The English-language German production is based on a biography of von Richthofen by historian Joachim Castan, which came out last fall. (…)
The book, entitled “The Red Baron: The Entire Story About Manfred von Richthofen,” begins with a frequently recounted scene that has been historically confirmed: Richthofen opens fire on an enemy plane. When he sees that the pilot’s gun is jammed, he forces him to land and greets with pilot with a hand shake.
Towards the end of the war, worn down by the reality of violence, he is also said to have killed in cold blood, shooting at marching soldiers on the ground. (…)
very interesting, although I did not understand the last passage. What is “killed in cold blood” supposed to mean? Anyone in the military knows that war is violent and the idea is either kill or make the military you are fighting surrender.
Anyway, the Red Baron received lots of decorations and awards amongst them the Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class. I think he deserved them and I do think it is a shame that there is no longer an award for valour in the Bundeswehr as I am reading here: “Bid to restore Iron Cross awakens Germany’s angst” by Nicholas Kulish, IHT, March 19, 2008 http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/19/europe/cross.php
The German Army today has no awards for courage, only for attendance. The painful debate over reviving the famed Iron Cross to fill that gap underscores how distant Germany remains from normality when it comes to the military.
At a time when allies, including the United States, are pressing Germany to send more troops into the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, the country is only beginning to reconnect with the basic trappings that go hand-in-hand with armed deployments. Not only does the Bundeswehr lack medals for valor, it does not have an award comparable to the Purple Heart for wounded U.S. soldiers. (…)
A revival of the Iron Cross is not under consideration, the spokesman said. But that is a disappointment to many, particularly in the military, who would like to see the Iron Cross revived as a symbol of pre-Nazi military tradition. (…)
This story is ridiculous. Since when should a Prussian Award (hijacked by Nazis) for bravery not be given to present day German soldiers?
Germany needed men like Richthofen, not a failed Austrian painter/architect. If Richthofen had been in the German government after WWI, I doubt WWII would ever have happened! I hope and pray that the German people finally realize their culture and civilization matters and quit wallowing in self deprecation …. It is unseemly and trust me it doesn’t work!
The Nazis were bastards; however most of the awards for bravery are given to soldiers for saving their friends. It is stupid to deny an award for bravery to those that deserve it.
In fact I find it amusing all the controversy. We have an award for marksmanship in the US Army. Guess what it uses as a model? The Iron cross.
You wouldn’t believe how hard German soldiers tried to receive it.
Watch “The Red Baron” trailer here: http://www.redbaron-themovie.com/index_en.html