Red Baron

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    /wiki/Red Baronwork
    Official portrait, c. 1917

    "Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more
    The bloody Red Baron was rollin' up the score
    Eighty men died trying to end that spree
    Of the bloody Red Baron of Germany".

    According to Wikipedia:

    Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen (born Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen; 2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), also known as the "Red Baron", was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during World War I. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.

    Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Air Service in 1915, becoming one of the first members of Fighter Squadron No. 2 in 1916. He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became leader of Fighter Squadron No. 11 and then the larger unit Fighter Wing No. 1, better and popularly known as "The Flying Circus" or "Richthofen's Circus" because of the bright colours of its aircraft, and perhaps also because of the way the unit was transferred from one area of allied air activity to another - moving like a traveling circus in trains, and frequently setting up in tents on improvised airfields. By 1918, Richthofen was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and respected and admired even by his enemies.

    Richthofen was shot down and killed near Vaux-sur-Somme on 21 April 1918. There has been considerable discussion and debate regarding aspects of his career, especially the circumstances of his death. He remains perhaps one of the most widely known fighter pilots of all time.

    A 2008 movie titled The Red Baron is about Manfred's life, though it plays a bit fast and loose with history. There's also a flight combat sim series, a 1970s Tokusatsu, a 1990s Anime Super Robot show, and a frozen pizza brand named after the Red Baron.

    For the trope concerning monikers like "The Red Baron" that used to be here, see Sobriquet. Alternately, you might be looking for That Other Sort of Baron.

    The Red Baron provides examples of the following tropes:
    • Ace Pilot: One of the earliest examples of an ace-of-aces.
    • Cool Plane: The Red Baron's signature all-red Fokker Dr.1 triplane is quite possibly the Ur Example, although it wasn't the only aircraft he flew.
    • Honorable Enemy Ace: As far as the Entente Powers were concerned.
    • Sobriquet: "Red Baron", of course, and he was the Trope Namer until it was renamed to something less esoteric.
    Appearances in fiction:

    Wikipedia has a long list of Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen's appearances in various media and real-life shout-outs to the Red Baron, which was used for the first version of this list.

    Comic Books



    Live-Action TV

    • The Red Baron makes an appearance in the "Private Plane" episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder Goes Forth. After joining the Royal Flying Corps as an excuse to escape the trenches, Captain Blackadder and Private Baldrick are shot down and captured by Manfred von Richthofen (played by Adrian Edmondson). In a parody of wartime British propaganda, the Baron is portrayed as a stuffy martinet with an exaggerated Prussian accent who lacks a sense of humour, but tries to make up for it.
    • Richthofen was featured in an episode of Fantasy Island, titled "The Red Baron", in which a patron of the island wished to save the Baron (portrayed by Ron Ely) from his doom. (October 27, 1979)
    • Richthofen appears in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "Young Indiana Jones and the Attack of the Hawkmen", in which he is portrayed by Marc Warren.
    • Richthofen has been featured on two different shows on the History Channel, Unsolved History and Man, Moment, Machine.
    • The pilot episode of the 1982 TV series Voyagers! sees the two main characters dogfighting with Richthofen when they travel back in time. In that episode, Richthofen personally challenges American ace Eddie Rickenbacker; in reality, no such engagement ever occurred.


    Newspaper Comics

    • Peanuts: "Curse you, Red Baron!" Manfred von Richthofen was mentioned regularly in the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz, and was included in subsequent television specials as a running gag. Charlie Brown's beagle Snoopy frequently fantasized about being a World War I flying ace. In his daydreams, he imagined his dog house to be a Sopwith Camel and carried a personal grudge against the Red Baron, whom he imagined to be his own character's arch enemy. In spite of Snoopy's best effort, however, the "Baron" always shot him down with little difficulty, leading Snoopy to curse the Baron for his success and swear to one day shoot him down.
      • This recurring story arc inspired songs by The Royal Guardsmen and even a comic strip in Mad Magazine which depicted their confrontations from the Baron's point of view.
      • The imaginary air battles between Snoopy and the Baron are referenced in The Bloody Red Baron, the second book in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, where a beagle resembling Snoopy is shot by the Baron, who feels a strange hatred towards the animal he cannot explain.
      • Despite the antagonistic relationship the characters had in the comic strip, novels and video games, other media depicted them in less combative roles. In the Royal Guardsmen's song Snoopy's Christmas, the Baron and Snoopy are depicted as participating in The Christmas Truce. A later song by the Guardsmen, Snoopy for President, sees the Baron cast the ballot that allows Snoopy to become President of the United States, explicitly referring to Snoopy as his friend, as he also does in Snoopy's Christmas.

