|Eberhard von Mackensen|
|Born||24 September 1889|
|Died||19 May 1969(aged 79)|
|Place of birth||Bromberg|
|Place of death||Alt-Mühlendorf near Nortorf|
German Empire (to 1918)|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1908-1944|
III. Armeekorps (mot.)|
World War I|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
|Relations||August von Mackensen (father)|
Friedrich August Eberhard von Mackensen (24 September 1889 – 19 May 1969) was a German general who served in World War II, and one of 882 German recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Early years[edit | edit source]
Eberhard was born in Bromberg (Bydgoszcz) in the Province of Posen, the son of August von Mackensen. Mackensen entered the German Army in 1908. Mackensen entered World War I as a lieutenant. After being wounded in 1915, Mackensen was given a staff job. In 1919 he joined the Freikorps and fought in Balticum. After the armistice, Mackensen remained in the German Army and by 1934 had risen to the rank of colonel. In 1935, Mackensen was appointed chief of staff to the X Army Corps and in 1937 he was given command of a cavalry brigade. He was promoted to major general in 1938. In May 1939 Mackensen, was made chief of staff of Wilhelm List.
World War II[edit | edit source]
At the beginning of World War II, Mackensen served as the chief of staff of the German 14th Army in the invasion of Poland in September 1939. Later, he was made chief of staff of the 12th Army and fought in France. On 1 January 1940 he was promoted to lieutenant general and eight months later to General der Kavallerie. In January 1941 he was made commanding general of the III Army Corps in Army Group South. When in November 1942 General Paul Ewald von Kleist was given the command of Army Group A, Mackensen took up command of the First Panzer Army which he led in the Third Battle of Kharkov in March 1943.
Italy[edit | edit source]
Promoted to colonel general in 1943, Mackensen was sent to Italy as commander of the 14th Army which he led until June 1944. In March of that year, Mackensen was the first senior officer to be informed by Kurt Mälzer of a partisan attack in Rome against the SS Police Regiment Bozen. Mälzer had requested the immediate round-up and summary execution of Italian residents of the Via Rasella, where the attack had occurred, to which Mackensen stated was "excessive". The matter was then referred to Albert Kesselring, who discussed the issue with Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel. The resulting orders called for the execution of ten Italians for every German soldier killed, eventually leading to the Ardeatine massacre. Army units under Mackensen's command, along with members of the Bozen Police Regiment themselves, reportedly refused to participate in the execution; in the end, the job fell to the SS Security services in Rome, under the command of Herbert Kappler.
Retirement[edit | edit source]
Eberhard von Mackensen retired from active service in the summer of 1944. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to which the Oak Leaf device was later added.
Post war[edit | edit source]
After the German capitulation in 1945, Mackensen became a prisoner of war. In 1947 he was arrested and tried as a war criminal and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to 21 years imprisonment, but he was released in 1952. Mackensen died near Nortorf in 1969.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Wound Badge (1918)
- Cross of Honor
- Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938
- Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung 4th to 1st Class
- Clasp to the Iron Cross
- 2nd Class (17 September 1939)
- 1st Class (2 October 1939)
- Order of Michael the Brave
- 3rd Class (15 January 1943)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
References[edit | edit source]
- Theo Schwarzmüller: Zwischen Kaiser und „Führer“ Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen. Eine politische Biographie. dtv, München 2001, (181.page) ISBN 3-423-30823-0.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 522.
- Dr. Gerd F. Heuer – Die Generalobersten des Heeres, Inhaber höchster Kommandostellen 1933-45, ISBN 3-8118-1408-7
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
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