Baron Manfried Von Richtofen: The Red Baron Essay, Research Paper
Baron Manfried Von Richtofen was the best Ace of World War One. With confirmed kills coming in at around 80, he is the fighter ace with the most kills ever recorded-ever. However, he started out his career as a soldier in the trenches, not as a pilot. During the battle of the Somme, he saw his first airplane fly overhead, and was immediately hooked. He loved everything about flying, and his pompous, arrogant, and some would say determined, personality, made him a quick learner, and ingenious thinker. His flight career started out rather slowly in the first years of the war, but eventually took on a torrential pace, and soon after his twentieth kill, he was to be called the Red Baron. This nickname can be primarily attributed to the fact that he flew a modified Fokker DR I triplane, which he had painted red, so as to startle the enemies that he was fighting. Some say that he was like a demon when he flew, and that the real reason he painted his plane red was to conjure up images of winged deamons in his enemies’ minds. His tactics were mostly responsible for his reputation, however. During the war, the Baron developed some of the most brilliant tactics ever seen until then. He used methods never before attempted, like faked engine flameouts, using air brakes in the middle of rolls to shorten the loop distance, attacking from extreme angles, both above and below, and firing his guns before coming in range to slow down his opponent. A pilot is no good if he doesn t have a plane to fly, however. And the Baron certainly had a plane.
His aircraft was made almost completely for him. It had weapons built to his specifications, a larger engine, and was one of the only triplane designs employed during the war. While his tactics were impressive, most of them were centered around maneuverability. His plane was by no means the fastest aircraft of the War, but with its special design, it could outmaneuver, out-turn, and out flank most other planes flown. He put this maneuverability to his advantage, and it certainly shows in his kills. A unkown pilot was heard saying, upon the Barons death, “I hope he burned all the way to hell.” Baron Manfried Von Richtofen embodies some of the best qualities of a fighter pilot yet seen. He was brave, honorable, and courageous, but he knew how to get the job done. His skill, persistence, and tactics will most certainly go down in the history books for a long time. The Red Baron truly is the best ace of World War One.