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VON MANSTEIN, FM (Fritz) Erich (1887-1973)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Von Manstein
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Full title: VON MANSTEIN, FM (Fritz) Erich (1887-1973)
Date(s): Created 1949, 1973
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 12 boxes or 0,12 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): British Military Court, Hamburg, Germany, Jul-Dec 1949.

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

Born (Fritz) Erich von Lewinski, Berlin, Germany, 1887; adopted by relatives and assumed von Manstein name; educated at the Lycée, Strasbourg; served in the Cadet Corps, Plön and Berlin, Germany, 1895-1906; Ensign, 3 Foot Guards, 1906; Lt, 1907; Battalion Adjutant, 1911; Senior Lt (Oberleutnant), 1914; served in World War One, 1914-1918; Adjutant, 2 Guards Reserve Regt, 1914; served in Marne campaign, France, 1914; severely wounded on Eastern Front, Nov 1914; Staff Officer, Army Group Gallwitz, Poland and Serbia, Jun-Aug 1915; Capt, 1915; Adjutant, Headquarters, 12 Army, 1915-1916; Staff Officer, Headquarters, 11 Army, Battle of Verdun, Western Front, 1916; Staff Officer, Headquarters, 1 Army, Battle of the Somme, Picardy, France, 1916; Senior Operations Officer, 4 Cavalry Div, Courland (Estonia), 1917; Senior Operations Officer, 213 Assault Infantry Div, Western Front, 1918; General Staff Officer, Frontier Defence, East, Breslau, Germany, 1919; Staff Officer to Gen von Lossberg, Berlin and Kassel, Germany, 1919; Company commander, 5 Infantry Regt, Angermunde, Pomerania, Germany, 1920; General Staff Officer, Wehrkreis I, II and IV, 1923-1927; Maj, 1927; General Staff Officer to Infantry Leader IV, Oct 1927; served with Operations Branch of Truppenamt, Sep 1929; Lt Col, 1932; Commanding Officer, Jäger Bn, 4 Infantry Regt, Kolber, Germany, 1932; Col, 1933; Chief of Staff to Gen Erwin von Witzleben, Wehrkreiss III, Berlin, Germany, 1934; Head of Operations Branch, Army General Staff, 1935; Maj Gen, 1936; Deputy Chief of Staff to Gen Ludwig Beck, 1936; commanded 18 Infantry Div, Liegnitz, Germany, 1938; Chief of Staff to Gen Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb during Munich Crisis, Sep 1938; Lt Gen, 1939; appointed Chief of Staff to Gen (Karl Rudolph) Gerd von Rundstedt, Commander-in-Chief, Army Group South, Aug 1939; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; service in German invasion and conquest of Poland, Sep-Oct 1939; Chief of Staff, Army Group A, 1939-1940; commanded 38 (Infantry) Corps, German invasion and conquest of France, May-Jun 1940; Gen of Infantry, 1940; commanded 56 Panzer Corps, 4 Panzer Group, Army Group North, May-Sep 1941; service in Operation BARBAROSSA, the German invasion of the USSR, 22 Jun 1941, and the advance on Leningrad, 1941; commanded 11 Army, Army Group South, USSR, 1941-1942; planned and completed German conquest of the Crimea, USSR, 1942; FM, 1942; commanded Army Group Don (later renamed Army Group South from Feb 1943), USSR, Nov 1942-1944; dismissed by Adolf Hitler, Mar 1944; served with Führer reserve, 1944-1945; surrendered to British forces, May 1945; tried by British Military Court on seventeen charges of war crimes, Curio House, Hamburg, Germany, Aug 1949; found guilty of nine charges of war crimes relating to neglecting to protect civilian lives, and sentenced to eighteen years imprisonment (later reduced to twelve years), Dec 1949; released from prison, 1953; appointed organisational adviser to the Bundeswehr, 1956; died 1973. Publications: Verteidigung Manstein (Hamburg, Germany, 1950); Verlorene siege (Bonn, Germany, 1955); Aus einem Soldatenleben, 1887-1939 (Bonn, Germany, 1958); Lost victories, edited and translated by Anthony G Powell (Methuen, London, 1958).

