"CIRCUS ROLLS AT DAWN"
BY JAMES DIETZ
L/E of 650. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Size: 17 1/8" x 32 1/2"
What other artist but Jim Dietz could so effectively bring us to a German airfield on a summer morning in 1917. Baron von Richthofen and his men ready their Albatros D.V Scouts to fly a morning patrol along the front. The vivid colors of the sleek biplanes are brightened by the morning dew and clouds of exhaust from the starting engines hug the ground. The garish paint schemes used by Richthofen's unit made them easily recognizable, to both friend and foe.
Few WWI fliers are as well known as Germany's famous Red Baron, the highest scoring fighter pilot of the war with 80 aerial victories. Commanding his Flying Circus, Jasta 11, Richthofen ranged along the front bringing his fighters into play wherever they might be needed.
Although commonly depicted flying the Fokker DR-1, Richthofen recorded only 20 of his victories in the Triplane. The Albatros was an effective machine for Richthofen and he had scored some 60 victories before being wounded, and temporarily forced from action, flying an Albatros D.V against Royal Flying Corps FE2d's and Royal Naval Air Service Sopwith Triplanes.