21 Apr: The Red Baron’s Flying Circus
Germany’s most famous fighter pilot, Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (aka ‘The Red Baron’) was shot down near the Somme River on the Western Front, on 21st April 1918. He had been credited with an incredible 80 air combat victories during World War I.
Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Imperial Air Service and downed 15 enemy planes by the end of 1916. He then headed up his own regiment, using a Fokker triplane painted entirely red; his unit becoming known as the ‘Flying Circus’ because of their brightly-coloured planes.
In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why even the Allies liked Richthofen; reveal why the Baron stopped printing up souvenir silverware for each of his kills; and consider the fate of the Broadway musical inspired by his heroism…
• ‘History of Government: They seek him here… the life and death of the Red Baron’ (UK Government blog, 2018): https://history.blog.gov.uk/2018/04/20/they-seek-him-here-the-life-and-death-of-the-red-baron/
• ‘Ace for the Ages: World War I Fighter Pilot Manfred von Richthofen’ (HistoryNet, 2006): https://www.historynet.com/red-baron-world-war-i-ace-fighter-pilot-manfred-von-richthofen/?f
• ‘The Red Baron & The Flying Circus in full HD at 1080p’ (Historical Aviation Film Unit, 2013):
#Germany #War #1910s