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The Red Baron (Hardback)

A History in Pictures

Aviation Photo Books

By Norman Franks
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781473861220
Published: 27th July 2016

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Keen First World War aviation enthusiasts will be familiar with Norman Franks’ previous books covering the life of Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, so why this new one? Well Manfred, the iconic Red Baron, has constantly remained at the forefront of First World War studies and, in commemorating the one hundred years that have elapsed since the beginning of hostilities, it seems like a good time to introduce a new arrangement of photographs covering the entire span of von Richthofen’s war (most of which will have been seen, but spread over a whole variety of books and magazines about First World War flying), consolidated in one book.
In the time that has elapsed since the release of Franks’ earlier titles on a similar theme, a constant trickle of new information has filtered down to him. Although none of it specifically challenges the conclusions drawn in earlier publications, in consolidating them here he’s been able to preserve some significant notes of interest.
Following a number of visits to Belgium and Northern France in recent years, Franks has managed to acquire additional images, illustrating the places in which the Red Baron lived and fought between 1916 and 1918. This collection represents the entire span of von Richthofen's recorded history in pictures, some new and lesser-known, some iconic and widely circulated; all housed here under one roof, for the very first time.

If you are a Red Baron fan, this book is a must-have. Even if you are new to the topic, the text provides an excellent introduction to his career. Recommended.

Read the complete review here.

The Miniatures Page

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http://www.theaerodrome.com/

Readers love a book that delivers what it promises, and the latest offering from veteran WWI aviation author Norman Franks does just that. Franks, who co-authored what is still regarded as the authoritative list of Manfred von Richthofen's victories two decades ago, now brings us one of the finest photo collections of the Red Baron in his new book.

"The Red Baron, A History in Pictures" is suitable for readers new to the topic because it also provides a concise narrative of the pilot's life and death in a chronological and easy to understand sequence. The information is readable, enjoyable and engaging for both the hardcore WWI aviation enthusiast and the reader of casual interest.

However, the text does not pretend to bring volumes of new information to light and those expecting yet another investigation into the Red Baron's mysterious death will be disappointed. Yes, Franks does a fine job of recounting Richthofen's death as it is now understood. But this book is about photos. Lots of them. Some familiar, many not so familiar, yet all faithfully reproduced in good quality and more importantly, suitable size. This is perhaps the best single chronological collection of Richthofen photos yet produced and in that regard, this book is a gem.

In the book's final chapter, Franks almost apologizes for tackling the topic of the Red Baron again since so many other works on the subject are also available. But no apology is necessary. The book's photos are so complete and thorough that a reader could take this book to France and use it as a guide to successfully relocate the positions of the guns that shot at the Red Baron on April 21, 1918 and the exact field where Germany's leading ace crashed to his death.

For those new to the subject of WWI aviation, this book will entertain and stimulate the imagination. For those who have studied it for decades, it is an indispensable collection of must-have photos, all easily accessible in a single volume. Either way, it makes a wonderful addition to your library.

Read the review online here.

The Indy Squadron Dispatch

There are not really that many iconic figures from the first world war that warrant volumes concentrating solely on them and their exploits. Manfred von Richthofen is one who deserves it, and his story has been told a dozen or more times in the form of biographies, but Norman Franks's book goes one stage further and tells the Red Baron's story photographically. Another amazing Pen and Sword book for your collection.

Books Monthly, Paul Norman
 Norman Franks

About Norman Franks

Norman Franks is a respected historian and author. Previous titles for Pen and Sword include, In the Footsteps of the Red Baron (1990) The Fighting Cocks (2010), Fighter Pilots Over Burma (2014), Great War Fighter Aces (2014) and Dowding's Eagles (2015). He lives in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.

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