    Tabletop Games

    • The Red Baron was the inspiration for Avalon Hill's 1970s board game Richthofen's War, one of the first World War I aerial combat board games.
    • The Red Baron was also prominently featured in Snoopy & The Red Baron, a Milton Bradley skill game released in 1970.

    Video Games

    • There have been a number of World War I flight simulators involving Manfred von Richthofen. They include Hunt for the Red Baron, written and published by Small Rockets, Knights of the Sky by Microprose, and Red Baron by Dynamix and published by Sierra Entertainment which was followed up by a less successful sequel Red Baron II.
    • The Red Baron is mentioned in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as a codename.
    • Empire Earth has a German campaign in which four missions allow the players to control Manfred von Richthofen.
    • In League of Legends, one of the champions, Corki, had a purchasable skin designated "Red Baron Corki" that is designed to make his aircraft a red World War I biplane.
    • In Left 4 Dead, there is an achievement, "Dead Baron", that can be earned by completing the Dead Air campaign, a campaign set in an airport.
    • A character named Dr. Edward Richtofen appears in the Zombies mode in the games Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
    • In the Nintendo DS game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, one of the characters is named Manfred von Karma. Like the Red Baron, he is known for having a perfect career, having won numerous consecutive "King of Prosecutors" trophies - and he also receives his comeuppance from a single bullet. Not by being shot, but by finally being found out and convicted of a crime he tried to cover up.
    • Red Baron 3D World War I Combat Flight Simulator.
    • Sky Kid, an arcade video game by Namco depicts the fanciful air journey of the "Red Baron" and the "Blue Max".
    • Titles for the Atari system in the 1980s, and in 2006 by Namco for PlayStation 2, PSP, and Xbox game systems have also been released: Snoopy and the Red Baron (1983), Snoopy vs The Red Baron (2006), Snoopy vs The Red Baron (2006) XBox version
    • The Sony PlayStation 2 game, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, features a character named "The Black Baron", a flying ace who has never lost a dogfight.
    • In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, if the player earned a kill with a Dragonfire, a flying vehicle, they earn a badge named "Red Baron".
    • "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" is a computer game with Snoopy as the protagonist and Manfred von Richthofen as the antagonist. The game is available for PlayStation 2, the PlayStation Portable and the PC. The game was followed by a sequel with the same premise, Snoopy Flying Ace, for the Xbox 360.
    • The PC game Star Trek: Judgment Rites features the character Trelane from the original series TV episode Squire of Gothos imagining himself as World War I pilot complete with the Red Baron's signature Fokker Triplane.
    • The arcade version of Trivial Pursuit included a player avatar called "Baron von Rightoften", designed to resemble the Red Baron.
    • The Nintendo entertainment system game Indiana Jones: The Chronicles, set during World War 1, contains an airplane combat level with the main enemy "baron von Richtoven", who is allegedly shot down by Indiana Jones and William Bishop.
    • In Thrillville: Off the Rails there is an arcade flying ace named Barry von Rictoven who is referred to several times as "The Red Barry" and flies a triplane.
    • Wings, a Cinemaware title in which the player is an Allied pilot in France during World War I, follows the vicissitudes of the Red Baron, from his rising to his death.
    • In Halo 5: Guardians the gamemode "Warzone" includes a boss named Baron 'Sroam, who is the pilot of a red flying vehicle.
    • Richthofen is prominently featured in the World War I-themed first-person shooter Battlefield 1.
    • Titanfall 2 features a skin for the Ion Titan called "Red Baron". It is unlocked if a save file for Battlefield 1 is located on the same system.

    Western Animation

    • In an episode of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, the Red Baron was portrayed as a brown German Shepherd.
    • In the animated series Wacky Races, the Red Max and his car, the Crimson Haybaler, are based on the Red Baron and his plane.
    • The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Ghost of the Red Baron" features a villain masquerading as Richthofen's ghost.
    • In the animated series SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, the undead villain Red Lynx is based on the Red Baron.
    • The Red Baron is parodied as the "Black Baron" in a Gumby episode where Gumby is an aviator of the First World War.
    • Although never seen directly, echoing the encounters in the strips, Richthofen made his first "appearance" with the Peanuts gang in their first animated special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in which he battles and defeats Snoopy. Snoopy and the Baron would have later encounters in various animated series episodes as well, each time defeating Snoopy with relative ease.