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on 4 April 2008
Red Baron, The Life and Death of an Ace charts the drive and ambition of World War One fighter pilot Manfred Freiherr von Richtofen, and the connection to his work that led him to continue fighting despite the danger and overwhelming lack of recognition. The book draws upon the memoirs of those that figure in this historical account, and makes links between the Red Baron and succeeding generations. The quotations that break the informative chunks of text offer a deep insight into the emotional feelings of the Baron himself, as well as relatives, friends and enemies. The photographs and new sources supplement Kilduff's poignant narrative to provide a historical yet personal account of such a great and courageous man. The book achieves the details and the passions of World War One and promises a great read.
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on 15 January 2010
I read this book in conjunction with watching the film and found them both excellent entertainments, though the latter was given its fair share of dramatic licence. The book by Kilduff however was engrossing and gives an insight into the perilous life of WW1's top fighter ace. It is a well researched book that gives a full account of Richtofen's flying career including how he obtained his combatant tally of eighty air victories over allied flyers. It is not just a biography of an amazing flying hero, it also takes you back into the time that he lived in and gives a great overview of his equipment, enemies, friends and the political climate of the time. The book also outlines the romantic sense of aerial chivalry that existed despite the harsh kill or be killed environment of the aerial dogfight. In addition the book highlights the simple but unreserved awe that `The Red Baron' was held in by the public, princes and politicians alike. I thought the book was great and the only negative aspect of it was that I thought that the reproduction in detail of virtually all of Manfred's eighty victories got rather laboured and repetitive. However this was not unduly so and it did not spoil a great read about a true legend.
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on 4 October 2011
Quite simply this book is superb. Peter Kilduff paints a fascinating picture of the man and the legend that is packed with detail but remains readable and entertaining from start to finish. Kilduff knows his subject inside out and his research and insights are a joy to read as he paints a clear picture of not only von Richthofen but many of his actions and comrades too. Kilduff reveals the inner thoughts of von Richthofen's through excerpts from contemporary sources and reveals the thoughts of a determined and skilled hunter serving his Kaiser who was not however just a cold blooded killer. I couldn't help comparing von Richthofen's growing need to remain at the front with Remarque's fictional Paul Baumer's (All Quiet On The Western Front) alienation from civilian life. While this book undoubtedly strengthens von Richthofen's iconic status it also does what a good book should do by making me keen to learn more about his comrades and adversaries. Read it!
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on 26 November 2009
For anyone with an interest in flying, and or WW1 (or to miss-quote Niles Crane - "For those who thought WW1 was fun, but too short") this is really fascinating.

Really helps you to get into the mind of the man.

Well written with insightful - though biased (and therefore also interesting) notes.
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on 20 April 2016
Outstanding book with lots of very interesting information contained within!
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on 11 September 2015
good
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on 14 February 2015
good
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on 4 February 2015
OK
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on 8 February 2013
Unless if you are studying the daily routine of the Baron, rather dull as I wanted more on what went on inside his head than fact after fact of shootings, scores and his engagements.
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