Erich von Manstein

Fritz Erich von Lewinski better admits than Erich von Manstein (* 24. November 1887 in Berlin; † 10. June 1973 in Irschenhausen in Bavaria) was a German army officer (since 1942 general field marshal) and during the Second World War army and army group commander in chief.

Table of contents

training and the First World War

Erich von Manstein, actually Fritz Erich von Lewinski, came of to an old Prussian soldier family. After the death of its father,the general of the artillery Eduard von Lewinski, he was adopted by his uncle general George von Manstein and called since then Erich von Manstein. Its education took place in the age from 13 to 19 years in the institutes for cadet Plön and light field.

In June 1905 was one stoneBody PAGE with the marriage of the Crown Prince William with Cecilie duchess to Mecklenburg Schwerin.

In the year 1906 one stone stepped into the 3. Guard regiment to foot and was promoted there 1907 to second lieutenant. In the years 1913/14 it visited the war academy in Berlin.

The outbreak of war 1914 experienced one stone as first lieutenant and an aide of the guard reserve regiment 2. After heavy Verwundung and return to the service, one stone was used 1915 captain and as Ordonnanz - as well as general staff officer in the army department Gallwitz. He found use subsequently, with the 1. Army and starting from autumn 1917he was a first general staff officer (Ia) of the 4. Kavallerie division, which was inserted into Estonia at the east front. In May 1918 it became 213. Infantry division to the west front shifts, where one stone was likewise used as Ia.

intermediate wartime

one stone became after the war inthe realm resistance taken over and was first at the border control supreme command south and afterwards in the staff of the group command II with seat into Kassel inserted.

At the 1. October 1921 became one stone company commander in the infantry regiment 5 in meadow-flows. Starting from that 1. October 1923 followed again a use as a staff officer,first with the military district command II and afterwards with the military district command IV. There its task was the leader assistant training.

Starting from the autumn 1927 was one stone general staff officer with the infantry leader IV in Magdeburg. In this position its appointment as the major took place.

At the end of September 1929 became one stone leader thatGroup of I in the operation department in the office for troop. At the 1. April 1931 took place the transport to the lieutenant colonel, and afterwards it was appointed the commander hunters of the battalion of the infantry regiment 4 in Kolberg. One stone transport to the Colonel took place at the 1. October 1933.

The next stagein one stone career the appointment as the Chief of Staff of the military district placed II at the 1. February 1934 . At the 1. July 1935 he became then a boss of the operation department in the general staff of the army and at the 1. October 1936 under simultaneous appointment as the major general upper quarter master I.

One stonefor this post by his unusual, far above average abilities had been recommended. In the utility position upper quarter masters of the I he was a representative successors designate of general staff boss Ludwig Beck and traditionally as intended.

In the process of the Fritsch Blomberg affair one stone became to 4. February 1938 however surprisingly on thatPost of the commander of the 18. Infantry division in Liegnitz shifts.

the Second World War

1939 was one stone in the rank lieutenant general as a boss of the general staff of the army group south in the context of the Poland campaign actively. He compiled the plan of attack of the west campaign and took at this as a bossthe staff of the army group A under colonel general Gerd von Rundstedt part.

1940 it was promoted to general of the infantry and received the knight cross, after its planning following the German tank forces used against France skillfully (operation plan Sichelschnitt) and the campaign to the blitzkrieg had become.

1941 were one stone by September Kommandierender general of the LVI. Tank corps at the east front. Starting from September he was commander in chief of the 11. Army. During this time it received - instruction " [1] to the “Reichenau, the soldiers of the armed forces to crimes at thatand this legitimized called Soviet - Jewish in particular - population. The instruction was passed on form amended by one stone in to the troop. The accusation of its war crimes trial referred later on that.

1942 it befehligte the conquest of the Krim and the fortress Sewastopol, afterwards took placethe appointment as the general field marshal at the 1. July. In October its oldest son Gero fell at the east front, in December failed its attempt, as a commander in chief of the army group Don (south) encircling the 6. To terminate army in Stalingrad. Two armored divisions under colonel general Hoth should itselffrom southwest direction to approximately 30 km before the boiler fight themselves (enterprise “winter thunderstorm”) and there with broken out parts of the 6. Army (enterprise “clap of thunder”) combine, with which a passage would have been manufactured. The instruction to clap of thunder became however despite most violent pushing of one stoneby Hitler refused, the troops Hoths remained putting 50 km before the boiler; Thus was the fate of the 6. Army seals.

One stone had thereupon however relevant portion to prevent the threatening complete collapse of the German south wing of the east front as consequence of the disaster from Stalingrad to.The defeat at the east front was so however only delayed.

