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World War II

Red Baron: Flying Ace von Richthofen

Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'WWI Warbirds, Aircrafts', 'Airforces of 1914-1918', 'WW1 Movies'.

Red Baron death certificate discovered in Poland
The death certificate of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the legendary World War I German flying ace known as "Red Baron", has been discovered in Poland. 91 years after Von Richthofen died after being shot down near the River Somme in France, genealogist Maciej Kowalczyk found the document in the archives of the Polish town Ostrow Wielkopolski. The town, which in 1918 was part of Germany, issued the death notice in accordance to German law. In 1914 Von Richthofen, then a cavalry officer with the 1st Lancers, was stationed in Ostrow Wielkopolski and gave it as his last official address before shipped to the eastern front.

Canvas from a British plane shot down over Vimy Ridge by The Red Baron?
Soldiers have taken relics and keepsakes from the battlefield for hundreds of years, so Lieut. John Alfred Pope Haydon - of the 42nd Battalion, C.E.F. Royal Highlanders of Canada - was just following military tradition when he brought back a fabric from the wing of a British aircraft, downed over Vimy Ridge in April 1917. Now the souvenir has become a puzzle for his grandson, Robert Haydon. The text on the upper right-hand corner reads: "Part of wing of British plane brought down at Vimy Ridge, April 1917 by Baron Von Richthofen, the Red Ace." Haydon tried to settle the provenance of the fabric, but his attempt with the Canadian War Museum was not fruitful.

Manfred von Richthofen:The red baron - Biography   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen was a German fighter pilot known as "le Diable Rouge" ("Red Devil") or "Le Petit Rouge" ("Little Red") in French, and the "Red Knight" or the "Red Baron" in English. When WWI broke out Richthofen served as a cavalry officer on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. After cavalry operations became useless due to machine guns and barbed wire, he applied for a transfer to the Luftstreitkräfte (Aerial Combat Forces), the "Imperial German Army Air Service", forerunner of the Luftwaffe. On 23 Nov. 1916, he downed his most famous adversary, the British ace Major Lanoe Hawker VC.

Biographer Joachim Castan reveals man behind the Red Baron myth
Legendary World War I fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen died in combat 90 years ago. The Prussian nobleman, called the Red Baron because of the color of his aircraft, downed 80 Allied planes before his death. Biographer and documentary filmmaker Joachim Castan spent 3 years researching the project, gaining exclusive access to unpublished documents. The book "Die ganze Geschichte" (The Whole Story) reveals a far more complex character. "As I became immersed in the material, I realized that there was a well-maintained von Richthofen myth... created by the German propaganda machine in 1917."

The Red Baron flies back into role of the hero in Germany
A film aims to break a taboo of over half a century by celebrating a German war hero: the legendary flying ace Red Baron. The adventure epic feeds into a new national mood that is less hesitant about honouring battlefield bravery. The Government is even talking of returning a modern version of the Iron Cross, the bravery medal awarded in the First and Second World Wars. The reason is clear: as the German Army moves into combat zones, it needs to rediscover its military traditions and create heroes. The film tries to square a German circle: to glorify the pilot's virtues while declaring war to be evil.

Red Baron recast as a German hero as the RAF marks 90th anniversary
As Britain celebrates the 90th anniversary of the RAF, Germany is reclaiming WWI flying ace Red Baron as a national hero. In Germany, where milestones of war often pass without ceremony, £14m has been spent on the film about Manfred von Richthofen. The Red Baron, who shot down 80 pilots, is showed as a brilliant and sensitive hero. The film is breaking a taboo, as for decades German soldiers have been portrayed as zealots or conscripts. "Historically there has been a reluctance, and there are strong voices in Germany still saying we're not allowed to do this: a film about a German war hero," said Nikolai Müllerschön.

Peter Kilduff published his 6th book on the WWI aviation legend, the Red Baron
After one book on the Red Baron (Manfred von Richtofen) Peter Kilduff thought that was enough: "The story has been told." Then one publisher sought out Kilduff to write a biography of the deadliest combat flier of the Great War. He wrote the biography (1993), but even that was not the end. Now he published "Red Baron: The Life and Death of an Ace" - the sixth book about the German pilot. "People ask Isn't this the same story? Well no, new information and photos keep coming out." His books include "Talking With the Red Baron," "The Illustrated Red Baron," "The Red Baron Combat Wing" and "Richtofen: Beyond the Legend of the Red Baron."

