Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, born 2nd May 1892 – 21st April 1918.
Known in English as Baron von Richthofen, and most famously as the "Red Baron”, was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during the First World War.
He is considered as 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 fighter squadron Jagdstaffel 2 in 1916. He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became the leader of Jasta 11, also known as the Red Squadron, and later on he led the larger fighter wing Jagdgeschwader 1, better known as "The Flying Circus” or "Richthofen’s Circus” because of the bright colours of its aircraft, and perhaps because of the way the unit was transferred from one area of Allied activity to another, moving around like a travelling circus, and frequently setting up in tents on improvised airfields.
By 1918, Richthofen was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and respected by his enemies.
Richthofen was shot down and killed near Vaux-Sur-Somme on 21st April 1918.
There has been considerable discussion and debate regarding aspects of his career, especially the circumstances of his death. He remains one of the most widely known fighter pilots of all time, and has been the subject of many books, and films.
Richthofen was a Freiherr (literary "free Lord”), a title of nobility often translated as Baron.
This is not a given name nor strictly a hereditary title, since all male members of the family were entitled to it, even during the lifetime of their father.
Richthofen painted his aircraft red, and this combined with his title led to him being called "The Red Baron”.
In Germany he was more frequently described in German as "Der Rote Kampfflieger”, variously translated as "The Red Battle Flyer” or "The Red Fighter Pilot”. This name was used as the title of Richthofen’s 1917 autobiography.
Scale 1:30 / 60MM