1943, in March, succeeded to back-conquer it it in the context of a Gegenoffensive Charkow and Belgorod. It received for it oak leaves to the knight cross. During and after the Stalingrad crisis ever more strongly becoming discord between one stone becameand Hitler clearly. At the resistance in the armed forces and at a coup d'etat against Hitler one stone did not want not to be able to unite however to take part, since it meant, this with its military honour (see below, quotations). He did not tell him the well-known conspiracy against Hitler nevertheless.

InJuly 1943 failed the last large offensive of the armed forces in the front elbow with Kursk, with which through one stone army group south and the army group center under general field marshal should be cut off of intelligent one the enemy troops and destroyed afterwards (enterprise citadel). Also here Hitler had itselfOne stone demand for early beginning of the operations in hope for new weapons (“Panther “and” elephant “) opposed and so the enemy the structure of low-graduated defense systems makes possible.

1944 it was relieved by Hitler because of different differences of the command, simultaneous kept it thoseSwords to oak leaves of the knight cross.

1945 it was interned by British troops.

post-war period

Erich von Manstein became to 9. August 1946 as a witness in the Nürnberger process belongs. It was taken 1948 from the war shank to dismiss and directly afterwards in detention. ThatProcess against it - it was this the last allied war crimes trial - began to 23. August 1949 in the Hamburg Curiohaus, only few days before the choice to the first German Bundestag. Erich von Manstein became to 19. December 1949 of the British military court in eight chargesacquitted, found in nine further however for guiltily. He was condemned among other things, because he Deportationen certified, shooting of prisoners of war waited and permitted the distribution of Politkommissaren to the security agency of the realm leader of the SS (SD). From one stone no active participation in the crimes becamein Poland charged, however he neglected his control duty as a commander in chief and carried thus the genocide. He was condemned to 18 years detention. The detention was lowered later to twelve years, in addition a part of the remand was taken into account. Due to an eye suffering received from one stone 1952Detention spare; it became official in the year 1953 from the detention to dismiss.

In the trial process could not from one stone convincingly prove resistance against the destruction politics to have carried out. Rather some agreements with National Socialist ideas stepped openly to day. The defense aimed at it off, the legal standard of the processto doubt and the honour of the armed forces unbefleckt appear to let. It denied each individual debt of the accused, stressed the faint of the general field marshal merged in command structures and related several charges by reference to does quoque at the allied powers.

It did not succeed to the court, the insightto spread that there would be a punishable joint responsibility of the elite for acting the despotism. Rather the judgement was rated approximately of one stone in far parts of the public as bare “winner law”.

In the year 1955 auto+biographic work appeared losing victories of one stone. In this wroteit the final collapse of the military incompetence of Hitler too. 1958 appeared the book from a soldier life. The generals would have had, are at least disputed its thesis that the campaigns would in principle differently have run, more own clearance. It is considered nevertheless as one of the most capable officers2. World war, which served Hitler and its regime up to its dismissal however despite better insight loyal.

Until 1960 one stone advised the Federal Government as an only field marshal of the former armed forces with the structure of the German Federal Armed Forces. After its death it became with military honours inVillage Mark with Fallingbostel buried.



  • “Prussian ones Field marshals meutern not. “
  • “A war is lost only if one gives it lost.”
  • “If each commander, who considers its situation offering no prospects, to capitulate wanted, then one would never win a war. ”
In the following three quotations out one stone instruction of 20. Nov. 1941 (IMT volume 34, Dok.4064-PS):
  • “This fight is not led in brought form against the Soviet armed forces alone according to European war rules.”
  • “The Jewish bolschewistische system must be exterminated once and for all.”
  • “For the necessity for the hard Sühne at the Judentum [...] the soldier must apply understanding. ”


  • Steel mountain, Alexander: The condemned obligation - memories 1932 to 1945, 9. Edition, Ullstein publishing house 1999, 447 S. (ISBN 3548331297)
  • olive from Wrochem: The argument with armed forces crimes during the process against the general field marshal Erich von Manstein 1949. In: Magazine for science of history 46 (1998) booklet4, page 329-353 (charges/defense/judgement/evaluation)
  • Manfred Oldenburg: Ideology and military calculation. The crew politics of the armed forces in the Soviet Union 1942. Cologne and others 2004. ISBN 3-412-14503-3 (emphasis: 11. Army of one stone on the Krim)
  • Marcel stone: The Januskopf. Field marshal von Manstein - oneRe-valuation. Biblio publishing house. Bite village 2004. ISBN 3764823879
reviews November 2005

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