langsame Aufklärungsflugzeuge und technisch unterlegene Maschinen. Noch dazu wurde ihm nachgesagt, er habe sich gerade aus dem größten Kampfgetümmel zwischen den Jagdflugzeugen herausgehalten und lieber nach jenen Ausschau gehalten, die sich ebenfalls zurückhielten. Und das waren in der Regel die Anfänger.

"Der Rumpf saust brennend in die Tiefe"
Mit der Ritterlichkeit, die den Kampfpiloten des Ersten Weltkriegs bis heute nachgesagt wird, war es sowieso nicht weit her. Zu Beginn des Krieges, als die Begegnungen der Flieger über der Front noch etwas Besonderes waren, kam es vor, dass Piloten sich gegrüßt hatten, statt sich zu beschießen. Doch damit war es bald vorbei.

Von Richthofen selbst beschrieb den Zeitpunkt, an dem es mit der Ritterlichkeit für ihn vorbei war. Nachdem er einen britischen Zweisitzer in Brand geschossen hatte, fühlte er "ein menschliches Mitleid mit meinem Gegner und hatte mich entschlossen, ihn nicht zum Absturz zu bringen, sondern ihn nur zur Landung zu zwingen".

Als er jedoch erfährt, dass der britische Beobachter noch kurz vor der Notlandung versucht hatte, auf ihn zu schießen, ist er zutiefst beleidigt und beschließt: "Pardon kenne ich nicht mehr".

Der "Fliegende Zirkus"
Begeistert beschreibt er später, wie er ein französisches Flugzeug abschussreif schießt. Noch während der Pilot eine Notlandung auf deutschem Gebiet versucht, klappt das schon geschlagene Flugzeug unter Richthofens Kugeln auseinander und "der Rumpf saust wie ein Stein brennend in die Tiefe". Engländer werden von ihm in seinen Briefen "erlegt", und er schreibt, es habe ihm großes Vergnügen gemacht, "lustig unter den Brüdern aufzuräumen".

Und nicht Richthofen war es, dem nachgesagt wurde, nur auf die Maschinen zu zielen, nicht auf die Piloten.

Es war Richthofens Kamerad Werner Voß, über den dies gesagt wurde. Und Voß war das auch eher zuzutrauen, denn im Gegensatz zu von Richthofen war er tatsächlich ein wirklich guter Pilot.

Zum Mythos aufgebaut
Wie aber kam es dazu, dass der "Rote Baron" zum Mythos wurde?

Im Gegensatz zu den anonymen Massen von Infanteristen, die in den Gräben der Westfront starben, konnte man den Fliegern in Deutschland, England und Frankreich Namen und Gesichter zuordnen, und sie beherrschten neue, faszinierende Maschinen.

Zwar konnte ein einziger Artillerist mit einer Granate etliche Gegner töten - doch Stoff für Heldengeschichten gab das nicht her. Als Kriegshelden ließen sich die Piloten besser verkaufen. Manfred von Richthofen wurde in den deutschen Medien zu einer Art Popstar hochstilisiert, der für den ruhmreichen und heldenhaften Kampf der Deutschen stehen sollte. Mit Erfolg. Bald erhielt der junge Pilot massenhaft Fanpost und Heiratsanträge.

Dazu kam Richthofens Idee, sein Flugzeug knallrot anzustreichen und sich auf diese Weise von allen anderen Piloten zu unterscheiden. Im Gegensatz zu den alliierten Fliegern gab es für deutsche Piloten keine Vorschriften, die Maschinen in Tarnfarben zu halten.


Die Piloten in Richthofens "Fliegendem Zirkus", wie sein Jagdgeschwader bald genannt wurde, malten ihre Flugzeuge schließlich alle individuell an, um die Kameraden in der Luft besser identifizieren zu können.

Die Armeen auf beiden Seiten versuchten, den Mythos von den Rittern der Lüfte aufrecht zu halten - und das selbst dann noch, als die Industrialisierung des Luftkampfes 1918 so weit fortgeschritten war, dass die schiere Masse der Flugzeuge, über die die jeweilige Seite verfügte, die Luftkämpfe entschied, und nicht mehr das individuelle Können.

