Red Baron Brought Down By A Shot Fired The Previous YearRoundup: Talking About History
A HEAD wound suffered by the Red Baron the year before his death was the underlying reason he was eventually shot down, according to a study by neuroscientists.
There has been endless speculation over who killed the 25-year-old First World War flying ace but the new study suggests that more credit is due to the British airman who grazed his skull in 1917 than to the Australian gunner who eventually brought him down in 1918.
The killing machine feared by the Allies and revered by his countrymen suffered significant brain damage to his frontal lobes when a machinegun round fired by Second Lieutenant A E Woodbridge of the Royal Flying Corps splintered his skull.
Against the advice of doctors and despite suffering nausea, headaches and fatigue, the baron was driven by a sense of duty to resume command of his"Flying Circus".
The most successful pilot of the war was still unfit to fly - his head wound had not healed - when his red Fokker triplane was shot down nine months later, according to a study in a forthcoming issue of Human Factors and Aerospace Safety.
The authors, Prof Daniel Orme of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Dr Thomas Hyatt, a semi-retired neuropsychologist of Cincinnati's Veterans' Administration Medical Centre, were inspired to investigate by a television documentary on the death of Manfred von Richthofen.
comments powered by Disqus
- Tales of African-American History Found in DNA
- History Celebrates New Show Roots With Project to Digitize Post-Slavery Documents
- In 1453, this Ottoman sultan ended Christian rule in Constantinople. But was he a good Muslim?
- Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation among documents sold for $6.2m in New York
- Family shines light on American POW killed by Hiroshima blast
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize