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Name: Manfred Albrecht Ritter von Richthofen
Orden Pour le Mérite (Blue Max)
Order of the Red Eagle
Military Order of St. Henry
Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class
Manfred von Richthofen

Country: Germany
Rank: Rittmeister
Units: FFA 69
Jasta 2, 11
JG I
KG II
Victories: 80
Born: 02 May 1892
Place of Birth: Breslau, Prussia (Wroclaw, Poland)
Killed In Action: 21 April 1918 Killed In Action
Place of Death: Morlancourt Ridge
Cemetery: Südfriedhof, Wiesbaden, Germany Image
 
 
The most famous ace of the war, Manfred von Richthofen briefly served in the trenches before transferring to the German Air Force in 1916. Oswald Boelcke's star pupil was a fast learner and achieved immediate success. A month after receiving his first Albatros, Richthofen had six victories against Allied aircraft. As his reputation grew, the "Red Knight of Germany" painted the fuselage of his Albatros D.III bright red to flaunt his prowess in the air. The British called him the jolly "Red Baron," to the French he was the "Red Devil." He was shot down as he flew over the trenches in pursuit of Wilfrid May on 21 April 1918. Although Roy Brown was officially credited with the victory, evidence suggests Richthofen was hit by a single bullet fired from a machine gun in the trenches. A British pilot flew over the German aerodrome at Cappy and dropped a note informing the Germans of the Baron's death. Buried in France with full military honors, Richthofen's body was later exhumed and reburied in the family cemetery at Wiesbaden.
"He who gets excited in fighting is sure to make mistakes." Manfred von Richthofen1

"Of course, with the increasing number of aeroplanes one gets increased opportunities for shooting down one's enemies, but al the same time, the opportunity increases of being shot down one's self." Manfred von Richthofen1

"The fighter pilots have to rove in the area alotted to them in any way they like, and when they spot an enemy they attack and shoot him down, anything else is rubbish." Manfred von Richthofen1

"The important thing in aeroplanes is that they shall be speedy." Manfred von Richthofen1

1 Robert L. Shaw, Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, 1985) 237, 290, 317, 405.
 
Opponents
#11 EnglandLanoe Hawker
#13 EnglandArthur Knight
#15 EnglandJames McCudden*
#54 EnglandRobert Farquhar
#55 EnglandNorman McNaughton
#71 EnglandThomas Sharpe
#76 EnglandSydney Smith
#79 EnglandRichard Raymond-Barker
 
