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August von Mackensen

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Geregistreerd op: 11-6-2007
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Feb 2009 12:16    Onderwerp: August von Mackensen Reageer met quote

August von Mackensen was born on 6 December 1849. He received education at the gymnasium and did subsequent university studies. On 1 October 1869, Mackensen joined the 2. Leibhusaren-Regiment as a volunteer. Together with this Regiment, Mackensen participated in the war Franco-Prussian War, and he became an active officer two years later. He joined the Great General Staff in 1880. Mackensen became the Commander of the 1. Husaren-Regiment. He was then promoted to General ŗ la suite of Kaiser Wilhelm in 1901.

Shortly after the start of WWI, Mackensen commanded the XVII. Corps attached to the VIII. Army and suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Russian General Rennenkampf during the Battle of Gumbinnen. However, Mackensen's force was among those quickly transferred by rail to surround the advancing Army of Samsonov, and he played a conspicuous part in the resulting famous Battle of Tannenberg. Then, Mackensen took command of the IX. Army at Lodz and he was awarded the Pour le Merite in 1914 for defense of city. He fought for Warsaw throughout October and November 1914. Following the Battles of the Masurian Lakes, Mackensen's command was transferred to the XI. Army on the Dunajec sector of the Galician Front.

In early April, Mackensen opened the spring offensive against Russia by bombarding the enemy positions at Tarnow, and this effectively split open the tired Russian front (see description, below). Mackensen then ordered the march forward, but the difficult terrain and the fighting retreat by the Russians made for slow going. Mackensen reached Przemysl in early June, and aided the Austrian recapture of Lemberg on 22 June 1915. Meanwhile, Mackensen was given command of the k.u.k. Husaren-Regiment 10, on 11 June 1915.

Following the glorious achievement of the campaign against Russia, Mackensen was given the task of leading the campaign against Serbia in October 1915. This he did with great veracity, using both the German XIV. Army and the Austrian III. Army, along with help from the Bulgarians to destroy the Serbians. When Roumania declared war on Austria in August 1916, the Germans, fearful of their ally's collapse, mobilised all resources against the invaders. Mackensen was dispatched to Bulgaria, where he organised the Army of the Danube, made up of troops from Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, and Austria. He invaded the Dobruja, and reached the mouths of the Danube, battling the Russians who tried to block his advance. Then he forded the river and marched to cut off the fleeing Roumanians. His efforts sped the defeat of Roumania and he was promoted to field marshal. Mackensen commanded the occupation army in Roumania until the end of the First World War.

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