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His successor Reinhard speaks

Event ID: 589

30 April 1918

49.928483341520156, 2.762579459937117

Source ID: 33

Richthofen, Beyond the legend of the Red Baron, Peter Kilduff, Arms and Armour, 1993

ISBN: 1854091271

The death of the Rittmeister has affected me very much; for, as you know, he was a dear comrade and a pleasant superior. I cannot really comprehend that such an outstanding man is no longer with us… It seems now to have been proved definitely that he has fallen due to ground machine gun, a lucky hit in the heart area. For a flyer that is no beautiful death. One prefers it to fall in aerial combat.

Three days ago I was appointed Kommandeur of the Geschwader, therefore as his successor. A hard task. It is good only that he spoke with me often, when he thought about succession. I will carry out that he instilled in me, at the risk that my subordinates will not agree and that it (might) cost me my position. I owe that to his memory…

My goal will now be to influence the Geschwader by personal example, i.e. to shoot down more than anyone else. When with Jasta 6, I could shoot down calmly and take my time. I intended to relax after my seventeenth victory. That has been dropped. For two to three months long my hands and my feet have been bandaged and when I get up every morning I wish for good weather so that we can (engage in) air fights. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in the last eight days and then we had Frenchmen against us and they are lukewarm…

Now to share a small joy with you: Yesterday I received the Hohenzollern, for which I was nominated by the Rittmeister after my eighth. It is so sad that he could not have presented it to me personally, then the award would have given me more pleasure.

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