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Manfred von Richthofen’s final flight – the facts you won’t find in any book or documentary:
Fact 1. If letters written by his batman, Andreas Krantz, circa 1929 are to be believed, in the weeks leading up to his death, the increasingly withdrawn Richthofen spent many hours poring over medieval bestiaries in the library at Chateau d’Arandeau. Fact 2. On April 19, 1918, two days before his death, Richthofen instructed Jasta 11′s chief mechanic to commence work on a fully enclosed cockpit canopy – the first of its kind in military aviation. Fact 3. Reports that Dr.1 425/17 was undamaged when it crash-landed at Vaux-sur-Somme were disputed by at least one eyewitness. Gunner Edward Kendall recollected seeing large rents in the aircraft’s tail and top plane canvas. Fact 4. According to Bryce Buckland, an Australian chaplain also present at Vaux-sur-Somme, though Richthofen’s last word was> the infamous “Kaput”, the word he was muttering while being lifted from the cockpit was “Greif” not> “Angriff”. (more…)