HISTORY AND MORALITY

Remembering Hitler’s Greatest General: Manstein and Verdict of History

His Loyal Service to Nazi Dictator Taints General Erich von Manstein’s Legacy.

Abdullah Ayasun
Dialogue & Discourse
12 min readMar 9, 2024

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German Field Marshal Fritz-Erich von Manstein.

When the West German military decided to honor a former Third Reich general in a ceremony in 1967 to mark his 80th birthday, an acrimonious debate broke out in the press. According to a report by The New York Times, some of the skeptical figures among the higher ranks of the military appeared baffled by the decision to immortalize a general who faithfully served Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler until he was relieved of command in 1944.

At the heart of the all-consuming debate was Field Marshal Fritz-Erich von Manstein, who, according to British biographer Mungo Melvin, was Hitler’s greatest general. Overcoming the recalcitrance of the German High Command at the start of the Second World War, Manstein emerged as the man behind the stunning German victories.

He was the architect of the Blitzkrieg, a new type of modern warfare the German army unleashed on the Western Front in the spring and early summer of 1940. The unprecedented…

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Abdullah Ayasun
Dialogue & Discourse

Boston-based journalist and writer. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. On art, culture, politics and everything in between. X: @abyasun