Today we are offering an interesting reissue of one of Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen’s famous Sanke Cards. The Red Baron’s Sanke Cards were very popular from 1917 through 1918 and even after the war. A number of different von Richthofen poses were issued. Other postcard manufacturers even bought the rights to original photographs so they could issue their own versions. When the Third Reich began its twelve-year reign over Germany, one of Hitler’s chief lieutenants, Hermann Göring, used his WW I fame as JG 1’s final commander and a PLM-winner to create increased interest in Germany’s pilots and air force. Just prior to 1935’s creation of the Luftwaffe, a wave of items about WW I’s PLM-winning pilots broke forth. Books, cigarette cards, and postcards were published, and WW I’s very popular Sanke Cards were reissued during 1933-1934.
So, we are offering one of these postcards today. Its reverse states “Unsere Luftflotte in Weltkrieg,” with the dates 1933-1934. Von Richthofen is pictured hatless and sporting his famous ulanka, the tunic worn by Ulanen-Regiment officers and troopers. His PLM can be seen around his neck, while his left breast displays his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class above his Prussian Pilot Badge. His hands are thrust into his ulanka’s pockets. Yet, like his Nr 503 Sanke Card, it is his steady, piercing gaze that captures my attention.
The condition of the card is excellent. It has never been mailed. These postcards are every bit as scarce as the original Sanke Cards.