Military historian and former RAF officer Bickers divides fighter pilots into two groups: hunters and shooters. Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German World War I ace, was a hunter, "totally committed to the stalking and shooting down of an enemy aircraft when he saw one." Thus committed, he shot down 80 Allied planes until he himself was killed in 1918. But was von Richthofen so much better a pilot than the men he fought? Bickers believes that superior German weapons, machines, and tactics had more to do with the Red Baron's successes than his personal skills. In recounting von Richthofen's career, Bickers gives much information on weapons and rules of engagement, and he compares air combat of World War I with the much different aerial warfare that took place over Europe twenty-some years later.
Used availability for Richard Townshend Bickers's Von Richthofen
January 1997 : USA Hardback
October 1996 : UK Hardback
April 2015 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition