Manfred von Brauchitsch

Manfred von Brauchitsch
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-11500-1700, Manfred von Brauchitsch.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-11500-1700 / Junge, Peter Heinz / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Manfred von Brauchitsch in 1951.
Born(1905-08-15)15 August 1905
Died5 February 2003(2003-02-05) (aged 97)
Gräfenwarth, Schleiz, Germany
OccupationRacing driver
Manfred von Brauchitsch in 1986 with Mercedes-Benz K.

Manfred Georg Rudolf von Brauchitsch (15 August 1905 – 5 February 2003) was a German auto racing driver who drove for Mercedes-Benz in the famous "Silver Arrows" of Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s.

Racing career

Brauchitsch won three Grands Prix - the 1934 ADAC Eifelrennen which saw the first appearance of Silver Arrows Mercedes Race cars, the 1937 Monaco Grand Prix (considered his greatest victory), and the 1938 French Grand Prix. His fastest lap in the 1937 Monaco race (1 minute 46.5 seconds, 11.9 seconds faster than the old record lap) set a record that stood for 18 years.

1937 Donington Grand Prix

He was twice runner-up in the European Championship, in 1937 and 1938, and finished third in 1935.

He was noted for his red helmet and his bad luck, losing a number of other Grands Prix when he was on the very verge of winning (no less than five, by some counts). His most famous loss was the 1935 German Grand Prix, when a tire blew while he was leading the last lap, handing victory to Tazio Nuvolari in an Alfa Romeo in one of the latter's most famous victories - the only time during the reign of the Silver Arrows when a Grand Prix was won by a car other than a Mercedes or Auto Union.

Personal life

Brauchitsch was born in Hamburg, of an old military family (his uncle was the famous World War II general Walther von Brauchitsch). He entered the German Reichswehr after World War I, but after a serious accident he was invalided out in 1928. Due to his many racing injuries, he was rejected for military service in World War II. While working during the war, he met his first wife, Gisela. He became a member of the National Socialist Motor Corps, in which he held the rank of Sturmführer.

Following World War II, being the son and nephew of military officers was not of much practical use in West Germany. After several failed businesses, Brauchitsch contacted Caracciola, who gave him contacts in South America. Unable to settle there, he returned to West Germany embittered and became a target for the communists of East Germany. Again unable to settle, he returned to West Germany, where he was arrested and charged with espionage. In 1951, he was jailed and then released on bail.

During a bail period in 1955, Brauchitsch defected to East Germany; after his wife Gisela committed suicide a year earlier. He was put in charge of the East German national motor sport organisation, as well as becoming president of its movement to promote the Olympic ideal. The latter led to his being awarded the Olympic Order in 1988 by the International Olympic Committee.[1]

Brauchitsch later remarried, to Lieselotte, and they were permitted to visit West Germany occasionally. Following the death of Hermann Lang in 1987, Brauchitsch was regarded as the last surviving member of the pre-war "Silver Arrow" drivers. He died in Gräfenwarth in 2003.

Complete European Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, * denotes a shared drive)

YearEntrantMake1234567EDCPoints
1935Daimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzMON
Ret
FRA
2
BEL
2 *
GER
5
SUI
Ret
ITA
Ret
ESP
3
334
1936Daimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzMON
Ret
GER
7
SUI
Ret
ITA
10=24
1937Daimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzBEL
Ret
GER
2
MON
1
SUI
3
ITA
Ret
215
1938Daimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzFRA
1
GER
Ret
SUI
3
ITA
3 *
215
1939Daimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzBEL
3
FRA
Ret
GER
Ret
SUI
3
YUG

2

4=19

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2017-09-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

  • Landenberger, Dieter (2005). Manfred von Brauchitsch: Kampf und Sieg im Silberpfeil [Manfred von Brauchitsch: Fight and Victory in the Silver Arrow]. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3613025744.
  • Nixon, Chris. Racing the Silver Arrows: Mercedes-Benz versus Auto Union 1934-1939 (Osprey, London, 1986) pp. 82–91
  • —————— (2003) [1986]. Racing the Silver Arrows: Mercedes-Benz versus Auto Union 1934-1939 (revised ed.). Isleworth, Middlesex, UK: Transport Bookman Publications. ISBN 0851840558.

External links

Media files used on this page

Brauchitsch, Manfred von - 1986 im Mercedes-Benz K.jpg
Author/Creator: Fotograf: Lothar Spurzem, Spurzem, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0 de
Manfred von Brauchitsch am Steuer eines Mercedes-Benz K beim Oldtimer-Grand-Prix auf dem Nürburgring
Daimle-Benz AG, 1937.JPG
Author/Creator: James Hamilton, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Donington Grand Prix 1937. Manfred Von Brauchitsch driving a Daimler-Benz AG.
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-11500-1700, Manfred von Brauchitsch.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-11500-1700 / Junge, Peter Heinz / CC-BY-SA 3.0
For documentary purposes the German Federal Archive often retained the original image captions, which may be erroneous, biased, obsolete or politically extreme. Info non-talk.svg
Zentralbild/Junge, 15.8.1951

Zu den III. Weltfestspielen in Berlin.
Motorradrennen unter Teilnahme von Spitzenfahrern der DDR und westdeutschen Fahrern anlässlich des grossen Volksfestes auf der Trabrennbahn in Karlshorst am 15.8.1951.

Der bekannte deutsche Rennfahrer Manfred von Brauchitsch fährt als Gast eine Ehrenrunde.