Manfred von Richthofen: Timeline

Richthofen Timeline

A Red Baron Chronology
Continued from: Manfred von Richthofen Biography

May 2: Manfred von Richthofen is born in Kleinburg near Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland). Kleinburg (Borek) became part of Breslau in 1897.

The Richthofen family moves to nearby Schweidnitz (now Świdnica, Poland) when Manfred is four years old. He and his brothers Lothar and Bolko grow up here.

Eleven-year old Manfred is enrolled as a cadet in a military school.

Commissioned as a cavalry officer in April.

In August the Great War begins. Only later was it known as the First World War.

At first Richthofen serves as a cavalry reconnaissance officer in the Uhlan cavalry unit on both the eastern and western fronts.

In May, at his own request, Richthofen is transferred to the Fliegertruppe (air service) as an observer.

On September 17 Richthofen shoots down his first plane.

In January, after shooting down his 18th plane, Richthofen is awarded the Orden Pour Le Mérite, Prussia’s highest military honor. It has the nickname “The Blue Max.”

In June Richthofen is made commander of a new flight squadron.

July 6: Richthofen is seriously wounded by a British aircraft during a dogfight. A head wound puts him out of service for 40 days.

April 21: Richthofen’s plane is shot down over Vaux sur Somme, France. He dies at the age of 25.

April 22: Richthofen is buried with full military honors in Bertangles, France (near Amiens). See Famous Graves: Richthofen for a photo of the first funeral ceremony.

Richthofen grave

The Red Baron’s fourth and final burial was here at Wiesbaden’s Südfriedhof (South Cemetery) in 1975, where he now rests among other Richthofen family members. His grave marker is in the lower center of this photo.
PHOTO: Richard Croft (Wikimedia Commons)

Richthofen is reburied in a more elaborate grave at the military cemetery in Fricourt, France.

November 20: Richthofen’s body is transferred from France to Germany. In an elaborate state funeral attended by Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg the ace flier is interred in Berlin’s Invalidenfriedhof (Invaliden Cemetery).

At the request of the family, Manfred von Richthofen is moved to the Südfriedhof in Wiesbaden, where he now rests in peace beside his sister Ilse, brother Bolko, and other family members. See the photo above.

More | Manfred von Richthofen Biography and Notable Germans

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