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Old January 14th, 2012, 04:59 PM
Tank Cdr Tank Cdr is offline
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Manfred von Richthofen Lives

If Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron) survived World War I what would he become? Would he remain in the military? Would he join the Nazi Party? I can find very little information on his political views. I think that he would have a prominent role in the new Luftwaffe, assuming he is not an enemy of the Nazis. Most important, if he was an early supporter of the Nazis could he then supplant Goering as head of the Luftwaffe? If he could, there could be some major butterflies. Your thoughts!?!
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:12 PM
sharlin sharlin is online now
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With the collapse of Germany after the War I reckon he would probably do the smart thing and leave, the man had sustained head injuries in the war and the last thing he wants to do is be in a country that was cracking at the seams.

He'd not be a Nazi either, the Nazi party seemed to dislike the upper classes and he was very much one of the upper classes (upper middle I think).
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sharlin View Post
With the collapse of Germany after the War I reckon he would probably do the smart thing and leave, the man had sustained head injuries in the war and the last thing he wants to do is be in a country that was cracking at the seams.

He'd not be a Nazi either, the Nazi party seemed to dislike the upper classes and he was very much one of the upper classes (upper middle I think).
I do not see such a great German hero leaving Germany. I could also see the Nazis courting him, probably through Goering, his support would mean a lot to the Nazis as they attempt to rise to power.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:37 PM
Archibald Archibald is offline
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AFAIK at the time when the Red Baron was shot down he and Goering were member of the same squadron.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:43 PM
martinroberts martinroberts is offline
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Wink

I dunno he would be upset by the reparations.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
AFAIK at the time when the Red Baron was shot down he and Goering were member of the same squadron.
Not only that but Goering eventually became commander of Richthofen's squadron.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:04 PM
Tank Cdr Tank Cdr is offline
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Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
AFAIK at the time when the Red Baron was shot down he and Goering were member of the same squadron.
That is true, and it makes me wonder, if Richthofen lives would it end up diminishing Goering? Richthofen surviving would mean that Goering would not end up in command of the squadron. Also, if Richthofen becomes a Nazi supporter, or joins the party, is he going to over shadow Goering?
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:09 PM
sharlin sharlin is online now
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Well baring in mind that a blind quadrapalegic person who's on fire could probably do a better job of running the luftwaffe...yes..
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:16 PM
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Well baring in mind that a blind quadrapalegic person who's on fire could probably do a better job of running the luftwaffe...yes..
Well, yes, but what would Richthofen do with his power as Luftwaffe chief? Would he be reasonable, or just another Nazi thug drunk with power?
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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Well, yes, but what would Richthofen do with his power as Luftwaffe chief? Would he be reasonable, or just another Nazi thug drunk with power?
Probably the former, although cracking under the pressure.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:38 PM
robertp6165 robertp6165 is offline
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Originally Posted by sharlin View Post
Well baring in mind that a blind quadrapalegic person who's on fire could probably do a better job of running the luftwaffe...yes..
Hmmmm...von Richthofen in command of the Luftwaffe. Now THAT's a scary thought. Von Richthofen came up with the "Flying Circus" concept which allowed Germany to maximize the effectiveness of its limited air power during the First World War. He clearly had some strategic sense that Goering did not. Could be bad news.

Of course, he still has to deal with Hitler, with all that entails. So it might not be as bad as it could be, due to outside interference.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:38 PM
Anderman Anderman is offline
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He was a popular war hero so maybe he becomes President of Germany instead of Hindenburg. He would quite young for that job.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:58 PM
Archibald Archibald is offline
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A surviving Richtofen is a fascinating whatif. Warning, though: another German ace, Ernst Udet, survived WWI, took high rank within the new Luftwaffe... only to commit suicide in 1941.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderman View Post
He was a popular war hero so maybe he becomes President of Germany instead of Hindenburg. He would quite young for that job.
That is an interesting thought, assuming that Richthofen enters politics. He could be an attractive choice for President. His image could be one of The Great War's greatest ace and war hero. He could also avoid the stain of Germany's defeat, after all his supporters could claim that Richthofen did everything he could do to help Germany win the war, he was the leading ace of the war after all!
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Old January 14th, 2012, 07:26 PM
kalamona kalamona is offline
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Maybe he also tell Hitler to go fuck himself, leki Lettow-Vorbeck.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 08:35 PM
Peabody-Martini Peabody-Martini is offline
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v. Richthofen was in many respects the very stereotype of the classic Prussian officer, everything good and bad that that would entail. To be a successful fighter pilot during the first world war would require one to be brave to the point of being suicidal and completely ruthless, he met this standard easily. He had a reputation for being extremely stubborn, this is reflected by his continued flying with a severe head injury when he should have be grounded for months.

Two things to consider regarding his post-war career. The first would be his state of mind. There are theories that PTSD contributed to his death, that it may have been the reason why he broke his own rules and pursued an enemy plane across the lines at low altitude. There are also some accounts that he may have grown disillusioned with the war and many of the things that caused it. Its unclear how valid those things are, but if true he would not be unique within his generation.

The second was his attitude toward subordinates, lets just say he would not have taken kindly towards taking orders from a corporal.

Its very possible that v. Richthofen and Hitler would have been on collision course with each each other with an uncertain outcome.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Considering that von Richthofen was a great war hero, could he be the sucessor of Hindenburg? After all, old Field Marchal was tired, so could he back von Richthofen as his sucessor at elections in 1931? He would be then about 40 years old, not so young anymore, after all, Hitler was only 3 years older than him.
And being a war hero and with Hindenburg's backing, I'm pretty sure that he would beat Hitler without any problem in presidential race.
And after that, anything is possible...

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Old January 14th, 2012, 09:13 PM
Perky50 Perky50 is online now
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From the previous comments to have Richtofen survive could be a very interesting scenario. His public fame and his popularity with the citizens of Germany combined with his notoriety in Britain and elsewhere mayhaps give him the opportunity to seek an office such as that of the German President.
Just imagine an attempt by Hitler, the Communists or others of those types of persuasion to take control of Germany with the likes of the Baron in the Presidency. He may be presented as one with the strength of character and conviction to face down the national socialist threat.
He might also be able to use his fame and record to his nations advantage in international circles (particularly in Great Britain) to negotiate a more livable replacement to the armistice.
The French would not like it, but I think with the right personage in power there could be some form of diplomatic reproachment between Germany and the British.
If something along this path could be configured you may well be able to present a highly different 1930's. Imagine a solidly democratic Germany, allied with Great Britain, as the main bulwark against the rising threat of Communism.
This may well be a far fetched conceptualization, but there is probably more historical precedence for an Anglo-Germanic Alliance than there would be in continuing to back the French at Germany's expense .
Baron von Richtofen just might be man at the helm in Germany to pull it off.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 09:38 PM
Some Bloke Some Bloke is online now
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Richtofen and Goering swap fates during WWI perhaps. As to him being pro or anti Nazi, who can say. L-V was Germany's only (tactically) undefeated General during the conflict, Richtofen, for all his celebrity was a Major when he died. One of them could have afforded to tell the Nazis where to shove their banner. But, how would the Nazis have fared in the interwar years without Goering?

Last edited by Some Bloke; January 14th, 2012 at 09:52 PM..
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  #20  
Old January 14th, 2012, 11:07 PM
Sumeragi Sumeragi is offline
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But, how would the Nazis have fared in the interwar years without Goering?
Not very well. It was Goering who was able to connect Hitler to the higher circles, leading to the mass contributions that helped the party achieve successes in the elections.
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