Hitlers Krieger (1998– )

Manstein - Der Stratege 

Erich von Manstein was one of the most prominent commanders of Germany's World War II armed forces. As one of Hitler's best military strategists, he was responsible for planning and initiating the invasion of France.

Director:

Guido Knopp
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Christian Brückner Christian Brückner ... Narrator (voice)
Joseph Goebbels ... Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Kaiser Wilhelm II ... Himself (archive footage)
Erich von Manstein Erich von Manstein ... Himself (archive footage)
Rüdiger von Manstein Rüdiger von Manstein ... Himself
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Storyline

Erich von Manstein was one of the most prominent commanders of Germany's World War II armed forces. As one of Hitler's best military strategists, he was responsible for planning and initiating the invasion of France.

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Release Date:

27 October 1998 (Germany) See more »

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Military Genius; Moral Failure.
9 September 2015 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Erich von Manstein was raised in a family of Prussian aristocrats, where he learned all about dignity and obedience, and he never forgot it.

He was wounded in the First World War and in the next war rose rather quickly to the rank of Field Marshall. Experts on both sides acknowledge his strategic genius. "Blitzkrieg," which resulted in the fall of Europe, was his idea. And in the south of Russia it was his troops which finally took Sebastopol and the rest of the Crimea.

But it was at about this time, in 1942, that his disagreements with Hitler increased, not that Manstein himself was ever impudent. At Stalingrade, Manstein saw the writing on the wall and urged Hitler to order a withdrawal to a defensible position.

But Hitler issued his usual order, not one millimeter of retreat. Hitler finally ordered Manstein to attack the Russian troops that had surrounded Stalingrad but by that time it was too late.

The German army was losing on both fronts and a movement to assassinate Hitler and make peace with the Western Allies (a pipe dream) was underway, but Manstein would have none of it. It wasn't that he was so devoted to Hitler, whom he deemed a social inferior. Manstein was no Nazi. It's that Prussian culture demanded that the orders of the state be followed.

At the end of the war, Hitler having blamed all his generals for Germany's defeat, Manstein was serving in a position of no importance, was captured, and spent five years (out of a sentence of eighteen) in prison before being released in 1951 to help organize the modern German army in its defense against the threat of a Soviet invasion.

He was in a tough position with regard to Hitler. No doubt about that. If he had resigned it might have cost him his head. Yet his army in Russia was followed by Einsatzgruppen, made up most of committed Nazis, who sole task was to commit mass murder -- Jews, homosexuals, gypsies. When some of his staff pointed this out to him, he brushed it aside, saying that he wanted to know nothing about the political structure being set up in occupied territory. That was Himmler's job, not his.

The program gives a balanced picture of Erich von Manstein, a great strategies and a failed human being.


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