Erich Von Lewinski Manstein

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Manstein, Erich Von Lewinski


Born Nov. 24, 1887, in Berlin; died June 10, 1973, in Munich. Fascist German field marshal (1942). Son of a general.

Manstein entered the army in 1906 and graduated from the Military Academy in 1914. He took part in World War I (1914-18), after which he served in the Reichswehr. In 1935-38 he was chief of the Operational Directorate and first Oberquartier-meister of the General Staff of the Ground Forces. Between 1939 and February 1940 he was chief of staff for Army Group South and then for Army Group A. During the attack on France (1940) he commanded the 38th corps. In 1941 he was commander of the 56th Armored Corps and took part in the offensive against Leningrad. Between September 1941 and July 1942 he commanded the Eleventh Army during the capture of the Crimea and in the period of the fighting for Sevastopol’. In August 1942 he was in command of the combat action in the vicinity of Leningrad. From November 1942 until February 1943 he was commander of Army Group Don and led the unsuccessful operation to break the encirclement of the grouping surrounded at Stalingrad. Between February 1943 and March 1944 he commanded Army Group South.

Manstein was removed from his position because of failures and enrolled in the reserve. In 1950 a British military tribunal sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment as a war criminal, but in 1953 he was freed. He was an honorary member of a number of revanchist organizations. He wrote the memoirs Lost Victories (1955) and From a Soldier’s Life, 1887-1939 (1958), in which he tries to justify the fascist German generals and troops and blames the “dilettante” Hitler for Germany’s defeat.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.