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UK_Widowmaker

Never heard of this film

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I think it's called 'Von Richthofen and Brown'...but Ive never seen or heard about it.

Anyone got any other info?

 

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How did you miss this one WM? And you might be glad you did. This is the one where Lynn Garrison bought all the planes from "The Blue Max" and leased them to Roger Corman (the 'King of the B-Movies') It's on a par with "Flyboys".

Edited by Hauksbee

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It came out in the early seventies, and it was the first film I saw about WW1 air combat.

So, back in those days, I was very impressed.

But believe me - "The Blue Max" is so much better, Widowmaker.

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I've heard of it, but I've heard nothing good.

Edited by Bulldog

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Yes, I don't know how this one past me by...I can only assume it was so bad..it never even made the TV

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Here's what Wikipedia had to say about "von Richtofen and Brown"...

 

Critical Reaction

 

In its day and after, the film received mixed to negative reviews from both viewers and critics, mainly on the grounds that it was low budgeted and had no distinctive stars. Another factor was the fictional approach the story took on the two main characters. The fiction and facts of the film will now follow.

 

Factual Errors

 

The film contains so many factual errors (a selection of which are listed here) that it is effectively almost completely fictionalised:

 

  • Richthofen is shown flying a Fokker D.VII before flying the Fokker Dr.I, when in fact the Dr.1 came out earlier than the D.VII. Von Richthofen died (just) before the D.VII entered service.
  • The aircraft of the Flying Circus are shown as being painted in a uniform scheme of blue and silver - in fact they were painted in varied individual colours, with red predominating.
  • Hermann Göring was not in the Flying Circus until he took over command some time after von Richthofen's death. Wilhelm Reinhard was Richthofen's immediate successor.
  • Hawker died in November 1916, flying a D.H.2. Brown did not begin flying combat missions until March 1917, and in any case never belonged to the Royal Flying Corps (see next point). Thus the two never served in the same squadron, and probably never met.
  • Brown's squadron had just ceased to be part of the Royal Naval Air Service, which had just amalgamated with the Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force in April 1918. He and his squadron mates would still have been wearing naval uniforms.
  • Roy Brown and his squadron flew Sopwith Camels, not S.E.5s, as depicted in the film.
  • Brown almost certainly did not actually shoot Richthofen down.
  • Lothar von Richthofen did not join Jasta 11 until 1917.
  • Anthony Fokker and Oswald Boelcke were both still in their twenties at the time - not balding men in their 40's. Boelcke never served in the Flying Circus, which was formed after his death, although he was Richthofen's commanding officer in another unit (Jasta 2) in 1916.
  • Ernst Udet did not join the flying circus until 1918.
  • The portrayal of the death of Werner Voss had little relationship with the facts. He was shot down and killed in northern Belgium, some time before Richthofen's death.
  • Lt May did not enter the RAF 209 squadron until 1918 - in fact he was still an almost complete novice at the time of Richthofen's death.
  • During a scene where the Red Baron is rescued in No Man's Land, the Germans are shown firing World War II era (Mk.IV) Lee Enfield Rifles. In any case, German fighter squadrons as a matter of policy flew well behind their own lines. The only time Richthofen was shot down before his death was on his own side of the lines. On the day of his death he was probably lost, and did not realise he was so close to the Allied lines.
  • Attacks on the opposition's airfields (by both sides) were relatively routine and in no way "unexpected" - counter measures such as alarm bells, anti-aircraft machine guns in permament positions, fire fighting equipment, and above all military preparedness were also routine. Such attacks were normally undertaken by bombers rather than fighters, even by the Allies. German fighters, in particular, simply did not undertake bombing missions, nor were they employed on the Allied side of the lines.
  • Base hospitals were not located at military airfields (this in itself would have been a breach of the Geneva Convention).

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Not really, Widow! The movie poster did look great and inviting though.

But the second one shows "Spandaus" firing in two different directions,

and the Dreidecker doesn't seem to have wings and wingstruts at all!

 

 

 

 

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I'm glad WM posted the video clip that he did because it has the fatal encounter between von Richtofen and Lanoe Hawker (and completely fictional). In the film version, Hawker has von Richtofen in his sights, but declines to shoot. He lets von Richtofen go and von Richtofen repays the courtesy by slipping in on Hawker's six, and shooting him down. My question is: if this had ever happened in real life, would von Richtofen really have done it? It's pretty cold to shoot down someone who just spared your life. My vote is "no"; he would not have. T'is true, war is war, and von Richtofen was the consummate professional, but he was also an aristocrat and a gentleman. I think he'd let Hawker off the hook.