So lässt sich vielleicht erklären, was geschah, als Manfred von Richthofen am 21. April 1918 über den alliierten Linien abgeschossen wurde. Britische und australische Soldaten beerdigten den Flieger am 22. April mit militärischen Ehren im französischen Bertangles, feuerten Salutschüsse und ein britischer Pilot warf sogar einen Container mit einem Foto des Grabes über dem Flughafen von Richthofens Geschwader ab.

Dabei war von Richthofen getötet worden, als er wieder einmal alles andere als ritterlich handelte. Augenzeugenberichte deuten darauf hin, dass der Rote Baron es auf leichte Beute abgesehen hatte.

Als der kanadische Flieger Wilfried May aus dem Kampfgetümmel flüchtete, in das seine Squadron mit den Dreideckern der Richthofen-Staffel geraten war, setzte er ihm nach. Mays Staffelführer Arthur Roy Brown kam seinem Kameraden zu Hilfe und schoss von Richthofen ab. Der Rote Baron wäre bald darauf 26 Jahre alt geworden.

Doch der Mythos vom Roten Baron als Ritter der Lüfte lebt noch immer. Er hat nicht unter von Richthofens Taten und Worten gelitten, er hat keinen Schaden genommen, als die Nationalsozialisten die Figur des Freiherrn einsetzten, um Stimmung für ihre Luftwaffe zu machen. Es gibt sogar noch immer ein Geschwader "Richthofen" bei der Bundeswehr.

Und leider gibt noch immer schlechte Filme über den Roten Baron. Dabei wäre die Wahrheit mindestens so interessant und spannend wie die Fiktion. Nur wäre es keine Heldengeschichte mehr.


http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/jagdflieger-im-ersten-weltkrieg-pardon-kenne-ich-nicht-mehr-1.526957
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 14:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lees ook:
Durchschossene Herzen



Grelle Effekte, schiefe Vergleiche: Joachim Castan seziert die Psyche des "Roten Barons" Manfred von Richthofen und geht am Ende dem Mythos selbst auf den Leim.

Von Nico Bleutge

Mindestens ebenso grell wie die Farben seiner Flugzeuge sind die Bilder, die Manfred von Richthofens Geschichte umgeben. Schon früh hatte sich der "Rote Baron" ins Reich der Alltagsmythen verabschiedet, sei es als Heros des Ersten Weltkriegs, sei es als Propagandainstrument für die Nazis. Bis heute dient Richthofen als Projektionsfläche für zahllose Deutungen. Der Lyriker Norbert Lange hat der Geschichte jüngst sogar ein eigenes Gedicht gewidmet, in dem er die Gegner Richthofens sprechen lässt: "de Hunde, de Deutschen, und oben die Wolken, / darüber die verkaterten Propeller, / das Aerodrome, unten, Baracken ähnlich, / Den Roten. Den Deutschen Baron. Kriegen wir"

Verder op
:
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/richthofen-biographie-durchschossene-herzen-1.218692
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Tandorini



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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2013 18:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Van de site: War History Online via Jack Beckett.

Tandorini @ 08 Feb 2013 18:03 schreef:


Flying over the churned battlefields of the Western Front, the German pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen quickly established a reputation as a skilful and deadly fighter.

His exploits captured the imagination of the German public, and were feared by Allied pilots. By mid-1917 he had been awarded Germany’s highest gallantry award, and commanded a fighter wing known as “Richthofen’s Circus”, after its practice of painting aircraft in a range of bright colours and patterns. Destroying 80 allied aircraft in air combat, he was dubbed “the Red Baron”, after his own distinctive red Fokker Dr1 triplane.

Fatally shot in combat over France on 21 April 1918, he crashed his aircraft near Australian lines.

This flying overboot was salvaged from von Richthofen’s aircraft by a recovery party from the 3rd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. The party also recovered von Richthofen’s body, the aircraft’s control column, scraps of fabric and the aircraft compass. It is thought that von Richthofen originally acquired his overboots from a British pilot he had shot down.

The boot is made from narrow sections of deer pelt, sewn together in vertical strips. It is one of a number of items associated with the last flight of the Red Baron in the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

verder lezen:
http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/the-red-barons-boot.html/attachment/untitled-305
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