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to the proceedings of the trial of von Manstein for war crimes by a British Military Court, Curio House, Hamburg, Germany, Aug-Dec 1949, including typescript 'Index of the proceedings upon the trial of Fritz Erich von Lewinski, called von Manstein', 1949; typescript index of the summing-up by Judge Advocate Hon Charles Arthur Collingwood, Dec 1949; typescript charge sheet listing the seventeen charges of war crimes against von Manstein, amended as served, 14 Jul 1949; typescript opening speech for the prosecution by Sir Arthur Strettell Comyns-Carr, KC, 24 Aug 1949; typescript proceedings for the sixty one days of von Manstein's trial for war crimes (two days proceedings excluded as they were held in camera), 23 Aug-16 Dec 1949; twelve bound indexed volumes of typescript documents referred to by counsel and used as evidence in von Manstein's trial, 1949; typescript bound transcript of Commission Hearing, Landsberg Prison, Landsberg, Germany, by Special Commissioner Lt Col W St John C Tayleur, Barrister at Law, Office of the Deputy Judge Advocate General, Headquarters BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), appointed by Lt Gen Sir Charles Keightley, Commander-in-Chief, BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), to take evidence on commission relating to von Manstein, 10 Jan 1949; forty four printed maps relating to Wehrmacht operations on the Eastern Front against the USSR, Jun 1941-Mar 1944; typescript 'Synopsis of the retreat of the German Army (Army Group South) from southern Russia with regard to operations of Field Marshal von Manstein', with copies of fourteen printed maps relating to the Eastern Front, USSR, 1941-1944; typescript copy of letter from B Acht, Polish Military Mission, Berlin, Germany, to Lt Gen Sir Frank (Ernest Wallace) Simpson, President of the Court, relating to his withdrawal as Polish official observer to von Manstein's trial due to his perception of the defence counsel's positive portrayal of von Manstein's character, Nov 1949; typescript copies of papers relating to evidence taken and presented at the trial, 1949; four copies of sketches of the court and of von Manstein in court, 1949; article by Cyril Bentham Falls, Chichele Professor of the History of War, Oxford, entitled 'The trial of Field Marshal von Manstein' from The Illustrated London News, 13 Aug 1949; newspaper cuttings relating to the trial, 1949; obituary for von Manstein from The Times, 13 Jun 1973.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and German

System of arrangement:

The papers are arranged in chronological order and follow the proceedings of von Manstein's trial.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Summary guide available online at http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lhcma/top.htm, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Placed in the Centre by Maj Gen (Douglas) Ashton (Lofft) Wade, via Rt Hon Sir Frederick Elwyn-Jones, who was a member of von Manstein's counsel for the defence, and Professor Ronald Harry Graveson, QC, Faculty of Laws, King's College London, in 1971. Further papers were deposited by Wade in 1988.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart contain correspondence with Liddell Hart and an obituary for von Manstein, 1947-1973 (Ref: LH 9/24/71); papers relating to von Manstein's war crimes trial, 1948-1967, and to the publication of Manstein: his campaigns and his trial by Reginald Thomas Paget, MP (Collins, London, 1951) (Ref: LH 9/24/168-181); notes by Liddell Hart, dated 1946-1958, relating to von Manstein's service in the German High Command during World War Two, 1939-1945 (Ref: LH 9/24/124); papers, dated 1956-1959, relating to Liddell Hart's foreword to von Manstein's memoirs Lost victories, edited and translated by Anthony G Powell, (Methuen, London, 1958) (Ref: LH 9/24/45); a letter from Liddell Hart to Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, dated Feb 1956, comparing von Manstein's and OKH's plan, Operation FALL GELB, for the German offensive in western Europe, 1940 (Ref: LH 15/15/145/12); list of personnel involved in von Manstein's war crimes trial, Hamburg, Germany, Aug 1949 (Ref: LH 15/5/122). The papers of Gen Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor contain von Manstein's obituary from The Times, 1973 (Ref: O'Connor 11/27). The papers of Maj Gen (Douglas) Ashton (Lofft) Wade (1898-1996) contain papers relating to the War Crimes trial of von Manstein, 1949 (Ref: Wade). The character of von Manstein is assessed in the private War Journal of Generaloberst Franz Halder, a microfilm copy is held by the Centre (Ref: MF 321-322). Papers relating to von Manstein's trial, 1949-1950, are held by the Public Record Office, Kew, London (Ref: LCO2/2996).


National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The other side of the hill. Germany's generals, their rise and fall, with their own account of military events, 1939-1945 by Capt Basil Henry Liddell Hart (Cassell, London, 1948); Manstein: his campaigns and his trial by Reginald Thomas Paget, Baron Paget of Northampton (Collins, London, 1951); Manstein, the master general by Col Ramrao Deorao Palsokar (Col Palsokar, Poona, India, 1970); Hitler's generals by Richard Humble (Barker, London, 1973); The war lords: military commanders of the twentieth century edited by FM Sir (Richard) Michael (Power) Carver (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1976); Hitler's generals and their battles edited by Christopher Chant (Salamander, London, 1977); German commanders of World War II by Anthony Kemp and Angus McBride (Osprey Men at Arms Series, London, 1982); Hitler's generals edited by Correlli Barnett (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1989); Beyond Stalingrad. Manstein and the operations of Army Group Don by Dana V Sadarananda (Praeger, London, 1990); Bounden duty: the memoirs of a German officer 1932-45 by Alexander Stahlberg (Brassey's, London, 1990).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Dec 1999

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