New memorial to WWI ace Red Baron to attract tourists   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Baron Manfred von Richthofen flew above the muddy World War I battlefields in his red Fokker tri-plane, knocking down a record 80 Allied aircraft on his way to the war's top fighter ace and earning the famed "Red Baron" nom de guerre. But von Richthofen, who was shot down and killed in 1918, has been a legend in limbo since Poland's borders moved west after World War II and swallowed the baron's hometown of Schweidnitz, today Swidnica. Honoring a German soldier in Poland can still be a sensitive issue as the two countries wrestle with efforts by some Germans to regain property lost to Poland when the borders shifted after the Second World War.

Red Baron seems to have met his match in an Australian gunner   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Von Richthofen was involved in a dogfight with two British Sopwith Camel biplanes when he flew low over Australian lines. He had been chasing Canadian pilot Wilfred May and was in turn being pursued by another Canadian, Captain Arthur Roy Brown, whose bullets struck von Richthofen's Fokker... The problem with this account is that it does not accord with the reports of witnesses who claimed von Richthofen flew on for more than 1.6km after Brown's firing, before turning sharply and crashing. As his aircraft passed over the Australians, von Richthofen's Fokker took fire from a Vickers machinegun.

Who shoot down German fighter pilot the Red Baron during WWI
It has raged as one of the most disputed Australian war mysteries for more than 80 years. Now a council has honoured the person it believes was responsible for shooting down famed WW1 fighter pilot the Red Baron. Robert Buie, a gunner with the 53rd Battery of the Australian Field Artillery, has been immortalised by a plaque and memorial at Brooklyn, north of Sydney. It's a move sure to outrage families of other soldiers, such as fellow gunner Cedric Popkin, who have laid claim to the historic feat. But for the Buie family there's no doubt who was manning the gun that brought down Manfred von Richthofen on April 21, 1918.

World War One flying ace Red Baron is back in the German skies
Germany is preparing to break a 61-year-old taboo by celebrating the life of World War I flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron. The Red Baron shot down 80 British, Canadian, and Australian warplanes during the First World War. It isn't surprising that the Germans now want to reclaim their flying ace and turn him into a modern hero. Decades of debate about the cause of the Red Baron's death followed his fatal shooting down in 1918. There are two views: one that he was killed in a dogfight with Canadian pilot Roy Brown, and the second that he was shot by an Australian soldier on the ground.

The victories of WW1 great flying aces could have been luck
The legend of Manfred von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, has taken a knock. The victories notched up by great flying aces of WWI could have been down to luck. Von Richthofen chalked up 80 consecutive victories. Study of the records of German fighter pilots found a total of 6745 victories, but only about 1000 "defeats." The imbalance reflects that pilots scored easy victories against poorly armed aircraft, making the average German fighter pilot's rate of success as high as 80%. Statistically, at least one pilot could then have won 80 aerial fights in a row by pure chance. While aces were in the upper 30% of pilots by skill, they were no more special than that.

Suzane von Richtofen killed great nephew of the Red Baron
Suzane von Richtofen was sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison in the brutal killing of her parents. Manfred von Richtofen was the great nephew of the World War I German ace known as the Red Baron, and his wife was a psychologist. The couple disapproved of their daughter's relationship with Cravinhos.

Overwhelmed demand for "von Richthofen Trial"
More than 3,000 Brazilians are clamoring for a seat at court where 22-year-old Suzane Louise von Richthofen, descended from the family of Germany's "Red Baron," goes on trial for the murder of her parents. At the time of the murder newspapers highlighted von Richthofen's relation to Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen, a World War I pilot who won 80 dogfights and became known as the Red Baron. The defendant's father, who had the same name as the Baron, kept in his office a genealogical tree showing their links to the German national hero.

Red Baron brought down by a shot fired the previous year
A head wound suffered by the Red Baron the year before his death was the underlying reason he was eventually shot down, according to a study by neuroscientists. There has been endless speculation over who killed the 25-year-old WW1 flying ace but the study suggests that more credit is due to the British airman who grazed his skull in 1917 than to the Australian gunner who eventually brought him down in 1918. The killing machine feared by the Allies and revered by his countrymen suffered significant brain damage to his frontal lobes when a machinegun round fired by Second Lieutenant A E Woodbridge of the Royal Flying Corps splintered his skull.

See also

'WWI Warbirds, Aircrafts'

'Airforces of 1914-1918'

'WW1 Movies'.