The Red Baron in popular culture

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Richthofen's all-red Fokker Dr.I.

Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the "Red Baron", was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during World War I and one of the most famous aviators in history, as well as the subject of many books, films and other media. The following is a list of mentions of him in popular culture.

Popular fiction[edit]

Comic strips ("Peanuts")[edit]

  • Richthofen was mentioned regularly in the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles Schulz, and was included in subsequent television specials as a running gag. Charlie Brown's beagle Snoopy frequently fantasized about being a World War I flying ace. In his daydreams, he imagined his dog house to be a Sopwith Camel and carried a personal grudge against the Red Baron, whom he imagined to be his arch enemy. In spite of Snoopy's best efforts, however, the "Baron" always shot him down with little difficulty, leading Snoopy to curse the Baron for his success and swear to one day shoot him down. This recurring story arc inspired songs by The Royal Guardsmen and even a comic strip in Mad Magazine which depicted their confrontations from the Baron's point of view. The imaginary air battles between Snoopy and the Baron are referenced in The Bloody Red Baron, the second book in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, where a beagle resembling Snoopy is shot by the Baron, who feels a strange hatred towards the animal he cannot explain. Despite the antagonistic relationship the characters had in the comic strip, novels and video games, other media depicted them in less combative roles. In the Royal Guardsmen's song Snoopy's Christmas, the Baron and Snoopy are depicted as participating in The Christmas Truce. A later song by the Guardsmen, Snoopy for President, sees the Baron cast the ballot that allows Snoopy to become President of the United States, explicitly referring to Snoopy as his friend, as he also does in Snoopy's Christmas.

Board game references[edit]

  • The Red Baron was the inspiration for Avalon Hill's 1970s board game Richthofen's War, one of the first World War I aerial combat board games.[1]
  • The Red Baron was also prominently featured in Snoopy & The Red Baron, a Milton Bradley skill game released in 1970.

Movies[edit]

Fokker Dr.I. Replica of the famous Manfred von Richthofen triplane at the ILA 2006

Science fiction[edit]

Music[edit]

Bands[edit]

Albums[edit]

Songs[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Red Baron makes an appearance in the "Private Plane" episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder Goes Forth. After joining the Royal Flying Corps as an excuse to escape the trenches, Captain Blackadder and Private Baldrick are shot down and captured by Manfred von Richthofen (Adrian Edmondson). In a parody of wartime British propaganda, the Baron is portrayed as a stuffy martinet with an exaggerated Prussian accent who lacks a sense of humour, but tries to make up for it. He informs Blackadder and Baldrick, "For us, a toilet is a mundane, functional item. For you it is the basis of an entire culture!" Before retiring to his chateau, Richthofen comments that, "Gallant Lord Flashheart still eludes me." Soon after, Flashheart and Lieutenant George arrive to rescue their fellow flyers. At last facing his greatest adversary, Richthofen launches into a tedious soliloquy about chivalry and honor. Disgusted, Lord Flashheart shoots the Baron dead and screams, "What a poof!"
  • Richthofen was featured in an episode of Fantasy Island, titled "The Red Baron", in which a patron of the island wished to save the Baron (portrayed by Ron Ely) from his doom. (October 27, 1979)[6]
  • In an episode of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, the Red Baron was portrayed as a brown German Shepherd.
  • In the animated series Wacky Races, the Red Max and his car, the Crimson Haybaler, are based on the Red Baron and his plane.
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Ghost of the Red Baron" features a villain masquerading as Richthofen's ghost.
  • Richthofen appears in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "Young Indiana Jones and the Attack of the Hawkmen", in which he is portrayed by Marc Warren.
  • In the animated series SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, the undead villain Red Lynx is based on the Red Baron.
  • The Red Baron is parodied as the "Black Baron" in a Gumby episode where Gumby is an aviator of the First World War.
  • Richthofen has been featured on two different shows on the History Channel, Unsolved History and Man, Moment, Machine.
  • The pilot episode of the 1982 TV series Voyagers! sees the two main characters dogfighting with Richthofen when they travel back in time. In that episode, Richthofen personally challenges American ace Eddie Rickenbacker; in reality, no such engagement ever occurred.
  • Although never seen directly, echoing the encounters in the strips, Richthofen made his first "appearance" with the Peanuts gang in their first animated special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in which he battles and defeats Snoopy. Snoopy and the Baron would have later encounters in various animated series episodes as well, each time defeating Snoopy with relative ease.

Video game references[edit]

There have been a number of World War I flight simulators involving Manfred von Richthofen. They include Hunt for the Red Baron, written and published by Small Rockets, Knights of the Sky by Microprose, and Red Baron by Dynamix and published by Sierra Entertainment which was followed up by a less successful sequel Red Baron II.

