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The English had hit upon a splendid joke. They intended to catch me or to bring me down.
— Manfred von Richthofen

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, more famously known as the Red Baron, was born in May 2nd, 1892, into a prominent Prussian aristocratic family. After being educated at home he attended a school at Schweidnitz before beginning military training when he was 11. After completing cadet training in 1911, he joined an Uhlan cavalry unit, the Ulanen-Regiment Kaiser Alexander der III. von Russland (1. Westpreußisches) Nr. 1.

When World War I began, Richthofen served as a cavalry reconnaissance officer on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Though with cavalry becoming quickly outdated, his unit started being dispatch as runners and field telephone operators, causing Richthofen to apply for the Luftstreitkräfte instead.

He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became the leader of Jasta 11 and then the larger fighter wing unit Jagdgeschwader 1, better known as "The Flying Circus" or "Richthofen's Circus" because of the bright colors of its aircraft.

On April 21, 1918 Richtofen was shot down and killed near Vaux-sur-Somme, though the identety of his killer remains a source of debate.

Battle vs. Rene Fonck (by LB&SCR)[]


Expert's Opinion[]


To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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Battles here were deemed to be unfair or otherwise not in accordance with wiki standards, and have been removed from the statuses of the warriors and displayed below.

Battle vs. Claus von Stauffenberg (by El Alamein)[]

Prologue 1 July 1944

The long hallway echoed with the sharp clicks of the heels of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg's polished boots as he approached the door. A guard stood at the side with an MP40, but he stood aside, immediately recognizing von Stauffenberg's trademark eyepatch. Von Stauffenberg nodded at the guard and entered the room, a thick leather briefcase dangling from his three-fingered grip. Setting the heavy baggage down, he snapped at attention and raised his good arm in a salute, with a hastily muttered "Heil!" as an afterthought. Sitting behind a desk, returning the gesture lazily, was Reichsmarschall Manfred von Richthofen. 

"Greetings, Oberstleutnant," said von Richthofen. "I trust your flight went well?"

"Your pilots are trained to do their jobs," replied von Stauffenberg. He leaned forward, hunched over in his seat, with his good elbow propping up his torso on his legs. "Reichsmarschall," he said seriously, "I must ensure that I am capable of arriving at the Wolf's Lair as soon as possible. The Fuhrer has assured me that I can count on members of your Flying Circus to escort my men... after my recent promotion I fear that I have become a more tempting target for an Allied attack."

Von Richthofen waved his hand dismissively and laughed. "My dear Colonel," he said. "Do not give yourself such importance. Even I am fine to travel unharassed within the borders of Germany!" Von Stauffenberg sat upright, visibly distressed. "However," continued von Richthofen, "if the Fuhrer himself has given authorization, it would be my pleasure to provide assistance. I trust you have brought the necessary papers?" With a rustle and a slap, von Stauffenberg had extraced the papers from his briefcase and slid them toward the Reichsmarschall. Manfred von Richthofen's eyes narrowed as he briefly glanced at the text, but as soon as he spotted the iron cross stamp at the bottom and a scribble of ink that was Adolf Hitler's signature, he lifted a pen and etched his own initials with a grandiose swirl of his wrist. Setting down his pen, he lifted the stack of papers, tapped them gently on the top of his desk to line them up, and handed them back to von Richthofen. "There you are, Colonel Stauffenberg. You are in for a pleasant journey - I will be accompanying you to the July 20 meeting. Heil Hitler."

Von Stauffenberg stood up, grabbed his briefcase, and headed out the door without a response.

Battle 15 July 1944

"You know what to do, then, Claus?" Friedrich Olbricht's furrowed brow betrayed his deep concern as he studied the papers von Stauffenberg had handed him. 

"We've been over this countless times," von Stauffenberg replied patiently. "I have no doubt that Valkyrie will be successful. We've covered ourselves left and right in case the tiniest detail goes wrong."

"I know," Olbricht flipped through the papers as he spoke, scanning the text furiously in an effort to catch any last-minute mistake. "I'm just afraid something - anything - might go wrong."

Claus von Stauffenberg leaned over the table and scooped up the papers with his good arm, tucking them back into a folder in a motion uncharacteristically quick for the injured colonel. "I know how you feel," he muttered. "But we've come too far to turn back now. Our fates our sealed."

"They're not sealed yet," Olbricht protested, standing suddenly. "We could burn the papers now and nobody would ever know about this - ever."

"You can serve Germany, or the Fuhrer." Claus' reply was stone-cold as he stared at Olbricht with his one good eye. "Not both."

19 July 1944

The air hanging over the Wolf's Lair was heavy and thick with heat. The German sentries leaning uncomfortably over their weapons had mosquito nets slung over their necks and shoulders in an effort to stave off the insatiable pests, buzzing aimlessly in the woods. But Claus von Stauffenberg was allowed to pass unopposed, the enormous Iron Cross painted on the side of his vehicle more than enough to get him through each checkpoint. The guards were tired and lazy under the heat, so their usual thorough searches were reduced to quick checks - after all, a high-ranking colonel must be on official business. 

