Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen

Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen (* October 10, 1895 near Striegau (now Strzegom) in Prussian Silesia (now Poland) † 12 July 1945 in Bad Ischl) was an officer in the Army and the German air. Since 1943, he held the rank of General field marshal


Wolfram von Richthofen was the nephew and adopted son of a cavalry general Manfred von Richthofen (not to be confused with his cousin Manfred von Richthofen, aka the “Red Baron”) and he followed his father’s footsteps by entering in 1913 to age 18, as a midshipman in the 4 Hussars. In 1914, after completing the course of the war school in Kassel, he was promoted to lieutenant.

World War I

Until 1917, Richthofen took part in the battles of the First World War in its Hussars where he rose through the ranks to become commander of a squadron.

He was then transferred to the flight school in Halle, where he trained as a pilot. In March 1918, he joined as a fighter pilot, Jagdstaffel 11, which was commissioned by his famous cousin, the Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen. Wolfram von Richthofen won eight aerial victories to end the conflict and was then owner of the Iron Cross 2.

Between the wars

Richthofen left active duty in early 1920 with the rank of Oberleutnant (Lieutenant). Then he began studying mechanical engineering at the technical university of Hanover until his engineering degree in 1923. In November 1923 Richthofen Ohlau reinstated the army with the rank of lieutenant in the 11 Cavalry Regiment of the Reichswehr, the German army of the Weimar Republic.

There remained only a short time in the unit, because he already participated at that time in the secret reconstruction of the Luftwaffe.

Since 1925 he again lieutenant and in November 1928, he became the commander of the carrier. In February 1929 he was appointed Hauptmann (captain). In parallel, Richthofen continued to attend classes at the technical university of Berlin to perform a PhD.

In April 1929, Richthofen was seconded for a period of two and a half years in of Germany Embassy in Rome as military attaché, to study, still unofficial, the Italian Air Force. After his return to Germany, he was assigned to a commander of a transport company again. He held this position until October 1933, when he joined the new Luftwaffe.

Initially, Richthofen was assigned to the Ministry of Aviation as Head of Research. Then he was promoted to the rank of Major (Commander) in 1934, then in 1936 to the rank of Oberst lieutenant (lieutenant colonel). The same year he went to Spain as Chief of Staff of the Condor Legion to participate in the Spanish Civil War (especially during the bombing of Guernica on 26 April 1937).

In October 1937, after his return from Spain, Richthofen was appointed colonel in January 1938. April he took command of 257 Wing bombers Lüneburg. From November he was appointed to the rank of General major (General Aviation Brigade) and was again sent to Spain, this time as commander of the Condor Legion, whose mission stopped in May 1939.


At the beginning of World War II, during the Polish campaign, Richthofen was assigned to support 10 German army. Richthofen units have achieved many successes during the destruction of the Polish Air Force in the early days of the war.

At the outbreak of the campaign in the west, in 1940, Richthofen was the Commanding General VIII. “Fliegerkorps “(8 Air Corps). During this campaign, the units have also achieved significant success that made ​​Richthofen received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross 10 May 1940 and he was appointed by jumping a degree, General der Flieger (General Corps) July 19, 1940.

During the Balkan campaign, Richthofen ordered units that participated in the Battle of Crete.

During the Russian campaign, the Air Corps Richthofen was initially assigned to the air support of 3 armored group. In February 1942 Richthofen was appointed General oberst (army general). He participated with his units to conquer the Crimea and July 4, 1942 he was named head of Luftflotte 4 (4 fleet). February 16, 1943 Richthofen was appointed General field marshal (Field Marshal) at the age of only 47 years. He thus became the youngest General field marshal of the Prussian German military history. On 12 June 1943 he was appointed commander of Luftflotte 2 in Italy and on July 17 he was handed oak leaves to his Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.

But now units Richthofen was in bad shape against the overwhelming excess of the Allied air forces and only a partial success could still be achieved.

Suffering from brain cancer, Richthofen had to give up his office on October 27, 1944. He died from his illness July 12, 1945 in Bad Ischl, Austria, while a prisoner of war by the Americans.


•Fähnrich – March 22, 1913

•Lieutenant – June 19, 1914

•Temporary Oberst lieutenant – 29 February 1920

•Joined the Army with the rank of Lieutenant – November 1923

•Oberst lieutenant – 31 July 1925

•Hauptmann – February 1929

•Major – June 1934

•Oberst lieutenant – April 20, 1936

•Oberst – January 23, 1938

•General major – November 1938

•General der Flieger – July 19, 1940

•General oberst – February 1942

•General field marshal – February 16, 1943

Aviator of the First World War

Military of the Spanish Civil War

German soldier of World War II

German General

Recipient of the Iron Cross

Recipient of the Knight’s Cross

Born in 1895

Born in the province of Silesia

Deaths in 1945

Died of cancer

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