MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN, The Red Baron, WW1 Ace
Manfred Von Richthofen
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892-21 April 1918) was a German fighter pilot known as "The Red Baron". He was the most successful flying ace of World War I, and was credited with 80 confirmed air combat victories.
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Manfred Von Richthofen Family
Von Richthofen was born in Kleinburg, near Breslau, Lower Silesia (now part of the city of Wroclaw, Poland), into a prominent Prussian aristocratic family. His father was Major Albrecht Phillip Karl Julius Freiherr von Richthofen and his mother was Kunigunde von Schickfuss und Neudorff. He had an elder sister (Ilse) and two younger brothers.
When he was four years old, Manfred moved with his family to nearby Schweidnitz (now Swidnica). He enjoyed riding horses and hunting as well as gymnastics at school. He excelled at parallel bars and won a number of awards at school. He and his brothers, Lothar and Bolko, hunted wild boar, elk, birds and deer.
After being educated at home he attended a school at Schweidnitz, before beginning military training when he was 11. After completing cadet training in 1911, he joined an Uhlan cavalry unit, the 1st Uhlan Regiment 'Emperor Alexander III of Russia (1st West Prussia Regiment), and was assigned to the regiment's number 3 squadron.
When World War I began, Richthofen served as a cavalry reconnaissance officer on both the Eastern and Western Fronts, seeing action in Russia, France, and Belgium. Traditional cavalry operations soon became impossible due to machine guns and barbed wire, and the Uhlans were used as infantry. Disappointed at not being able to participate more often in combat, Richthofen applied for a transfer to the Imperial German Army Air Service, later to be known as the LuftstreitkrÃ¤fte, shortly after viewing a German military aircraft while deployed behind the lines. To his own surprise, his request was granted, and he joined the flying service at the end of May 1915. (From Wikipedia)
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