  • The Red Baron is mentioned in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as a codename.
  • Empire Earth has a German campaign in which four missions allow the players to control Manfred von Richthofen.
  • In League of Legends, one of the champions, Corki, had a purchasable skin designated "Red Baron Corki" that is designed to make his aircraft a red World War I biplane.
  • In Left 4 Dead, there is an achievement, "Dead Baron", that can be earned by completing the Dead Air campaign, a campaign set in an airport.
  • A character named Dr. Edward Richtofen appears in the Zombies mode in the games Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
  • In the Nintendo DS game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, one of the characters is named Manfred von Karma. Like the Red Baron, he is known for having a perfect career. He also receives his comeuppance from a single bullet.
  • Red Baron 3D World War I Combat Flight Simulator.
  • Sky Kid, an arcade video game by Namco depicts the fanciful air journey of the "Red Baron" and the "Blue Max".
  • Titles for the Atari system in the 1980s, and in 2006 by Namco for PlayStation 2, PSP, and Xbox game systems have also been released.[7]
  • The Sony PlayStation 2 game, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, features a character named "The Black Baron", a flying ace who has never lost a dogfight.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, if the player earned a kill with a Dragonfire, a flying vehicle, they earn a badge named "Red Baron".
  • "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" is a computer game with Snoopy as the protagonist and Manfred von Richthofen as the antagonist. The game is available for PlayStation 2, the PlayStation Portable and the PC. The game was followed by a sequel Snoopy Flying Ace with the same premise for the Xbox 360.
  • The PC game Star Trek: Judgment Rites features the character Trelane from the original series TV episode Squire of Gothos imagining himself as World War I pilot complete with the Red Baron's signature Fokker Triplane.
  • The arcade version of Trivial Pursuit included a player avatar called "Baron von Rightoften", designed to resemble the Red Baron.
  • The Nintendo entertainment system game Indiana Jones: The Chronicles, set during World War 1, contains an airplane combat level with the main enemy "baron von Richtoven", who is allegedly shot down by Indiana Jones and William Bishop.
  • In Thrillville: Off the Rails there is an arcade flying ace named Barry von Rictoven who is referred to several times as "The Red Barry" and flies a triplane.
  • Wings, a Cinemaware title in which the player is an Allied pilot in France during World War I, follows the vicissitudes of the Red Baron, from his rising to his death.
  • In Halo 5: Guardians the gamemode "Warzone" includes a boss named Baron 'Sroam, who is the pilot of a red flying vehicle.
  • Richthofen is prominently featured in the World War I-themed first-person shooter Battlefield 1.
  • Titanfall 2 features a skin for the Ion Titan called "Red Baron". It is unlocked if a save file for Battlefield 1 is located on the same system.

Miniatures and crafts[edit]

  • George Barris custom Hot Rod automobile, merchandised into the Hot Wheels toy cars and collectible scale cars; also the Tom Daniels Monogram model car kit.
  • A gun truck that served in Vietnam was named and painted the Red Baron
  • Ghost of the Red Baron model kit, by Monogram, shows a 1/6 scale skull with chrome stahelm (helmet) on an Iron Cross stand.
  • Divebomb from the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen toyline transforms into an Albatros D.III in Red Baron-inspired livery.

Buildings[edit]

  • Red Baron Hangar, Idaho Falls - a log building that served as an airplane hangar, historical building[8]

Plants and food[edit]

  • Red Barron Onions, Unio Porrum, a leek type strain of red to purple color small non-bulbing, bunching onion for salads.
  • Red Baron Onion, Unio Cepa, a bulbed large variety onion.
  • Red Baron Crabapple, Malus Hybrida, a flowering tree.
  • Red Baron Grass, Imperata, an ornamental Japanese blood grass.
  • Red Baron Flowering plant, Protea, 5 foot tall semi tropical shrub with multiple flowerheads.
  • Red Baron Pizza, pre-made frozen pizza.

Sports[edit]

Other namesakes[edit]

A great variety of model airplanes of all scales, and flying balsa planes, portrait dolls and figurines representing the baron and his aircraft have been produced. The Red Baron name has been attached to small plush figures and teddy bears and is widely applied to products unrelated to the WWI ace.

Grant Murray famously owned and drove the Red Baron until it was recycled by the Fire Service in July 2014.

Rhinebeck Aerodrome[edit]

  • The exploits of Richthofen and his peers inspired Cole Palen to create Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, New York. Palen is credited with creating the kit-plane craze in the U.S., and was instrumental in restoring and/or retrieving priceless examples of World War I aviation. Palen built a replica Fokker Dr I, which he flew in hundreds of simulated dogfights at Rhinebeck.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Game 1711: Richthofen's War". Boardgamegeek.com. 
  2. ^ Wings on IMDb
  3. ^ The Red Baron on IMDb
  4. ^ Revenge of the Red Baron on IMDb
  5. ^ http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/what-the-red-baron-never-knew-22968921/
  6. ^ Fantasy Island on IMDb
  7. ^ Snoopy and the Red Baron (1983), Snoopy vs The Red Baron (2006), Snoopy vs The Red Baron (2006) XBox version
  8. ^ http://www.idahoheritage.org/assets/popups/ec/ec_redbaron.html
  9. ^ Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legends: Red Berenson
  10. ^ Rhinebeck Aerodome Official website