August von Mackensen

Anton Ludwig Friedrich August Mackensen was a German field marshal. He commanded successfully during the First World War of 1914–1918. After the armistice of November 1918 the victorious Allies interned Mackensen in Serbia for a year. He retired from the army in 1920; in 1933 Hermann Göring made him a Prussian state councillor. He died of a heart attack at the age of 83 in Berlin in 1936.

About August von Mackensen in brief

Summary August von MackensenAnton Ludwig Friedrich August Mackensen was a German field marshal. He commanded successfully during the First World War of 1914–1918. After the armistice of November 1918 the victorious Allies interned Mackensen in Serbia for a year. He retired from the army in 1920; in 1933 Hermann Göring made him a Prussian state councillor. Mackensen remained a committed monarchist and sometimes appeared at official functions in his first World War uniform. Senior NSDAP members suspected him of disloyalty to the Third Reich, but nothing was proven against him. He led the XVII Corps in the battles of Gumbinnen, Tannen and the Masurian Lakes, which drove the invading Russians from most of East Prussia. On November 2, 1914, Mackensen became Supreme Commander of the Ninth Army from Hindenburg. He was awarded the Mérite, Prussia’s highest military order, for successful battles around Łódż, Poland, in April 1915. He died of a heart attack at the age of 83 in Berlin in 1936. He is buried in the town of Leipnitz, near the village of Dahlenberg, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. He married Doris von Horn, the sister of a slain comrade, in 1879. His wife died in 1905 and, two years later, he married Leonie von der Osten, who was 22 years old. He had two daughters and three sons. His sons shared gymnastics classes with the Kaiser’s.

In 1891 he was appointed to the General Staff in Berlin, bypassing the usual three-year preparation in the War Academy. He impressed Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ordered that Mackensen be given command from 17 June 1893 of the 1st Life Hussars Regiment to which he became à la suite when he left its command on 27 January 1898 and so he often wore the distinctive death’s head uniform thereafter. In 1908, he was given command of the XVii Army Corps, headquartered in Danzig. The Crown Prince was placed under his command, and the Kaiser asked Mackensen to keep an eye on the young man and to teach him to ride properly. In 1899 he was ennobled, becoming August von Mackensen. His father, Karl von Horn , was the influential Oberpräsident ofEast Prussia; they had a two daughters, two sons, and a daughter-in-law. In 1903, he received the command of the newly created Life Hussar Brigade from 1901 to 1903, and from 1903 to 1908, he commanded the 36th Division inDanzig. In 1905, he led the German Eighth Army in East Prussian, under General Maximilian von Prittwitz and, 21 days later, under General Paul von Hindenburg, under the orders of the Kaiser. In 1907, he became Supreme commander of the German Ninth Army. In 1910, he agreed to an offensive against the Russian supreme commander Erich von Falkenhayn.