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Manfred von Richthofen, Decorations

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Manfred von Richthofen, Decorations

Shown are the decorations of Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, the greatest ace of WW1. It is unknown who now possesses these decorations. For many years these were in possession of the family, and were some of the few treasured mementos kept by his mother, Kunigunde Baroness von Richthofen. The home of the Richthofens in Schweidnitz (Upper Silesia) was kept as a museum until the last days of World War 2. Before the Red Army invaded Silesia (Schlesien), the Richthofen family had to flee to the West and only a few cherished possessions were brought to the West. The Richthofen Museum, his own personal room in the family villa in Schweidnitz,, held many souvenirs of his victories in aerial combat, there were aircraft motors, machine guns, roundels and numbers cut from the fabric of downed machines, as well as the sixty silver cups made for each victory and engraved with the date and known details of the downed aircraft. Altogether, Richthofen had 80 confirmed victories, but only sixty cups were ordered, as the jeweller who had mande the cups informed Richtthofen that silver was no longer available, due to metal shortages, so therefore Richthofen dropped the idea of usiing inferior or Ersatz Metal for his trophies. Unfortunely there is no record of the fate of these trophies when the Red Army took over the home of the Richthofens, which was probably plundered. Their home, in the Liegnitzer Strasse No.10 in Schweidnitz still exists, and has now been converted into a hotel, but with respectful reference to the former occupant including period photos of him and a small memorial plate in the gardens. The decorations are complete except for one item, the Turkish Liakat Medal is missing from the picture, as compared to an old photo taken in the interwar period, and can be seen in the reference publication by Major Kimborogh Brown (USAF) and Heinz Nowara in von Richthofen and the Flying Circus, Harborough Publications, UK from the late 1960s.

Decorations shown are - top centre:
Preußen: Roter Adler Orden IV. m.d Krone u. Schwertern
Preußen: Orden Pour le Mérite
edge left:
Deutsches Reich: Abzeichen für Flugzeugführer
Lippe-Detmold: Militärverdienstkreuz I.
Bulgaria: Militärverdienstorden, Offizierskreuz
right edge:
Austria-Hungary: Militär Flugzeugführerabzeichen, Kaiser Franz Joseph
Turkey: Eiserner Halbmond
Türkey: Imtjaz-Medaille with swords

Preußen: Eisernes Kreuz II.
Preußen: Hohenzollern Haus Orden, Ritterkreuz m.Schwertern
Sachsen: Militär St.Heinrich Orden, Ritterkreuz
Sächsische Herzogtümer: Ernestinischer Haus Orden, Ritterkreuz I. m.Schwertern
Bayern: Militär Verdienst Orden, IV. m.Krone u. Schwertern
Württemberg: Friedrichs Orden, Ritterkreuz
Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha: Ovale Silberne Carl-Eduard Medaille mit Bandspange 1917
Hessen: Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen für Tapferkeit
Schaumburg-Lippe: Kriegsverdienstkreuz II.
Braunschweig: Kriegsverdienstkreuz II.
Lübeck: Hanseatenkreuz
Hamburg: Hanseatenkreuz
Bremen: Hanseatenkreuz
Austria-Hungary: Orden der Eisernen Krone IV.
Austria-Hungary: Militär Verdienst Orden III. m.d.Kriegsdekoration

One Turkish decoration is missing.





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Excellent article Paul , I didn't know about the hotel , that would be worth a visit :)

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Some pictures of the hotel, 2007, 2009 and 2015




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Richthofens decorations now fully listed

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