Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Recommended: "The Death of the Red Baron" Video

This is just a terrific effort to recreate the mission that led to the death of Manfred von Richthofen over the River Somme on Sunday 21 April 1918. It combines actual (restored or recreated) WWI aircraft with digital special effects to produce a truly engrossing account.  I have visited both the Red Baron's take-off field at Cappy and the site of his crash and death at Vaux-sur-Somme and can attest to the authentic look of the film. For the Red Baron aficionados among you, be warned—the narration does address both possibilities that he was  shot down by either Canadian Capt. Roy Brown or Australian ground fire. 

Click Here to Play the YouTube Video:


  1. Great video, love the brapping sound of those rotary radials!

  2. A "Theft of Honors" is involved here: Brown, a survivor, if nothing else (no victories credited, otherwise), wrote of firing and immediately proceeding to turn away: There was no sustained "pursuit" as this historically invalid production would suggest. The Aussie ground gunners began firing at a triplane that was obviously under the control of a live pilot. I spoke with Oliver Le Boutellier and he did contribute that there had been what he termed the "missing moments": Ie,the duration of time between that of Brown's single burst and the subsequent time the Aussies took the tripe under fire. These 'missing moments' of flight were observed to be well controlled and would have to have been flown by an unwounded pilot.

    It is my considered contention that if the ground troops had not been Australians, but rather had been members of an old line British unit with numerous time honored connections to the British military establishment, the credit for ending the life of 'The Bloody Baron", would certainly been theirs. Instead of the 'Red Eagle Falling' motif carried thereafter,on the fuselage of '209 Squadron', RCAF, aircraft, a prized banner, with 'the eagle falling' embroidered upon it, would,to this day, have graced the units collection of regimental battle standards! The Aussie 'colonials' were most arguably, victims of a hoax and the honor of vanquishment of a worthy foeman was summarily stolen from them.

    Note: There is a work by author P.J. Carasella, wherein he asserts he found MVR's skeleton at the site of the original burial by the Aussies: It was Carisella's opinion that the well documented transfer of the Baron's remains to first, to the German cemetery at Fricourt, in France, and then, in 1925, back to the Fatherland,for several more interments, involved only the skull and not the entire skeleton. For years Carasella displayed a finger bone, assertedly of MVR, within a glass case, in his living room in New Jersey.

    Unable to convince them of his sincerity,Carisella had abandoned his canvas bag, containing the rest of the skeletal bones, outside the offices of a Luftwaffe staff at NATO Headquarters: This would occurred sometime in the 'mid 60's, as I recall.