‘The Red Baron’ – Shot Down on 21 April 1918 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog


‘The Red Baron’ – Shot Down on 21 April 1918

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, ‘The Red Baron’, was shot down near the Somme River on the Western Front, on 21 April 1918.

The newspapers of the time published numerous reports on the ‘dog fight’ which claimed the life of von Richthofen, highlighting the propaganda coup that the death of ‘The Red Baron’ represented.

To mark the day, here is a newspaper report published the day after the Baron’s death, which reports on the action which saw the Baron show down, and also offers a brief summary of his military career.

It’s also interesting to consider how on earth the newspaper editors managed to get hold of a photograph of von Richthofen?…

Nottingham Evening Post – Monday 22 April 1918

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.



5 comments On ‘The Red Baron’ – Shot Down on 21 April 1918

  • I have enquired on two previous occasions if the Mid Ulster Mail is to
    be put on line but received no reply.

    • Hi Desmond,

      Thanks for your post.

      Please accept my apologies that we did not reply to you sooner.

      We can’t make promises about which papers will appear in the Archive. However, I will pass on your suggestion to the development team.

      There are so may variables and conditions about what we can publish (e.g. copyright permissions, quality of the source newspaper, meeting OCR standards, etc), that it’s very difficult for us to publish an ‘in advance’ list. Nonetheless, we are uploading up to 8,000 pages on a daily basis.

      Ane we have a ‘Recently Added Issues’ page on the site:


      And on the homepage in the ‘Search by publication’ section, there is a fully up-to-date A to Z index (in the form of a drop-down menu):


      And we make announcements about new titles on Facebook, Twitter and on the blog.

      So when/if we do add the Mid Ulster Mail to the site, we’ll certainly let folk know about it.

      Best regards,

  • Can you let me know one way or the other ?

  • re The Red Baron shot down on 21 April 1918
    The preamble to the above cutting ponders as to where the newspaper would have obtained Manfred von Richthofen’s photograph.
    Baron von Richthofen had published his memoirs (The Red Air Fighter) in Germany before his death. These were translated into english and published in England prior to the end of the war , they make fascinating reading. There are several photographs of him in the book although not the one published in the newspaper report. However it is quite obvious that most information published in German Newspapers about their flying ace would have been available to the Allied media through neutral countries such as Switzerland.
    The news story also casts doubt on von Richthofen’s final tally of 80 victories. In 1998 a book was published “Under the Guns of the Red Baron” – a complete record of von Richthofen’s victories and victims fully illustrated by Norman Franks & Hal Giblin & Nigel McCrery. This scrupulously researched book concluded that von Richthofen’s record keeping was meticulous and apart from one or two “heat of battle” mistakes the tally was virtually 100% accurate.

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for posting all this info – I’ll have to find a copy of ‘The Red Air Fighter.
      Best regards,

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