Manfred von Richthofen was there to greet von Stauffenberg as he stepped out of the vehicle at the entrance to the Wolf's Lair compound. "Greetings, Oberstleutnant." The two men shook hands. "Allow me to take the briefcase for you," von Richthofen offered, looking down at the bulging satchel that von Stauffenberg was awkwardly lugging at his waist. 'It appears heavy."

"It is," von Stauffenberg managed, sweating profusely, not from the heat, but from nerves. "But I can manage."

"The Fuhrer has scheduled the meeting to be moved forward a day," von Richthofen mentioned casually, strolling to the barracks with von Stauffenberg. "He claims it to be of the utmost importance." The blood drained from von Stauffenberg's face, but he maintained a cool disposition as he marched with the Reichsmarschall. He was hoping to have used the extra day to gain access to the Red Baron's quarters - somehow - but now the arming of the bomb would take precedence. "Very well..." von Stauffenberg managed.

"Are you absolutely certain that you're quite well, Colonel?" the Red Baron asked, a trace of genuine concern crossing his face. "Perhaps the long car ride was a bit much for you. I'll tell you what - take a few hours to relax - the Fuhrer's meeting won't be until this evening anyhow - and then I will give you a ride in my plane. Sometimes it takes a bit of fresher air to restore health, if you know what I mean." Von Stauffenberg chuckled along with the Red Baron, even if he privately though that a plane ride would make him feel worse. Still, he jumped inwardly at the good hand that fate had dealt him, and accepted graciously. 

Von Stauffenberg's room was hot and stuffy, and he was sweating heavily as he attempted to prepare the briefcase in his officer's uniform. His fingers shook with nerves, and he fumbled with fuses and other parts several times, swearing to himself as he stooped to pick up the fallen pieces. The Red Baron was expecting him in a few hours - giving him barely enough time to prepare both bombs. One would be dropped off near the Fuhrerbunker before he would excuse himself to meet with the Red Baron. He was hoping to goad von Richthofen into flying solo - a man with an ego of his type surely would be unable to resist a chance to show off. But as he sniffed quietly to himself in the small room and slipped the last mechanism into place, he began to relax. Perhaps Operation Valkyrie was not as doomed as Olbricht had feared.

Presently, von Richthofen's knock at the door jolted von Stauffenberg back to reality. "I'll be just a moment - shaving," he called, as he snapped both timing mechanisms to ten minutes. "I need to drop off one of these briefcases with the Fuhrer before we go out," he explained. "I'm sure you understand."

"Of course," von Richthofen responded. At his side was his Mauser C96 handgun, with which the Red Baron idly toyed as they walked. Hitler did not even look up, studying a series of maps spread out on the table and talking with his senior advisers, as Claus von Stauffenberg silently entered the room and slid the briefcase next to him under the table - and just as quickly and quietly as he had entered, von Stauffenberg slipped out the door and into the Wolf's Lair courtyard.

"You're jumpy, Colonel," von Richthofen noted, looking somewhat concerned. "Perhaps this plane ride is all you need." 

"You know what, Reichsmarschall?" Claus von Stauffenberg rubbed his good eye and looked over at the Red Baron. "I am feeling tired now - perhaps a simple demonstration would be all I need to relax this evening."

The two men had reached the small airfield and the hangar, where the Red Baron's small triplane sat unassumingly next to larger, more capable fighter planes. Still, it sparkled and shone with obvious pride as von Richthofen sauntered up next to it. Claus von Stauffenberg walked around the other side, and as the Red Baron climbed into his vehicle, the colonel quickly stuffed his briefcase into the rear of the plane. "Stand back, Colonel," von Richthofen said, smiling. "It's about to get loud!"

As if on cue, an earth-shattering boom tore through the air and a plume of smoke and debris shot up in the distance, in the center of the Wolf's Lair. The explosion was powerful enough to slightly shake the ground out at the hangar. The muffled sound of men shouting loudly was immediately drowned out by an alarm that droned across the base. Von Richthofen ducked insinctively deeper into his seat before sitting bolt upright and turning his head in shock to look at Claus von Stauffenberg. He turned, instead, to be staring down the barrel of Claus von Stauffenberg's pistol.

"Long live the Third Reich," quipped the colonel, moments before firing.

Expert's Opinion[]

Although von Richthofen was more physically capable and better experienced in combat than Claus von Stauffenberg, it was the latter's ability to use his influence and prestige in the Third Reich to place himself in an advantageous situation and make himself capable of striking without being suspected that led to the assassination of the Red Baron.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.


The battle was declared unfair for Richtofen because he had no way to anticipate or bust Stauffenberg's assassination attempt.