* See Under the Guns of the Red Baron for more on this controversial claim
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
Combat Report 1 17 Sep 1916 1100 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II F.E.2b (7018) Near Villers Plouich
2 23 Sep 1916 1100 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II Martinsyde G.100 (7481) Bapaume
Combat Report 3 30 Sep 1916 1150 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II F.E.2b (6973) Near Lagnicourt
4 07 Oct 1916 0910 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II B.E.12 (6618) Near Equancourt
u/c 10 Oct 1916 1800 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II F.E.2b (4292) Near Arras
5 16 Oct 1916 0500 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II B.E.12 (6580) Near Ypres
6 25 Oct 1916 0935 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II B.E.12 (6629) Near Bapaume
7 03 Nov 1916 1410 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II F.E.2b (7010) NE of Grevillers Wood
8 09 Nov 1916 1030 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II (491/16) B.E.2c (2506) Beugny
9 20 Nov 1916 0940 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II B.E.2c (2767) S of Grandcourt
10 20 Nov 1916 1615 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II F.E.2b (4848) Grandcourt
11 23 Nov 1916 1500 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II D.H.2 (5964) S of Bapaume
12 11 Dec 1916 1155 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II D.H.2 (5986) Near Arras
13 20 Dec 1916 1130 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II D.H.2 (7927) Menchy
14 20 Dec 1916 1345 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II F.E.2b (A5446) Moreuil
15 27 Dec 1916 1625 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II D.H.2 (5985) S of Arras
16 04 Jan 1917 1615 Jasta 2 Albatros D.II Sopwith Pup (N5193) Near Metz en Coûture
17 23 Jan 1917 1610 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.8 (6388) SW of Lens
18 24 Jan 1917 1215 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.2b (6997) W of Vimy
19 01 Feb 1917 1600 Jasta 11 Albatros D.II B.E.2d (6742) 1 km SW of Thelus
20 14 Feb 1917 1200 Jasta 11 Albatros D.II B.E.2d (6231) W of Loos
21 14 Feb 1917 1645 Jasta 11 Albatros D.II B.E.2c (2543) SW of Mazingarbe
22 04 Mar 1917 1250 Jasta 11 Albatros D.II B.E.2d (5785) 1 km N of Loos
23 04 Mar 1917 1620 Jasta 11 Albatros D.II Sopwith 1½ Strutter (A1108) Acheville
24 06 Mar 1917 1700 Jasta 11 Albatros D.II B.E.2e (A2785) Souchez
25 09 Mar 1917 1155 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III D.H.2 (A2571) Between Roclincourt and Bailleul
26 11 Mar 1917 1200 Jasta 11 Halberstadt D.II B.E.2d (6232) S of La Folie Wood
27 17 Mar 1917 1130 Jasta 11 Halberstadt D.II F.E.2b (A5439) Oppy
28 17 Mar 1917 1700 Jasta 11 Halberstadt D.II B.E.2g (2814) W of Vimy
29 21 Mar 1917 1730 Jasta 11 Halberstadt D.II B.E.2e (A3154) Hill 123, N of Neuville
30 24 Mar 1917 1155 Jasta 11 Halberstadt D.II SPAD VII (A6706) Givenchy
31 25 Mar 1917 0820 Jasta 11 Halberstadt D.II Nieuport 17 (A6689) Tilloy
32 02 Apr 1917 0835 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2d (5841) Farbus
33 02 Apr 1917 1115 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Sopwith 1½ Strutter (A2401) Givenchy
34 03 Apr 1917 1615 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.2d (A6382) Between Lens and Lieven
35 05 Apr 1917 1115 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Bristol F.2b (A3340) Lewarde, S of Douai
36 05 Apr 1917 1130 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Bristol F.2a (A3343) Cuincy
37 07 Apr 1917 1745 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Nieuport 17 (A6645) Mercatel
38 08 Apr 1917 1140 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Sopwith 1½ Strutter (A2406) Near Farbus
39 08 Apr 1917 1640 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2g (A2815) Vimy
40 11 Apr 1917 0925 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2d (2501) Willerval
41 13 Apr 1917 0858 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III R.E.8 (A3190) Between Vitry and Brebières
42 13 Apr 1917 1245 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.2b (A831) Between Monchy and Feuchy
43 13 Apr 1917 1935 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.2b (4997) Noyelles-Godault, near Henin Liétard
44 14 Apr 1917 0915 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Nieuport 17 (A6796) 1 km S of Bois Bernard
45 16 Apr 1917 1730 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2e (3156) Between Bailleul and Gavrelle
46 22 Apr 1917 1710 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.2b (7020) Near Lagnicourt
47 23 Apr 1917 1205 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2f (A3168) Mericourt
48 28 Apr 1917 0930 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2e (7221) E of Pelves, SE corner of Square 6998
49 29 Apr 1917 1205 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III SPAD VII (B1573) Near Lecluse
50 29 Apr 1917 1655 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III F.E.2d (4898) SW of Inchy, Hill 90, near Pariville
51 29 Apr 1917 1925 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III B.E.2e (2738) Near Rouex
52 29 Apr 1917 1940 Jasta 11 Albatros D.III Sopwith Triplane (N5463) Between Billy-Montigny and Sallaumines
53 18 Jun 1917 1315 JG I Albatros D.III R.E.8 (A4290) Hof Struywe, Square V.42
54 23 Jun 1917 2130 JG I Albatros D.V SPAD VII (B1530) N of Ypres
55 24 Jun 1917 0910 JG I Albatros D.V D.H.4 (A7473) Between Keibergmelen and Lichtensteinlager
56 25 Jun 1917 1840 JG I Albatros D.V R.E.8 (A3847) Near Le Bizet
57 02 Jul 1917 1020 JG I Albatros D.V R.E.8 (A3538) Deulemont
58 16 Aug 1917 0755 JG I Albatros D.V Nieuport 23 (A6611) Near Polygon Wood
59 26 Aug 1917 0730 JG I Albatros D.V SPAD VII (B3492) Between Poelcapelle and Langemarck
60 01 Sep 1917 0750 JG I Fokker F.I R.E.8 (B782) Near Zonnebeke
61 03 Sep 1917 0735 JG I Fokker F.I Sopwith Pup (B1795) S of Bousbecque
62 23 Nov 1917 1400 JG I Albatros D.V D.H.5 (A9299) SE corner of Bourlon Wood
63 30 Nov 1917 1430 JG I Albatros D.V S.E.5a (B644) Near Moevres
64 12 Mar 1918 1110-1115 JG I Fokker DR.I Bristol F.2b (B1251) N of Nauroy, Square 2858
65 13 Mar 1918 1035 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (B2523) Between Gonnelieu and Banteux, Square 1853
66 18 Mar 1918 1115 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (B5243) Molain-Vaux-Andigny Road
67 24 Mar 1918 1445 JG I Fokker DR.I S.E.5a (C1054) Combles
68 25 Mar 1918 1555 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (C1562) Bapaume-Albert Road
69 26 Mar 1918 1645 JG I Fokker DR.I S.E.5a (B511) S of Contalmaison
70 26 Mar 1918 1700 JG I Fokker DR.I R.E.8 (B742) 2 km NE of Albert
71 27 Mar 1918 0900 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (C6733) Ancre, 1 km N of Aveluy, N of Albert
72 27 Mar 1918 1630 JG I Fokker DR.I A.W.F.K.8 (B288) 2 km W of Foucaucourt
73 27 Mar 1918 1635 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Dolphin (C4016) 1 km N of Chuignolles, S of Bray-sur-Somme
74 28 Mar 1918 1220 JG I Fokker DR.I A.W.F.K.8 (C8444) Near Mericourt
75 02 Apr 1918 1230 JG I Fokker DR.I R.E.8 (A3868) Hill 104, NE of Moreuil
76 06 Apr 1918 1545 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (D6491) NE of Villers-Bretonneux, near E edge of Bois de Hamel
77 07 Apr 1918 1130 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (D6550) Near Hangard
78 07 Apr 1918 1205 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (D6554) 500 m E of Hill 104, N of Villers-Bretonneux
79 20 Apr 1918 1840 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (D6439) SW of Bois de Hamel
80 20 Apr 1918 1843 JG I Fokker DR.I Sopwith Camel (B7393) NE of Villers-Bretonneux
 
