- Mackensen, August von
- (1849–1945)A Prussian field marshal, August von Mackensen was born on December 6, 1849, in Saxony. Mackensen joined the Leibhusaren Regiment in 1869 and fought in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. He was appointed to the Prussian general staff in 1880. In 1891, he became Alfred von Schlieffen ’s adjutant and in 1901, he was named Kaiser Wilhelm II ’s personal adjutant and General á la Suite. During World War I, Mackensen served on the Eastern Front as corps commander in the Eighth Army and played a major role in the German victory at the Battle of Tannenberg. Commanding the Ninth Army, he subsequently served in the Polish campaign and received the Pour le Mérite in November 1914.In May 1915, commanding the Eleventh Army, he won a victory at Gorlice-Tarnow that led to his promotion to field marshal. He subsequently commanded the campaign against Serbia and led the Danube Army in Romania, where he spent the rest of the war in charge of the occupation army. After the war, Mackensen, who was now a war hero, was used by the National Socialists for propaganda purposes. Mackensen opposed aspects of the National Socialist regime, but supported the German war effort in World War II. He died at aged 95, on November 8, 1945.FURTHER READING:Schwarzmüller, Theo. Zwischen Kaiser und ‘Führer’: Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen. Eine politische Biographie . Paderborn: Schöningh, 1995;Showalter, Dennis. Tannenberg. Clash of Empires . Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2004.ANNIKA MOMBAUER
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.