Erich von Manstein (November 24th, 1887 - June 9th, 1973) was a German Gernalfeldmarschall in the Nazi party.
In 1887, he was born with the name Fritz Erich von Lewinski under Eduard von Lewinski and Helene von Sperling. As a kid, Manstein went to Lycee in Strasbourg. He went with the cadet corps for 6 years then became Garde zu Fuß 'ensign in 1906. 1907, Manstein became lieutenant then went to the Prussia War Academy in 1913.
On his first German army days in WWI, he was wounded in Poland. He went back to fighting as a captain in 1915. He worked as a staff officer until the war was over.
Erich married Jutta Sibylle von Loesch and had 3 children with her. Manstein participated in the forming of the Reichswehr. Everything was peaceful until the rise of the Nazi party, which renounced the Versailles Treaty. Manstein found work under Hitler as Oberquartiermeister I for Ludwig Beck.
As the second world war commenced, Manstein led successful attacks on the hapless Polish forces. when that was done, Germany was fighting both Belgium and France at the same time. Manstien had a plan, the Schlieffen Plan to defeat both countries. Despite the success over Belgium and France, Britain still defended itself. In 1941, Manstein participated in the failed Operation Barbarossa where he took two bridges over the Dvina river in Dvinsk. During the war, he wrote his version of the Reichenau order:
- "This struggle is not being carried on against the Soviet Armed Forces alone in the established form laid down by European rules of warfare.
- Behind the front too, the fighting continues. Partisan snipers dressed as civilians attack single soldiers and small units and try to disrupt our supplies by sabotage with mines and infernal machines. Bolshevists left behind keep the population freed from Bolshevism in a state of unrest by means of terror and attempt thereby to sabotage the political and economic pacification of the country. Harvests and factories are destroyed and the city population in particular is thereby ruthlessly delivered to starvation.
- Jewry is the middleman between the enemy in the rear and the remains of the Red Army and the Red leadership still fighting. More strongly than in Europe they hold all key positions of political leadership and administration, of trade and crafts and constitutes a cell for all unrest and possible uprisings.
- The Jewish Bolshevik system must be wiped out once and for all and should never again be allowed to invade our European living space.
- The German soldier has therefore not only the task of crushing the military potential of this system. He comes also as the bearer of a racial concept and as the avenger of all the cruelties which have been perpetrated on him and on the German people."
- "The soldier must appreciate the necessity for the harsh punishment of Jewry, the spiritual bearer of the Bolshevik terror. This is also necessary in order to nip in the bud all uprisings which are mostly plotted by Jews."
Manstein also did his part in Operation Trappenjagd and broke through the Soviets there. Manstein first fought at Leningrad but was then sent to Stalingrad by Hitler. During the Russian campagin, his eldest son Gero was killed. For the rest of the war, Manstien fought well with his troops against the Soviets, until he was captured by the British. At the Nuremberg trials, Manstien was a witness. When the trial ended, Manstein was senteced to 18 years, but then it went down to 12. In 1953, the warden let Manstien go for medical reasons.
He moved to Bavaria with his family and wrote a memoir, Verlorene Siege. He stayed in West Germany until he died of a stroke in 1973.