RoteBaron-Entity999-Foto-von-Oliver-Thiele-1.jpegRotebaron Entity999, Foto Von Oliver Thiele
©Rotebaron Entity999, Foto Von Oliver Thiele|Oliver Thiele ( 2006
The Red Baron

Discover the Red Baron in Douai

During the First World War, as mechanised warfare took over from the days of horses, new weapons appeared. Tanks would start to play their part. But it was the arrival of aeroplanes that would go down in history.

The German ace nicknamed the Red Barron

The Red Baron

Manfred von Richthofen was a German ace whose reputation is well known and whose story has been told in numerous books and films. In France, von Richthofen was nicknamed the ‘Little Red’ or the ‘Red Devil’. But it is his British nickname that has stood the test of time: the ‘Red Baron’.

A German tactician and fighter

Born in 1892 into an aristocratic Prussian family, he began his military career at the age of just nine and joined the Walhstadt Cadet School. At the age of 19, he joined the Uhlan cavalry regiment. With the static trench warfare marking the end for cavalry units, a side-lined von Richthofen, desperate for action, joined the German Army Air Service and became a fighter pilot in 1915, at the age of 24. During the First World War, aviators were widely feted and admired. After a slow start where he was rated average, Von Richthofen quickly progressed and became a very good pilot, tactician and fighter. As his confirmed ‘kills’ mounted, German military medals and honours were thrown at him.

An adventurous pilot

The ace-of-aces

Seriously wounded in his head in July 1917, and against the advice of the authorities, he was back in the air just 18 days later. However, he then agreed to a period of convalescence, during which he penned the autobiographical ‘The Red Battle Flyer’. which only added to his standing. He had his Fokker Albatross tri-plane painted bright red, going against the traditional camouflage colours. He last took the controls of his plane on 21 April 1918. It was to be his final flight, as he made one of the only mistakes of his life as a pilot that day. Flying low over enemy lines, perhaps still suffering from the effects of his wound he was shot down by ground fire just north of the village of Vaux-sur-Somme.

The Red Barron and Douai

The connection with Douai? For long periods the Red Baron, and many of his fellow German Aces, was based at the now vanished Douai La Brayelle airfield.

The plane of this knight of the air, with 80 kills, was also seen several times in Cambrai . Visit this town and its memorial sites, only 30 minutes from Douai. You can see cemeteries and memorials, memorial paths…

Venez nous rencontrer !

à 30 minutes de Lille

à 1h10 de Paris

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