The Great War Album Cover

The Red Baron


Man and machine and nothing there in between
A flying circus and a man from Prussia
The sky and a plane, this man commands his domain
The western front and all the way to Russia

Death from above, you’re under fire
Stained red as blood, he’s roaming higher

Born a soldier from the horseback to the skies
That’s where the legend will arise

And he’s flying

Higher, the king of the sky
He’s flying too fast and he’s flying too high
Higher, an eye for an eye
The legend will never die

First to the scene he is a lethal machine
It’s bloody April and the tide is turning
Fire at will it is the thrill of the kill
Four in a day shot down with engines burning

Embrace the fame, red squadron leader
Call out his name Rote Kampfflieger

In the game to win, a gambler rolls the dice
80 allies paid the price

Higher, the king of the sky
He’s flying too fast and he’s flying too high
He’s flying higher, an eye for an eye
The legend will never die

Born a soldier, from the horseback to the skies
And the legend never dies

And he’s flying
And he’s flying
And he’s flying

Lyrics:Brodén / Sundström
Historic Fact
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, better known as the “Red Baron” was a fighter pilot with the German Air Service and was considered the ace-of-aces during World War I with 80 confirmed allied kills to his name.

Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Air Service in 1915, became a member of Jagdstaffel 2 in 1916, and subsequently earned himself the Pour le Mérite in January of 1917 after his 16th confirmed air combat kill, the highest military honor in Germany at the time. That same month, he assumed command of Jagdstaffel 11 where he first painted his plane red becoming known among the Germans as Der Rote Kampfflieger (The Red Fighter Pilot). This led to the rest of his squadron also painting their planes some variation of red and eventually other Jagdstaffels adopted their own unique squadron colors.

Richthofen led his new squadron to unparalleled success, peaking during “Bloody April” 1917 where he shot down 22 British aircraft, including 4 in a single day, and by the end of the month the British had lost 245 aircraft compared to the 66 German losses. In June Richthofen became the commander of Jagdgeschwader 1 the newly formed larger fighter wing comprised of Jagdstaffels 4, 6, 10, and 11, which would become widely known as “The Flying Circus” due to the wing’s brightly colored aircraft and mobility.

On the 21st of April 1918, at the age of 25, in the skies over Morlancourt Ridge, Richthofen was fatally struck by a single British .303 round in the right side of his torso and through his heart while saving his cousin Lt. Wolfram von Richthofen from pursuing Canadian pilot Lieutenant Wilfrid "Wop" May, and in the last seconds of his life successfully managed to land his plane in a nearby field before succumbing to his wound.

“Fight on and fly on to the last drop of blood and the last drop of fuel, to the last beat of the heart.” – Manfred von Richthofen

Facts by: Joe Arino

Find out more about the Red Baron.