Books
Hunting with Richthofen
The Bodenschatz Diaries: Sixteen Months of Battle with J.G. Freiherr von Richthofen; Jay Hayzlett (Editor) / Hardcover / Grub Street 1996
Manfred Von Richthofen : The Man and the Aircraft He Flew (Famous Flyers Series)
David Baker / Paperback / Voyageur Pr 1991
The Red Air Fighter
Manfred Von Richthofen, et al / Hardcover / Presidio Pr 1991
Red Baron
Manfred von Richthofen, Stanley Ulanoff (Editor) / Hardcover / Aero Pub 1980
The Red Baron
Manfred von Richthofen / Hardcover / Doubleday June 1969
The Red Baron
Nicolas Wright / School & Library Binding / McGraw Hill 1978
The Red Baron: A Calendar History (World War One Aces Series)
William Haiber / Paperback / Info Devels Pr 1992
The Red Baron Combat Wing
Jagdgeschwader Richthofen in Battle; Peter Kilduff / Hardcover / Sterling Pub 1998
The Red Baron's Last Flight: A Mystery Investigated
Norman Franks, Alan Bennett / Hardcover / Grub Street 1997
The Red Knight of Germany (War & Warriors Series)
Floyd Gibbons / Hardcover / Noontide Pr 1991
Red Knight of Germany
The Story of Baron Von Richthofen, Germany's Great War Bird; Floyd Gibbons / Hardcover / Ayer Co Pub 1979
Richthofen: Beyond the Legend of the Red Baron
Peter Kilduff / Hardcover / John Wiley & Sons 1994
Richthofen: A True History of the Red Baron
William E. Burrows / Hardcover / Harcourt Brace 1969
Under the Guns of the Red Baron
The Complete Record of Von Richthofen's Victories and Victims; Norman Franks, Hal Giblin & Nigel McCrery / Hardcover / Grub Street 1995
Von Richthofen: The Legend Evaluated
Richard Townshend Bickers / Hardcover / United States Naval Inst. 1997
Von Richthofen and the Flying Circus
H Nowarra / Hardcover / Aero Pub 1976
Who Killed the Red Baron?
Carisella / Hardcover / Avon 1980
 
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