Rittmeister; A Biography of Manfred von Richthofen by James W WilbergRittmeister; A Biography of Manfred von Richthofen by James W Wilberg

Rittmeister; A Biography of Manfred von Richthofen

byJames W WilbergCreated by1stWorld Publishing

Paperback | April 18, 2007

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Barely more than 10 years after the Wright brothers flew at Kittyhawk, NorthCarolina; World War I thrust aviation into warfare. Aviation was still in its infancyaircraftdesigners and pilots were still learning about the most basic aerodynamics: thehow and why airplanes actually fly!With the start of the war, pilots not only had to worry about the aircraft and if it wouldactually fly, they had to worry about fighting each other in the sky!The airmen of World War I flew in open, exposed cockpits; often at altitudes thatwould cause frostbite on any uncovered portion of the pilot's skin. The pilots flewwithout oxygen; the effects of altitude and the danger of narcosis were unknown atthe time. Aircraft fell apart during combat maneuvers and engines stopped workingwhile in flight so often that in the First World War, more pilots were killed becauseof accidents than in actual combat.The airman of World War I had no parachute. There was no escape from any malfunctionin his airplane other than trying to control the plane into a crash landing. In addition,the aircraft these men flew were made of canvas glued onto wood: a virtual firebomb. The airplanes could catch fire as a result of the hot engine, leaked gasolinefrom a fuel line or the fuel tank (which the pilot often sat upon) or the effects ofenemy bullets.Manfred von Richthofen faced these perils, as did thousands of other men. Since theyall faced the same incredible dangers and shared the same risks: Manfred in someways typifies the airman of World War I.However, von Richthofen has achieved legendary status in the chronicles of aviationhistory. He achieved this status because he was the most successful fighter pilot in the war. He was a "good" pilot, but he was a superb fighter wing leader, a hunter in theskies. He also became a first rate aerial tactician and an excellent jagdgeschwaderkommodore (squadron leader).Von Richthofen helped to organize jagdgeschwader 1: the flying circus of legend. Bythe time of his death: his leadership, organizational and tactical skills had developedhis squadron into the most effective air group in World War I. He also laid out thestrategies for air combat so well, that his dicta (along with those of his mentor OswaldBoelcke) are still used by today's jet fighter pilots.The war that was to end before Christmas1914 actually lasted four years. A blockadeby the Allied navies resulted in severe shortages of food and other necessities whichcaused tremendous suffering among the civilian population in Germany. The Germanmilitary needed to bolster the support for the war from the civilian population. Warheroes served a very useful purpose in this regard, and the new warfare in the skiesprovided plenty of heroes.Propagated by his country's propaganda service, von Richthofen's image as a modernTeutonic knight of the air propelled him to a legendary hero status in Germany duringthe war.Ultimately, nearly 7,000 German aviators died in the First World War. Manfred vonRichthofen was one of those airmen, a young man who died at age 25. In the war thatwas to end all wars von Richthofen paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country: but hislegend lives on to this day.
Title:Rittmeister; A Biography of Manfred von RichthofenFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:120 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 0.31 inShipping dimensions:11 × 8.5 × 0.31 inPublished:April 18, 2007Publisher:1st World PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1421899574

ISBN - 13:9781421899572