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MvR didn't often get into such a situation surely.

And if you do, you don't know the other one may have spared your life.

He might have a gun jam. Or be out of ammo. How could you judge?

 

It is said about Guynemer, that he spared Udet's life, when he had a gun jam.

But who knows? Here is the video about that event:

 

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The film is available through Netflix, (if you really want to stick pins in your eyes).

 

Beard

 

Hahaha...I think, just looking at the posters Olham put up...and everyone else's 'glowing reviews'....I think my Sunday would be better spent, watching Paint Dry on a slowly warping plank! :lol:

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I'm glad WM posted the video clip that he did because it has the fatal encounter between von Richtofen and Lanoe Hawker (and completely fictional). In the film version, Hawker has von Richtofen in his sights, but declines to shoot. He lets von Richtofen go and von Richtofen repays the courtesy by slipping in on Hawker's six, and shooting him down. My question is: if this had ever happened in real life, would von Richtofen really have done it? It's pretty cold to shoot down someone who just spared your life. My vote is "no"; he would not have. T'is true, war is war, and von Richtofen was the consummate professional, but he was also an aristocrat and a gentleman. I think he'd let Hawker off the hook.

 

He'd have popped him off.

 

Re 'chivalry', MvR's 33rd victory was over a Strutter on 2 April 1917. Pilot 2Lt AP Warren reported gunner Sgt D Reuel was mortally wounded in the stomach in MvR's first attack, but he (Warren) manged to force land, helping his observer, who mumbled 'Think I'm done' from the rear cockpit. MvR continued to fire after the Strutter's engine stopped, on the way down. After they had force landed, MvR strafed the plane and crew, saying this killed the observer, claiming (in 'his combat report) that he did so because they fired at him from the ground. It's not clear whether this was a misunderstanding (eg stray rounds) or a post-facto excuse for deliberate ruthlessness (or the blood being up, unlikely for MvR?). What does seem clear is that Warren and Reuel did not fire at MvR during or after the forced-landing. Firing a few rounds to deter the crew from burning the plane might have been a legitimate reason, but it's not what he said.

 

On another occasion in Die Rote Kampfflieger - can't find it at the moment - MvR records attacking a (different) British machine which he evidently realised was severely damaged and trying to make a force landing, but he uses a phrase like 'by then, I knew no mercy' (maybe it loses - or gains! - something in the translation) and he attacks again till his target breaks up, killing the crew. Granted his 'autobiography' is what it is and there are other examples (like Lt AF Bird, kill # 61 in Sept 1917 where he behaved differently - when the shooting was over, in that case). And even 'his' book has many respectful references to the qualities of his enemies. But at best, I doubt VERY much if MvR would EVER have deliberately let a kill get away like Guynemer MAY have done with Udet, or even take the slightest chance that it might, if he could readily prevent it.MvR is on record as being very clear that air combat was not, like 'the English' affected to treat it sometimes, a sport, and he would not have let notions of chivalry stand in the way, including taking advantage of an opponent's weakness. That was the norm anyway, like a US pilot said 'If the other fellow's gun jammed, you popped him off, if you could'. Any man in MY unit who let someone get away, who could and would have killed some of us next time, would have a lot to answer for. I don't believe MvR would have lightly tolerated such a thing, or done it himself. Nor I think would Lanoe Hawker, and just right, too.

 

Edit - the 'knew no mercy' ref came from kill #49 on 29 April, Lt R Applin, one of the flight of three 19 Sqdn SPADs led by Harvey-Kelly to 'deal with' Jasta 11. In 'his' book MvR says ''My opponent was the first to fall, after I had shot his engine to pieces. In any case, he decided to land near us. I no longer knew clemency, so I attacked him a second time, whereupon the plane fell to pieces in my stream of bullets. The wings fell separately like pieces of paper, and the fuselage dropped like a burning stone. The pilot fell into a marsh. We could not dig him out.' In 'under the guns of the Red Baron' it's recorded that Lt Applin's body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the missing.

Edited by 33LIMA

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I think that "chivalry" in a war may be a nice idea early on, which must get lost, when you face the truth.

It may be an idea of those far behind the lines, or those who only read about war in a book.

 

Once you get into the whole sh*t, these "finer sentiments" will quickly wear off (if you ever had them),

when you see comrades die. They were soldiers at war, and they shot at the opponent to kill him.

