Norman Franks and Mike O'Connor are both military historians and authors.
In the Footsteps of the Red Baronby Mike O'Connor
Manfred von Richthofen became a fighter pilot on the Western Front in August 1916. By January 1917, Richthofen had shot down fifteen aircraft had been appointed commander of his own unit. He painted the fuselage of his Albatros D-III a bright red and was nicknamed the Red Baron. In June 1917, Richthofen was appointed commander of the German Flying Circus. Made up of Germany's top fighter pilots, this new unit was highly mobile and could be quickly sent to any part of the Western Front where it was most needed. Richthofen and his pilots achieved immediate success during the air war over Ypres during August and September.
Manfred von Richthofen was killed on 21st April 1918. Richthofen had destroyed 80 allied aircraft, the highest score of any fighter pilot during the First World War.
This book is divided into three sectors of the WWI front line in which von Richthofen operated. Each area is conveniently reached within hours. Airfield sites, memorials and the graves of Manfred's famous victims are described and directions for the battlefield walker are included with information on related museums and historic sites with special association with this most famous of fighter pilots.
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In the Footsteps of the Red Baron is one of several remarkable books in the Battleground Europe series published by Pen & Sword. Its authors, Mike O¿Connor and Norman Franks, have given us a terrific little volume about Manfred Von Richthofen, guiding us to the locations of airfields he flew from, his living quarters, his battles, and his death. A central purpose of the Battleground Europe titles is to serve as guides to those who wish to visit battle sites, and this work succeeds wonderfully. Much more than von Richthofen is covered here: He killed dozens of men in combat, and O¿Connor and Franks do a great service to those who met their death fighting him. The burial place of every known casualty is listed, and several biographies and photographs of the victims are given as well. There is also this: many of von Richthofen¿s opponents were too badly burned to be identified by the Germans, or their graves were later lost. Their names can be found on the Arras Memorial and are listed here. As is the case with all the books in this series, this one is very highly recommended even if¿and perhaps especially if¿you do not plan to tour the battle sites personally.