Field Marshall August von Mackensen

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.

Moderator: Jason Pipes

Field Marshall August von Mackensen

Postby RogerF » Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:45 pm

Are there any English language biographies of August von Mackensen?
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:22 pm
Location: California

Re: Field Marshall August von Mackensen

Postby Richard Schoutissen » Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:39 pm

RogerF wrote:Are there any English language biographies of August von Mackensen?

August von Mackensen (1849-1945), who was born on 6 December 1849, is considered one of the best field commanders of the German army during the First World War.

Although not of a military family, being the son of a land agent, Mackensen joined the elite Death's Head Hussar regiment at age 19 in 1 October 1869, serving with distinction in the following year's Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and becoming an active officer two years later.

Appointed to the General Staff in 1880, Mackensen was promoted to General a la suite of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1901.

Mackensen fought in all of the major attacks on the Eastern Front during the First World War, initially as a corps commander (XVII Corps) in Prittwitz's Eighth Army. In August 1914 he played a major role at the battles of Gumbinnen and Tannenberg headed by the combination of Hindenburg and Ludendorff; at the former he suffered an embarrassing defeat, amply recompensed at the latter.

The following month, in September 1914, Mackensen served in the Polish campaign, leading the siege of Warsaw and the attack on Lodz, by which time he had been appointed commander of Ninth Army; he was subsequently awarded the Pour le Merite.

In April 1915 he was given charge of Eleventh Army, commanding the Gorlice-Tarnow offensive the following month. Following his success there - click here to read his summary of the opening of the offensive - he was promoted to Field Marshal in June, after which he advanced up the River Bug as part of the summer 1915 Triple Offensive, establishing a reputation as an accomplished exponent of breakthrough tactics.

In September 1915 Mackensen was charged with the successful invasion of Serbia in the Balkans, afterwards commanding the Danube Army in the Romanian Campaign in the autumn.

Mackensen subsequently served out the remainder of the war in command of the Romanian occupying army.

Retiring from the army in 1920, Mackensen involved himself in politics, joining Hitler's National Socialist party and government in 1933. He did not however play an active role during the Second World War, living instead in retirement. Despite his support for Hitler, Mackensen remained pro-monarchist, attending the funeral of deposed Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1941.

August von Mackensen died at Schmiedeberg, Saxony on 8 November 1945.

Click here to read von Mackensen's report regarding the Gorlice-Tarnow campaign; click here to read von Mackensen's triumphant announcement regarding the Romanian campaign in March 1917.


Richard . . . . and yes here in the Netherlands we also google.
User avatar
Richard Schoutissen
Posts: 595
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:12 am
Location: the Netherlands

Field Marshal August von Mackensen

Postby RogerF » Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:39 pm

Thank you for your biography of von Mackensen. At 10 I first saw a picture of von Mackensen in a book in Germany between the wars. He was a tall slim old man impressive in the deaths head Hussar uniform.
I was hoping that von Mackensen either left memoirs about his WW1 campaigns or had a biographer. I am interested in both his Serbian or Rumanian campaigns. He was able to accomplish what the Austor-Hungarians had tried and failed to do several times.
Can I ask about one more General? Hermann von Francois. He commanded the 1st Army Corps in East prussia during Tannenberg and the Masurian lakes. From what I read he was a very aggressive commander and was often at odds with his bosses. I know nothing about him after Tannenberg.
His name puzzled me. A French name? I later learned that von Francois,along with U-Boat ace Lothar von Arnauld de la Perrier were decendents of French Hugenots driven out of France. The same group of people who make up a large % of South Africans Afrikaner population..
Many thanks and best wishes
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:22 pm
Location: California

Postby Mishar » Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:40 am

User avatar
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:19 am

Postby Liam » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:27 am

Or is his name Scottish? Interestingly, Mackensen featured in a rather bizarre rumour. One of the most successful generals in the Victorian army, Hector MacDonald, commited suicide in Paris in 1903 after a scandal (allegedly involving homosexuality). Later, however, some people started saying that Mackensen was MacDonald! They do bear a slight resemblance it's true.
Hitler...there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!! Mel Brooks, The Producers
User avatar
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 5:17 am

Postby McFish » Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:47 am

:) :) :)
Excuse me
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:46 am

Return to Reichswehr

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests