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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Palestine Ottoman Turkish forces, some of them Arabs regiments, were under the de facto command of senior Prussian 'advisers' the most senior of them, General Erich von Falkenhayn, who had failed to crack the French at Verdun.
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Exasperated, Chief of General Staff Erich von Falkenhayn decided: Tomorrow we use the gas, or not at all.
German war chief Erich von Falkenhayn is sacked for his failure to take Verdun.
German Gen Erich von Falkenhayn led Austro-Hungarian and German forces in the north, ejected Romanian forces from Transylvania within forty days, and entered Romania proper.
The Germans and Austrians had to overcome differences at the general staff level before the German High Command and Gen Erich von Falkenhayn agreed to move four corps equaling eight divisions from the western front to Gorlice at the edge of the Carpathians, linking them to Tarnow.
In fact, some have argued that attrition is the substitute for strategy, but these thoughts were lost on the likes of Erich von Falkenhayn, the architect of Verdun, and William Westmoreland, the broker of body counts in Vietnam.
German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870-1916, by Robert T.
Erich von Falkenhayn, the German commander-in-chief until August, ordered that 'not one foot of ground be lost'--and the result was a battle of continuing bloodshed and destruction which continued until the autumn rain made further movement impossible.
Their master planner, Chief of the General Staff General Erich von Falkenhayn, says Thompson, had calculated a win-win situation with an attack on Verdun.