Monday, April 21, 2014

Red Baron

I have never been a fan of "war stories"and have read little on the topic outside the history books.  I have not been unaware of the human proclivity of man to off his fellow-man.

At any rate, as the anniversary of the death of the noted "Red Baron" approached, I did a bit of reading, just to remind myself that war not only is, but has always been, hell.

Curse you, Red Baron!

Manfred von Richthofen had 80 certified "kills" and probably many more, totaling perhaps more than one hundred.  This is the most kills of any WWI fighter pilot on either side of the conflict.  The next five had, respectively, 75, 72, 61, 60, and 57 confirmed "kills"  with probably a significant number more not confirmed by the records.

What does it tell us?  Six men destroyed more than 400 planes, and each man was regarded as a hero. Killing is heroic.  Some killing is heroic.  Whether one is a hero or a villain when he kills is dependent not upon the taking of a human life, but upon when and where, and how, the killing took place.

Von Richthofen met his demise over the Somme on April 21, 1918.  Whether the shot that took his life was from the ground or from the air has been disputed and debated for the better part of a century, and books have been written about it.

Allied Major Blake organized a funeral  with full military honors for von Richthofen.  One of the wreaths presented by a fighter squadron was inscribed "To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe." 

The baron lived twenty-five years.


Sharkbytes said...

Oh come on... you know who got him.

Now, Snoopy had sworn that he’d get that man
So he asked the Great Pumpkin for a new battle plan
He challenged the German to a real dogfight
While the Baron was laughing, he got him in his sights

That Bloody Red Baron was in a fix
He’d tried everything, but he’d run out of tricks
Snoopy fired once, and he fired twice
And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight

Secondary Roads said...

I was going to leave a remark
Then I read Sharkey's analysis
I think she got it right

Hang on Snoopy
Snoopy hang on

vanilla said...

Sharkey, really? I thought only Linus believed in the Great Pumpkin?!

Chuck, and I thought it was Sloopy Girl who was supposed to hang on. Wait a minute. Have you guys cooked up a conspiracy to confuse the old man?

Marsha Young said...

Don't know much about the Red Baron - but always loved Snoopy. And in catching up with your recent posts, I discovered you had a DOG named JIGGS?

Excuse me, but that is my nickname. I have on occasion been treated like a dog, but heretofore had never been named after one. Sighhhh.... life continues to confusticate - but we soldier on.

Happy spring to you and yours ~ Marsha (aka Jiggs)

vanilla said...

Marsha, can't really say you were "named after a dog." Jiggs was seventy years in the past, yet he has not faded from memory. Good to see you back in the blogosphere!