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Manfred von Richthofen, German Air Force, April 21, 1918

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 - 21 April 1918), also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service during World War I. He is considered the top ace of that war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories, more than any other pilot.


Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Air Service in 1915, becoming one of the first members of Jasta 2 in 1916. He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became leader of Jasta 11 and then the larger unit Jagdgeschwader 1 (better known as the "Flying Circus"). By 1918, he was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and was very well known by the other side.

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Richthofen was shot down and killed near Amiens on 21 April 1918. There has been considerable discussion and debate regarding aspects of his career, especially the circumstances of his death. He remains quite possibly the most widely-known fighter pilot of all time, and has been the subject of many books and films.
 
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Louis

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von Richthofen petting his dog on an Airfield (1916)
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Bert Blitzkrieg

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Years ago I read a short biography of the man and according to that story he wasn't that great a pilot, but an extremely good marksman.
 

Louis

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M. von Richtofen with the officers of the Jagdstaffel 11. From left to fight - unknown, unknown, Kurt Wolff (1895/1917), Ernst Udet (1896/1941), Werner Voss (1897/1917), unknown, Friedrich Noltenius (1894/1936), Karl Emil Schafer (1891/1917), unknown, Karl Allmenroder (1896/1917).
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Gunner

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This is an interesting one.

While touring the Falaise Gap our guide stopped on a side road.
Next to an open field was a tree that had a stone, or stele, with a small metal badge at the base.
He said it's the only marker or memorial for a German that he knows of in all of Normandy.

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"Stele in memory of Lieutenant Ruthard von Richthofen, whose Focke-Wulf aircraft was shot down on July 13, 1944, and crashed in a nearby field. He was part of Jagdgeschwader 2. He was a distant relative of the famous German WWI pilot, Manfred von Richthofen . Ruthard von Richthofen was 20 years old, he is buried in the German cemetery of Champigny-Saint-André in Eure. This is one of the rare cases of an individual stele of a German soldier; the stele bears no legible inscription and seems to have been hammered; only a small metal plate attached to the foot can identify it. Situation: coming from Aubry, at the crossroads of the D113 and the D718 turn right towards Sainte-Eugénie, the stele is 1 km on the right near a grove of trees."
(Quoted from http://www.normandie44lamemoire.com/en/2014/12/30/gouffern-en-auge-aubry-en-exmes/)

Our guide said he felt it was allowed because of the respect the French have for the Richthofen name.
 
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