Sunday, June 19, 2011
Much cuter than the guy in the pizza adverts
Baron Manfred von Richthofen (yes, he was an actual baron), German WWI fighter pilot, ace-of-aces, and timeless phenomenal awe-inspiring badass. EIGHTY air combat victories, people. I submit that few men have ever been more courageous than the air corps pilots of the early twentieth century, who strapped themselves into rickety, single-occupant, wood-and-canvas, barely controllable airplanes and waged freezing open-air dogfights, sometimes mere feet from each other in the sky, close enough to look each other in the eyes, with no protection other than a leather helmet and a pair of goggles.
Richthofen was buried with full military honors on the battlefield by the opposing Allied forces, who laid a wreath on his grave that said "To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe". Speaks volumes about the man, I'd say.