21 April 2018

Not Her Fault

100 years ago, today, Manfred Albrecht Feriherr von Richthofen was shot down and killed.

I mentioned this to The Lovely Harvey and she exclaimed, "He was a real person?!"

She'd just thought he was a character from Peanuts or the song by The Royal Guardsman.

It's not her fault.

They don't teach much history in schools any more.  You nearly have to be an aviation or history buff to know of him nowadays.

At least she didn't say, "I thought that was just a frozen pizza brand."

8 comments:

  1. The phrase "shot down" sort of implies that he was victim of another pilot in a 'plane.

    The latest claim I saw was that the Red Baron was hit and killed by a single .303 round fired from the ground as he flew low over an Australian infantry position.

    That brings extra poignancy to the old adage "Altitude is your friend".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shot down means ground fire as well as air.

      I think the Aussies deserved the credit for the kill rather than Brown.

      Delete
    2. I would split the credit between both of them. Brown was chasing and shooting at von Richthofen, which forced him into range of the Aussie machine gunner.

      Delete
    3. He was chasing "Wop" May down that low too. I think I have read that May deliberately flew low near friendly guns figuring that Richthofen would break off rather than risk the ground fire.

      Brown acquired and lost Richthofen more than once while risking a low-altitude record tie while chasing the Baron.

      I'm willing to bet the fangs were through the floorboards and all Manfred could perceive was a Canadian Sopwith with his acute target-fixation tunnel vision.

      Delete
  2. From what I've read, the Baron was getting more and more burnt-out. On the day he died, he was taking far too many chances. They should have pulled him out, but didn't. I don't remember if it was because he wanted to go back or because they wanted him to go back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The High Command was trying, desperately, to get him off the line and to remain in PR.

      He'd suffered a serious head injury and it's theorized that his change in mood and demeanor was related to that wound. His brothers wrote about how different he was after "recovering" from the head shot.

      Delete
  3. He grew up in a south eastern region of pre-war Germany. After the war it became part of Poland. In both Germany and Poland there are many von Richthofen roads in most of the small towns and hamlets.

    ReplyDelete

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