Skip to comments.Red Baron film celebrates German war hero
Posted on 04/01/2008 3:16:51 PM PDT by wolf78
After decades of war-related silence and shame, Germany proudly celebrated a military hero last night, rolling out the red carpet for "Red" Baron von Richthofen.
The new attitude was on display as stars and celebrities, including British actor Joseph Fiennes, were due to gather for the Berlin premiere of a new film about the Baron.
It is set to mark a new departure for German war films, which usually reflect on the extremism, suffering and even lunacy of the Nazi era if they get made at all.
The Red Baron in contrast, portrays a brilliant and honourable military figure whose life and early death in combat Germans can celebrate without blush.
The film, which at £14 million is one of Germany's most expensive productions, stars Matthias Schweighoefer as the renowned pilot thought to have shot down about 80 Allied airmen in World War One.
It is based on a biography of the pilot published last year, which opens with him engaged in a dogfight only to pull out when he sees his adversary's gun jammed.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
If you check out the Zimmerman Telegram you will also find out the ‘real’ reason behind our entry into the war. Germany was conspiring with Mexico (we had just fought them) to try to get them and Japan to attack us. It was causus beli for war. But we couldn't say the REAL reason, because it would reveal that the British had broken the German code.
We had damn good reasons to enter the war.
The problem was the Treaty of Versailles that imposed a ‘peace’ on Germany that was tantamount to economic slavery in perpetuity. Germany had to get out of the ‘peace’ treaty, even if it had to fight the entire world to do it. Hitler capitalized upon this historic reality to catapult himself into power.
While it is still disputed to this day, as far as I know, Roy Brown got, and still has, the credit for Von Richtofen...
HAH! Oh, jeez... of course you're right. I don't know why that came out of me.
An adversary rendered helpless by jammed weapons didn’t make him less of a kill for the Red Baron, who IIRC had a silver loving cup engraved for each `victory’.
And wasn’t von Richthofen, in pursuit of his eighty-first cup, killed by ground fire when he pursued the Canadian Lt. Brown over Allied lines after the latter’s guns had jammed or run out of ammo? His plane crashed in Allied territory, that’s for sure.
I learned to fly in a Stearman crop duster -— a later training bi-plane (came around in the 30s, I think), so I can appreciate the slow speed.
As an aside, you know that buzz, buzzz, buzz, interupted engine sound you always hear in WWI movies?
That was from the engine being turned off briefly to bring the plane to stall speed -— there was NO THROTTLE.
I saw a show on The Military Channel that indicated that Richtoffen was brought down by .303 rounds from British soldiers on the ground.
Thats right. Hermann Goering was put in command of the
Jasta after Von Richtofen’s death. I have a photograph
around here someplace of Goering in an all white Fokker
“And wasnt von Richthofen, in pursuit of his eighty-first cup, killed by ground fire when he pursued the Canadian Lt. Brown over Allied lines after the latters guns had jammed or run out of ammo?”
That has been the dispute since the day he was shot down. Allied Command gave the credit to Brown, although it was never really certain that it was a round from his Vickers machinegun, or the Vickers guns of the Australian antiaircraft unit which was also firing at Von Richtofen's plane. No ballistics tests were ever done on the fatal round, which pierced Von Richtofen's heart, and since the guns all fired the same caliber, it's anybody's guess as to who really fired the fatal shot...
Probably a better pilot and marksman than Hartmann, but less lucky, was Hans-Joachim Marseille.
From April of 1941 to September of 1942 “The Star Of Afrika” shot down 151 British and Commonwealth aircraft, in addition to seven kills during the Blitz.
He was killed bailing out when the cockpit of his fighter filled with smoke due to a malfunction (not combat with an enemy) and he struck the tailplane.
Many of the surviving Luftwaffe aces named Marseille as the best. It doesn't matter in the end though, does it. You have to rack up the kills and Hartmann did that.
A comparable case in WWI was Werner Voss. Voss shot down 48 Allied planes in less than a year, on track to beat Von Richtofen.
His pride got the best of him when he tangled alone with a flight of between 5 and 8 British aces and refused to take advantage repeated opportunities to break contact after out flying the Brits for ten minutes.
I am amazed by fighter pilots, no matter their nationality or their record.
This show, and I understand it’s just a TV show, indicated that the round was fired from a bolt action rifle. They did all sorts of convoluted simulations to “prove” it.
Quite simple really. The Allies controled the seas (trade). Not permitted to trade with the Central Powers we traded exclusively with the Allies and extended them unimaginable amounts of credit. American leaders assumed we simply could not afford to let the Central Powers win. Ironically the Allies never paid those debts in any case.
Voss was a member of the same Jasta as Von Richtofen, which had been started early in the war by the leading German "ace" of that time Oswald Boelke, who had been killed in action. Interestingly enough, I went to the movie link to see which *historical* German pilots of that famous group were going to be portrayed, and Voss was there, although I didn't see either Boelke, or Goering, although they should have an appearance in the film...
The British .303 round was used in both the standard service rifle, and the Vickers machinegun in common use by British, Canadian, and ANZAC forces of the time. No matter what convolutions they went through, the fact that the bullet was a .303 is essentially meaningless, without ballistics testing, which had never, and undoubtedly will never, be done. Once again, who knows?
When I said “they” I meant the movie. I’m already aware of the uncertainty. I’m just curious if the movie tries to solve the mystery. As a kid I read several books about the first airplanes, the wright brothers, and the first airplanes used in war. It’s funny that there is a post or two on this thread mentioning snoopy because I’m pretty sure that’s what got me interested in reading about the subject. As soon as I was informed that the “red baron” was a real person and had nothing to do with pizza, I had to find out more. I still remember reading how they fired machine guns through propellers before inventing timing belts for the guns. They just bolted on steel deflectors to the backside of the propellers. You could only shoot so many times before the propellors got cracks and flew apart. THen you crash landed.
“Germany was conspiring with Mexico and Japan to get them to attack us”
Pardon me, but Japan was at war with Germany by 1915.
The English had promised them the German and Austrian properties in China for attacking them.
The Germans entertained ideas that they’d get the Japanese to switch sides.