|Manfred von Richthofen|
Richthofen wears the Pour le MÃ©rite, the “Blue Max”, Prussia’s highest military order, in this official portrait, c. 1917
|Birth name||Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen|
2 May 1892|
Kleinburg, German Empire
(now part of WrocÅ‚aw, Poland)
|Died||21 April 1918
Morlancourt Ridge, near Vaux-sur-Somme, France
LuftstreitkrÃ¤fte (Imperial German Army Air Service)
|Years of service||1911â€“1918|
|Rank||Rittmeister (Cavalry Captain)|
|Commands held||Jasta 11 (January 1917)
Jagdgeschwader 1 (24 June 1917 â€“ 21 April 1918)
|Battles/wars||First World War|
|Awards||Pour le MÃ©rite
Order of the Red Eagle
House Order of Hohenzollern
|Relations||Lothar von Richthofen (brother)
Wolfram von Richthofen (cousin)
see Richthofen for more
Of course, with the increasing number of aeroplanes one gains increased opportunities for shooting down one's enemies, but at the same time, the possibility of being shot down one's self increases.
In the heat of the Russian summer a sleeping car is the most horrible instrument of martyrdom imaginable.
I have had an experience which might perhaps be described as being shot down. At the same time, I call shot down only when one falls down. Today I got into trouble but I escaped with a whole skin.
All the papers contained nothing but fantastic stories about the war. However, for several months we had been accustomed to war talk. We had so often packed our service trunks that the whole thing had become tedious.
I never was good at learning things. I did just enough work to pass. In my opinion it would have been wrong to do more than was just sufficient, so I worked as little as possible.
We convinced him quickly that the possibility of war was absolutely nil and continued our festivity. On the next day we were ordered to take the field.
The English had hit upon a splendid joke. They intended to catch me or to bring me down.
Of course no one thought of anything except of attacking the enemy. It lies in the instinct of every German to rush at the enemy wherever he meets him, particularly if he meets hostile cavalry.
Now I am within thirty yards of him. He must fall. The gun pours out its stream of lead. Then it jams. Then it reopens fire. That jam almost saved his life.
There were sometimes from forty to sixty English machines, but unfortunately the Germans were often in the minority. With them quality was more important than quantity.
It is better that one's customers come to one's shop than to have to look for them abroad.
One can become enthusiastic over anything. For a time I was delighted with bomb throwing. It gave me a tremendous pleasure to bomb those fellows from above.
As a little boy of eleven I entered the Cadet Corps. I was not particularly eager to become a Cadet, but my father wished it. So my wishes were not consulted.
My dear Excellency! I have not gone to war to collect cheese and eggs, but for another purpose.
Everything depends on whether we have for opponents those French tricksters or those daring rascals, the English. I prefer the English. Frequently their daring can only be described as stupidity. In their eyes it may be pluck and daring.