Erich Von Falkenhayn - Encyclopedia




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"ERICH VON FALKENHAYN (1861-), Prussian general, was born Sept. 11 1861 at Burg Belchau in the district of Thorn. He took part in the China expedition of 1900 and remained in China with a brigade of occupation till 1903. In 1906 he was appointed chief-of-staff of the XVI. and afterwards of the IV. Army Corps; in 1913 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenantgeneral and was appointed Prussian Minister of War. He succeeded Gen. von Moltke in Dec. 1914 as chief of the general staff of the army and was advanced to the rank of general of the infantry. It was on his initiative that the Russian lines were broken through at Gorlice-Tarnow on May 2 and 3 1915, and he likewise helped to plan the summer offensive of that year against Russia and the operations by which in the winter of 1915-6 Serbia was overrun. He was made responsible, however, for the ill-success of the German attacks of 1916 at Verdun, and was replaced as chief of the general staff by Hindenburg in August of that year. He was then assigned the leadership of the IX. Army against Rumania and commanded in the fighting at Hermannstadt and on the Targu Jin. In 1917 he took command of the so-called Asiatic Corps, for operations in the Caucasus, etc., and in 1918 and 1919 was at the head of the X. Army. He wrote an interesting account of the German conduct of the war during its first two years entitled Die oberste Heeresleitung in ihren wichtigsten Entschliessungen 1914-16 (1919).

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