The Red Baron

Topics: Manfred von Richthofen, Lothar von Richthofen, Luftstreitkräfte Pages: 5 (1364 words) Published: May 7, 2014
There were many great aviators in WWI. From Elliot Springs to Herman Goring, from Karl Wolf to Godwin Brumowski. But they all paled in comparison to one of the greatest aviators of all time. The Red baron, also known as Manfred Von Richtofen, “was the most successful pilot of WWI with 80 confirmed kills before he was shot down during the Battle of the Somme(” This is his story. Manfred Von Richtofen was born on May 2, 1892, over 100 years ago ( He was the eldest of three brothers, so a lot of responsibility fell upon his back ( His father was a soldier, but he fell ill and became deaf. He wanted Manfred to follow in his footsteps. At age eleven, he started his military career at Wahlstatt ( That is a very young age if you ask me. Manfred hated it there, as it was very harsh and strict. He stayed there to please his father. At the age of seventeen, he attended the Royal Military Academy at Lichterfelde ( Unlike Wahlstatt, however, Richtofen loved it. His best friend there was Prince Friedrich Karl, the son of Kaiser Wilhelm II ( In 1910, Manfredd left to attend the Berlin War academy for a year. In 1911, he was in the first regiment of Uhlans ( At the start of World War 1, Manfred Von Richtofen was a cavalry recon officer on both the eastern front and the western front. However, as trench warfare began to become the main fighting technique, the cavalry was not used as much, and thus Manfred was only used as an infantry messenger ( Manfred did not like that, and so he applied to join the Imperial German Army Air Service, later called the Luftstreitkräfte ( He was accepted, and thus his career as one of the greatest pilots in history began. Richtofen, from June to August of 1915, only flew as an observer in a recon plane over the Eastern front in the No. 69 Flying Squadron. His squad was later transferred to the Eastern Front. In March of 1916, he completed his training and joined a bomber squad. During that time, he claimed to have downed 2 French aircraft. But he was not able to provide enough evidence to be given credit for the kills. When his squad was transferred back to the Eastern front, Germany’s top pilot at the time, who went by the name of Boelcke, was recruiting pilots to join his new fighter squadron called Jagdstaffeln, which translates into “hunting squadron.” After growing tired of dropping bombs on the Russians, Manfred decided to join the new squadron. He reported for duty back on the Western front on September 1, 1916. Manfred and his squad were among the first pilots to get the new Albatross D.II planes ( On the first day of battle as a fighter pilot, Richtofen scored his first confirmed kill, which was a British F E.2b two-seater. By October 10th, he was already one of the German’s aces, having scored his fifth kill. But on October 28th, Boelcke, who was the squad leader, was killed only days after his 40th victory, when he collided with one of his squad mates ( Germany’s top ace was killed, along with her other top ace, Max Immelmann. Richtofen was determined to...
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