Erich Von Falkenhayn

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Falkenhayn, Erich Von


Born Sept. 11, 1861, in Burg Belchau, near present-day Toruñ, Poland; died Apr. 8, 1922, in Castle Lindstedt, near Potsdam. German general of the infantry (1915).

Falkenhayn graduated from the Academy of the General Staff in 1890. From 1896 to 1899 he served as a military adviser to the Chinese Army. In 1900 and 1901 he took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion. In 1913 and 1914, Falkenhayn served as Prussian minister of war. He was appointed chief of the general staff in September 1914, after the German defeat at the battle of the Marne.

Convinced that the war had to be won on the Western Front, Falkenhayn attempted to force Russia out of the war by attacking the Eastern Front in 1915. In 1916 he directed an offensive on the Western Front at Verdun, but was unable to achieve a decisive victory. In August 1916, Falkenhayn was replaced by General P. von Hindenburg and was appointed commander of the Ninth Army, which defeated the Rumanian Army in a combined operation with the troops of General A. von Mackensen. In 1917 and 1918, Falkenhayn commanded the forces of the Central Powers in Turkey; in March 1918 he assumed command of the Tenth Army in the occupied territory of Soviet Russia.


Verkhovnoe komandovanie 1914–1916 v ero vazhneishikh resheniiakh. Moscow, 1923. (Translated from German.)


Zwehl, H. Erich von Falkenhayn: General der Infanterie. Berlin, 1926.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.