Red Baron

Manfred von Richthofen is the most famous aviator of World War I, if not of all time. Credited with eighty air-to-air victories, he shot down more planes than any other flyer in the war. And he is popularly known as the Red Baron, probably because as commander of Jagdgeschwader (fighter wing) 1, known as the Flying Circus, he flew in a bright-red Fokker triplane. But researcher Brett Holman has discovered something quite interesting about the nickname Red Baron: until the mid-1960s, almost sixty years after his death in 1918, Richthofen was rarely called the Red Baron. Instead, the popularity of that nickname derives from the Peanuts comic strip, which often featured the beagle Snoopy engaging in imaginary dog fights with the German nemesis.

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