Three Wings for the Red Baron: Von Richthofen, Strategy, Tactics and Airplanes (Hardback)
by Leon Bennett
|Format:||Hardback 272 pages|
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The story behind the Red Baron, his combat tactics and his plane Three Wings for the Red Baron explores the career of Manfred von Richthofen, top fighter pilot in the Imperial German Air Service during World War I, and tells the story of his famous three-winged airplane, the Fokker Triplane. A descendant of prosperous landowners, Baron von Richthofen was no revolutionary; and yet, while seeking to fit in with his peers, he was often driven to move into new directions dictated by personal logic. Trained for the cavalry, he switched to the Air Service when machine guns doomed the fate of the horse soldier, for if he were to die, it must not be a pointless death. As a flier having to overcome a lack of talent for aerobatic manoeuvring, he chose the duel as a role model; pilot versus pilot. He learned that much could be achieved with a powerful single-seater machine against a low powered and poorly manoeuvring enemy two-seater. This became Richthofen's preferred form of combat, leading to an extraordinary series of victories. With the advent of fully aerobatic combat, Richthofen was forced to rethink his approach. The chance sighting of an agile British Sopwith Triplane demanded a fresh response. He enlisted the services of Anthony Fokker to design a competing German Triplane. This machine, the Red Baron's Three Wings, led to his final victories, and to his death. The special tactics employed by the Red Baron were crucial to the success of his Three Wings, in particular those downplaying speed and stressing agility. Numerous sketches included in the book serve to make the Red Baron's combat tactics clear. Three Wings for the Red Baron represents an important contribution to the study of the Red Baron and World War I aerial combat tactics.
Helion & Company
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