So why should they stop shooting, when his aircraft is only yet half damaged?

 

To save a crew's life, who have made an emergency landing, would be almost arrogant pride in the eyes

of the soldiers in the trenches; it would be playing god. Like "I decide, who deserves to live, or to die."

 

Still though, many people are not "natural soldiers". Udet first had to overcome the hesitation to attack

an enemy aircraft. And some may never have really tried to bring an enemy craft down.

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Still though, many people are not "natural soldiers". Udet first had to overcome the hesitation to attack

an enemy aircraft. And some may never have really tried to bring an enemy craft down.

 

I think that's an excellent point Olham...I have to say, that thrown into a Dogfight in reality...I would be far more concerned about staying alive, than scoring Kills...you could certainly make a 'show of it' merely trying to avoid collisions, or dodging enemy bullets.

 

In OFF...I'm a merciless loonie..and always attack with vigour.....But, I can get up after the flight, go grab a cuppa...and take off again....big difference!

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

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Fine, but these replies are all concerned with what von Richtofen did in reality. But, I'm asking a purely hypothetical question: If, (as shown in the film) Hawker had von Richtofen dead-to-rights, and declined to shoot, would von Richtofen have immediately slipped in on Hawker's six and shot him down?

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Thought I had answered it in post #10 - I don't think that you notice in the trouble of a dogfight,

if another pilot spares your life. And if he hadn't noticed - yes, he would have shot him down.

Now, what if he HAD noticed?

At the time of that famous duel, I guess he was still the gentleman to spare Hawker's life.

Later he became harder - can't say what he would have done then...

Edited by Olham

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There are many examples of chivalry in the sky... but countless examples of the contrary. Less known than the Guynemer/ Udet story, Charles Nungesser was also spared once by an unknown superior German pilot flying a superior plane (a Halberstadt scout was reported), who played the cat and mouse with him, let him go, flew next to him to his airfield near Paris, and then surprisingly, landed next to him, sent him a salute, and took-off away, letting Nungesser puzzled and humiliated. The story is known through Nungesser's accounts, the identity of the chivalrous Jagdflieger remained unknown. He couldn't have missed Nungesser's conspicuous emblem, and yet, he let alive this already famous scourge who was yet to kill many other German airmen.

 

During WW2, the Soviet and American pilots (both ETO and PTO) were known to be the most prone to fire on enemy parachutes. A young promising American ace, whose name I don't remember, once crashed himself to death on the ground when trying to machine-gun the crew of a German Me-110 he had just forced to the ground. British, German and Italian pilots fought in a more civilized way, at least within their own caste (merciless ground attacks, including towards civilians, were another story). Over the Channel in 1940, Werner Mölders once almost overshot a Spitfire after realizing that he was out of ammo. Both planes stayed wing to wing for a brief moment, both pilots staring at each other. Then the British pilot tapped his own temple and broke, letting a surprised Mölders break on the other side and come back home.

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Thanks for the Nungesser-story, Capitaine - never heard it before!

You say "Nungesser's accounts" - did he ever write a book?

 

WW2 ace Adolf Galland wrote about such an event, but I don't remember, which way round it was.

I only remember, that either Galland had escorted a damaged Spitfire back to the English coast,

or a British pilot escorted his damaged "Messerschmidt".

Don't have the book anymore - does anyone know?

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Thanks for the Nungesser-story, Capitaine - never heard it before!

You say "Nungesser's accounts" - did he ever write a book?

 

WW2 ace Adolf Galland wrote about such an event, but I don't remember, which way round it was.

I only remember, that either Galland had escorted a damaged Spitfire back to the English coast,

or a British pilot escorted his damaged "Messerschmidt".

Don't have the book anymore - does anyone know?

 

i have the book, but don't remember either. wasn't it even both ways? can try to take a look and find the passage.

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The most known similar incident known to me from WWII is the Robert Johnson - Egon Mayer, story:

There is a an interesting IL-2 Movie by Mysticpuma, from early 2007, (before the mods) portraying it...

 

This is the first part:

 

 

....

Edited by elephant

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A touching story.

A bit overdone with the ammo perhaps - I wonder if a Focke Wulf could fire so long.

But anyway - good story.

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Well done!:good:

 

Even though the outcome was never in doubt, I was still on the edge of my seat! That P47 was a tough, old bird!

 

Any more videos like this one?

 

Ratatat

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