Red Baron

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2002

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Manfred von Richthofen was born on May 2, 1892 in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw Poland). He died in the skies over Vaux sur Somme, France, on April 21, 1918 during World War1. People called him many things, der rote Kampfflieger (The Red Battle-Flyer) by his own people, le petit rouge by the French, and The red Baron by the English. In a time of wooden and fabric aircraft, twenty air victories insured the pilot a legendary status and the coveted Pour Le Mérite, Richthofen, however, had eighty victories, and until this day he is regarded as the ace of aces.

Richthofen in 1916 Richthofen and his brother Lothar (on the ground) In his red Albatros D.III with Jasta 11.

The Red Baron was a hero and a villain, depending upon one's side in World War1. If you had been in the British army you would have seen him as a villain because he was killing all your pilots.

However, if you were in the German army you would have been very happy that he was on your side and may have seen him as a national hero. He was very cunning when he flew. He survived many battles and suffered many wounds, even a bullet in the head shot form an enemy plane. He was shot down from the sky many times but he would just get another plane and go and fight some more. Other squadrons of planes would paint parts of their planes red in honor of Richthofen. His enemies were no match for him and he stood victorious.

He had fought since September of 1915 until he died in battle on April 21, 1918. He died pursuing an enemy plane whose pilot was Wilfred May, a British fighter. He pursued him into enemy territory, each time going lower and lower to the ground until he received a single shot in the back. It is presumed that it was from the Australian gunners on the ground but might have also come from the guns of Canadian flier Arthur "Roy" Brown who was coming to May's aid.

His body was recovered by British forces and was given a burial with full military honors. Just as he deserved. He was an unforgettable hero.

Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker Service dates: 1917 to 1918 (320 built) - Max. Altitude: 14,000 ft -18'-11"L 23'-7"W 9'-8"H - Engine: Oberursel UR II (110hp) -Weight: 1,289 lbs (893 empty) -Max. Speed: 103 mph -Max. Range: 125 miles I see him as a hero because he was a really good pilot and fighter. He survived so many battles and gave a great advantage to the german forces. I think he may have lived for more time if he hadn't got carried away chasing the enemy.