The Red Knight of Germany: The Story of Baron von Richthofen, Germany’s Great War Bird

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Militärgeschichte

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during the First World War. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.

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 respected and admired even by his enemies.

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 perhaps the most widely known fighter pilot of all time, and has been the subject of many books, films and other media.

Floyd Phillips Gibbons (1887-1939) was the war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune during World War I. One of radio’s first news reporters and commentators, he was famous for a fast-talking delivery style. Floyd Gibbons lived a life of danger of which he often wrote and spoke.


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The Red Knight of Germany: The Story of Baron von Richthofen, Germany’s Great War Bird

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