Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Falkenhayn first came to the German army's attention as a member of the International force during the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900. In 1913, he became German war minister and then chief of the General Staff in September 1914, following the setback on the Marne, a defeat that forced Germany to fight a two-front war. It was Falkenhayn who ordered German troops on the Western Front to dig into defensive positions on high ground so that troops could be released for service on the Eastern Front. A high-speed war was thus transformed into a conflict characterised by stasis and .Falkenhayn believed the Western Front to be the most important theatre (much to 's annoyance), and in February 1916, he devised the offensive at . The appalling failure of this offensive was compounded by Romania's entry into the war on the side of the in August 1916. Falkenhayn finally lost the support of the Kaiser, and on 29 August, Hindenburg replaced him as chief of the General Staff.Falkenhayn was then transferred to the Transylvanian Front, where he defeated Romanian forces at the Battle of Hermannstadt (also known as the Battle of Sibiu or Red Tower Pass) in September 1916. His subsequent entry into Bucharest in December (in conjunction with Field Marshal August von Mackensen) effectively knocked Romania out of the war.Falkenhayn went on to command Ottoman forces in Palestine. However, he suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the British and was replaced by General Liman von Sanders. Falkenhayn then commanded Germany's Tenth Army in Lithuania. He died in 1922.


Post a Comment

<< Home