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Erich von Falkenhayn

Archduke Friedrich of Austria-Hungary speaking with the German Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn on the Eastern Front.
Text:
Erzherzog Friedrich im Gespräch mit dem deutschen Generalstabschef von Falkenhayn auf dem östlichen Kriegschauplatz.
Archduke Friedrich speaking with the German Chief of Staff von Falkenhayn on the eastern front.
5148
Logo: NGP[?]
Hofphot. G. Berger, Potsdam
Reverse:
Field postmark August 2, 1915, 28 Inf.
1915-08-02

Archduke Friedrich of Austria-Hungary speaking with the German Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn on the Eastern Front.

Image text

Erzherzog Friedrich im Gespräch mit dem deutschen Generalstabschef von Falkenhayn auf dem östlichen Kriegschauplatz.



Archduke Friedrich speaking with the German Chief of Staff von Falkenhayn on the eastern front.

5148

Logo: NGP[?]

Hofphot. G. Berger, Potsdam



Reverse:

Field postmark August 2, 1915, 28 Inf.

1915-08-02

Other views: Larger, Back

Erich von Falkenhayn was Commander of the German Army from September 14, 1914 to August 29, 1916, replacing Helmuth von Moltke after the German defeat at the Marne, and being replaced by von Hindenburg after the German defeat at Verdun.

After the Marne and Germany's failed attempt to achieve victory in the Race to the Sea, Falkenhayn believed the war in the west could not be won, told German Chancellor Bethmann Holweg so, and built defenses in depth to hold the territory occupied by Germany. He thought war on the Eastern Front consisted of meaningless exchanges of territory of no strategic value, captured or lost at great cost.

Although Falkenhayn conducted few offensives on the Western Front, he commanded that ground lost to the Allies be recovered, a command that cost his forces greatly, particularly at Verdun.

Falkenhayn imagined the Verdun salient as a funnel into which France would pour men and treasure in response to a German attack. He hoped to draw French defenders and reinforcements into a narrow channel, and destroy them with artillery from either side. In the siege of Verdun he hoped, at little cost to his own forces, to bleed France white. His own troops suffered greatly as well as the French.

After the Kaiser replaced Falkenhayn with von Hindenburg and Ludendorff, he was given command of the German forces in the conquest of Romania. From this successful campaign, he went to Palestine, arriving in Jerusalem on November 1, 1917. Jerusalem fell to British forces under General Edmund Allenby on December 9. He was replaced by Otto Liman von Sanders in Palestine in March 1918.

Much of Falkenhayn's memoir, "General Headquarters and its Critical Decisions, 1914-1916," is devoted to his disputes with von Hindenburg and Ludendorff.

September 11, 1861

Germany

Roles held by Erich von Falkenhayn

Role Start Date End Date
Combatant - General
Army Chief of Staff 1914-09-14 1916-08-29

Books by or about Erich Falkenhayn (2)