Video Courtesy of 1C Game Studios, 777 Studios. In association with Russian Military Historical Society (RMHS). Original video created by YouTube user “sirgisbod.”
A simulation video that combines computer generated graphics with historical facts to retell the encounter between Roy and Richthofen. This modern video illustrates the continued interest in and controversy surrounding the death of Richthofen.
April, 1918. With 80 victories, one man the “Ace of Aces.” To those who flew with him he seemed immortal. He became known to his enemy as The Red Baron.
“The Death of Richthofen”
Sunday, 21st April, 0830 hours local time. Fog shrouds the Somme front. By 1000 hours the fog begins to lift.
1030 hours, Cappy airfield home of Jasta 11. Jasta 11 take off, led by Manfred von Richthofen, with Hans-Joachim Wolff, Richthofen’s cousin, Wolfram. 1035 hours, Bertangles airfield, 209 Squadron. 3 flights take off, commanded by Canadian, Roy Brown with old school friend and novice pilot, Wilfred May, Oliver LeBoutillier, leading “B” flight and Francis Mellersh. Lieramont airfield, Jasta 5 take off to join the group flying Albatros D.Va’s and Triplanes. 209 Squadron fly a high offensive patrol over the Somme. 1125hours, LeBoutillier spots 2, two seaters over Le Quesnel. He turns to engage with two of his flight. LeBoutillier shoots one down in flames who falls over Beaucourt-en-Senterre. They continue the patrol towards Hamel before sighting JG1 through a gap in the clouds. At 1145 hours the clash over Sailly-le-Sec. A dogfight begins. At 1150 hours, Mellersh spots a lone Triplane, half rolls and forces him down. May circles on the edge of the fight until Wolfram con Richthofen crosses his front. Richthofen sees his cousin under attack, closes in, and opens fire. The inexperienced May, falls out of control, probably saving his life. Richthofen breaks his own rule and follows May down. He plunges earth word but regains control just above the Somme. He follows the river west – and to the safety of his own lines. Brown, sees the pursuit and dives to help. A low level chase follows with a strong Easterly wind, Richthofen is pushed further over the enemy lines, alone. Under constant ground fire Richthofen seems to become target fixated unaware of Brown diving behind him. Cedric Popkin, of the 24th Australian Machine Gun Company, fires at the Triplane along with soldiers from the 53rd Battery, Royal Australian Artillery. Brown fires a burst and the Triplane rears up to the right at 1200 hours near Vaux-sur-Somme. Richthofen receives a single, fatal bullet wound to the chest, The Fokker falls vertically but pulls up at the last moment possibly still under the control of Richthofen but by the time the aircraft stops Richthofen is dead. Richthofen’s judgement that day may have been affected by his earlier skull fracture. His fatal wound was caused by a single Vickers .303 round entering under his armpit and exiting under his left nipple, giving some credence to claims of ground fire bring him down. However, May, Mellersh, and LeBoutillier all claim to have seen the Triplane rear up as Brown’s fire his Richthofen. They were convinced it was Brown’s kill. The Vickers .303 machine gun was common to both ground units and the Sopwith Camel. No one will know for certain who killed Richthofen but the legend of the Red Baron lives on.