About Friedrich August Eberhard von Mackensen
Friedrich August Eberhard von Mackensen (24 September 1889 – 19 May 1969) was a German general who served in World War II, and one of 882 German recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Eberhard was born in Bromberg (Bydgoszcz) in the Province of Posen, the son of August von Mackensen. Mackensen entered the German Army in 1908. Mackensen entered World War I as a lieutenant. After being wounded in 1915, Mackensen was given a staff job. After the armistice, Mackensen remained in the German Army and by 1934 had risen to the rank of colonel. In 1935, Mackensen was appointed chief of staff to the X Army Corps and in 1937 he was given command of a cavalry brigade. He was promoted to major general in 1938. In May 1939 Mackensen, was made chief of staff of Wilhelm List.
World War II
At the beginning of World War II, Mackensen served as the chief of staff of the German 14th Army in the invasion of Poland in September 1939. Later, he was made chief of staff of the 12th Army and fought in France. On 1 January 1940 he was promoted to lieutenant general and eight months later to General der Kavallerie. In January 1941 he was made commanding general of the III Army Corps in Army Group South. When in November 1942 General Paul Ewald von Kleist was given the command of Army Group A, Mackensen took up command of the First Panzer Army which he led in the Third Battle of Kharkov in March 1943. Promoted to colonel general in 1943, Mackensen was sent to Italy as commander of the 14th Army which he led until June 1944 when he retired.
He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to which the Oak Leaf device was later added.
After the German capitulation in 1945, Mackensen became a prisoner of war. In 1947 he was arrested and tried as a war criminal and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to 21 years imprisonment, but he was released in 1952. Mackensen died near Nortorf in 1969.