Fall Of The Red Baron

World War I Aerial Tactics and the Death of Richtofen

Leon Bennett

Fighter pilot Manfred von Richtofen, better known as the Red Baron, lacked innate aerobatic ability. As a tyro, he attempted to solve this problem through denial, going so far as to sneer at stunting as pointless.
Publication date:
January 2012
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
126 b/w photos, sketches, diagrams
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781906033927

Dimensions : 240 X 176 cm
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£25.00
eBook (ePub)
ISBN : 9781908916433

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£3.99
eBook (PDF)
ISBN : 9781908916433

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Overview
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• How did the Red Baron become the Great War's greatest scorer, and why did he fall?

Fighter pilot Manfred von Richtofen, better known as the Red Baron, lacked innate aerobatic ability. As a tyro, he attempted to solve this problem through denial, going so far as to sneer at stunting as pointless. Great War air combat experience proved quite the reverse, and so we would anticipate a short and sad fighting life for him; yet the Red Baron became the Great War's single greatest scorer, as measured by total victories. How did he do it?

This book is concerned with tactics, especially those tactics used by the Red Baron and his opponents. It offers the how and why of Great War aerial combat. Leon Bennett leans heavily on his expertise in engineering and aerodynamic techniques to explain this, with his reasoning presented in a readable, non-mathematical style. Absent are both the usual propaganda-laced Air Service reports and psychobabble, and instead we are shown the logic behind Great War aerial combat; those elements determining success or failure in the Red Baron's air war.

Similarly, the author turns his attention to examining the cause of von Richtofen's death, employing the tools of logic, rather than merely accepting one of the many conflicting eyewitness reports as truth. In doing so, much testimony is exposed as unlikely. The bullet scatter to be expected from ground anti-aircraft fire matters greatly, and is examined along with the odds against lone riflemen hoping to hit a fast-moving low altitude target. The most dangerous altitude for front-line crossing is established. The author concludes by rating the possibility of a rifleman downing the Red Baron as quite realistic, and certainly as likely as any of the more celebrated possibilities.

This is an important book, offering a groundbreaking account of World War I aerial tactics, and a thorough examination of the final combat and death of the Red Baron.

REVIEWS

This book examines the strategies used by both von Richthofen and his opponents, scrutinising the nature of Great War aerial combat an impressive detail
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