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Richthofen: A True History of the Red Baron by William Burrows (89,000 words, 27 illustrations)

Originally a cavalryman, Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (1892-1918), nicknamed the Red Baron, transferred to the German Air Service in 1915. One of the first members of fighter squadron Jasta 2 in 1916, Richthofen quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, becoming leader of Jasta 11 in 1917 and later leading the larger fighter wing known as “The Flying Circus” or “Richthofen’s Circus” whose bright-colored aircraft moved from one area of Allied air activity to another, settling on improvised airfields. Richthofen was shot down and killed in April 1918 over France at age 25. Credited with 80 air combat victories, he was a national hero in Germany and was also respected by his enemies.

“The context [of World War I air warfare] can be obtained from William E. Burrows’s ‘true history,’ a very good book. He has not only read the available material, but talked to a great many people who knew Richthofen. The result is as good a look at the withdrawn Prussian personality as we are likely to get.” — Pierce Fredericks,
New York Times Book Review

“This is a fine biography of the German flying ace of World War I fame, who, at the time of his death at age 25, was already a legend. The author has researched well his subject giving the reader a look at the person, not just the mystique, and reconstructs a few of the Red Baron’s famous dog-fights.” —
US Naval Institute Proceedings

“This ‘true history of the Red Baron’ gets behind the mystique clinging to the World War I aviation ace to the question of his use, or mis-use, by German propaganda.” —
Wall Street Journal

“In this intriguing biography, Burrows zooms in on the man behind the myth. He analyzes Richthofen’s persisting influence on his compatriots today.” —
Book World

“The Burrows book does serve to freshen the memory of the Red Baron and his place in history.” —
The Louisville Times

“William E. Burrows has done, in
Richthofen, a sensitive job of examining how a killer is turned into a myth.” — Christian Science Monitor