** World War I biographies -- Anton Ludwig Friedrich August von Mackensen

World War I: Biographies--Anton Ludwig Friedrich August von Mackensen (Germany, 1849-1945)

Figure 1.-- This is Field Msrshal Mackensen's family at his 80th birthday (1929). After Hitler seized power, he began showeing up at the birth day parties. In public appearcges with Hitler, the Field Marshall would wear his Hussar unifgorm without any NAZI acoutements. He became known as the Last Hussar. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R11236 / Kühlewindt / CC-BY-SA Click non the image to see after Hitker seized power that he began shjowing up at yhe Field Msrshasl's birthday parties, in thi case his 85th birthday (1934). Notice one of the boys wearing his Hitler Youth inigform. At the time menbership was not manditory.

Anton Ludwig Friedrich August von Mackensen was one of Germany's most brilliant World War I military commanders. He is not as well known in the West, largely because his campigns were all conducted in the East.. Noably, they were stunningly sucessful. He was born (1849). His life spoanned the Kingdom of Prussia, the North German Confederation, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the post-war Allied occupation of Germany. He began his military career as a young officer with the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). After theWar, he briefly tudies at Halle University before returning tgo hisd regiment. ’As his career progressed, he caught t attention of higher commandrs as well as the emperor himself. He joined the Army's ‘General Staff’ in Berlin without undergoing the 3-year preparation at the War Academy (1891). He served as an adjutant of Alfred von Schlieffen, the author of the Schlieffen Plan --Germany's war plan. He was prsonlly patronized by the Emperor. The Emperor personally gave him command of the ‘1st Life Hussars Regiment’ (Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 1) (1893). Mackensen bcame known as tyhe last Hussar. Mackensen served as the Emperor’s aide-de-camp from (1898-1901). He was ennobled on the Emperor’s 40th birthday--becomingh August von Mackensen (1899). He recrived command of the new ‘Life Hussar Brigade’ (‘Leib-Husaren-Brigade’) (1901-03) He then commnded the ‘36th Division’ in Danzig (1903-08). After Schlieffen’s retirement, Mackensen was one of the caddiates to succeed him, but Helmuth von Moltke the Younger was chosen instead. He was ennobled as 'von Mackensen' before his major successes (1899). He was respected enough to be given respondibility for the military trining of the Crown Prince. He was nearing retirement when World War I broke out. He is best known for overseeing important World War I offensives (East Prussia, Galacia, Serbia, and Romania). He proved to be one of the German Empire's most prominent and competent military commanders. Only Hindenberg and Ludendorf received more accolades. And he was not tarnished by the disaster in the West. The victorious Allies interned Mackensen in Serbia for a year (1919). When he was released, he retrned to Germny and retired from the Army (1920). The NAZIs attempted to bask in his glory. Upon seizing power, Hermann Göring made him a Prussian state councillor (1933). Hitler sended his major birthday parties. Mackensen remained, however, a stsunch monarchist, but refrained from any active opposition. He sometimes appeared at official functions in his World War I Husdsar uniform without any NAZI acoutements inccluduing the swastica even when apparing with Hitler. NAZI officials incvluding Hitler suspected him of disloyalty, but he was never connected with active opposition. Unlike Stalin, Hitler and the NAZIs did not pursue such men as lonh as they were not vocal and did not conspire. A HBC contributor points out "Field Msrshal von Mackensen was a Prussian officer not a NAZI." He was apauled with NAZI barabrities in Poland and the indelable stain on ythe homnor of the German Army. He even wrote to Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch (February 1940). He died shortly after the end of the War, primarily concerned wih his chickens.


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Created: 8:49 PM 4/15/2022
Last updated: 8:50 PM 4/15/2022