Mungo Melvin - Manstein - Orion Publishing Group

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Manstein

Hitler's Greatest General

By Mungo Melvin

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The first proper biography of Germany's most controversial military hero.

The first proper biography of Germany's most controversial military hero.

The story of the military genius Field Marshal Erich von Manstein chronicles the misguided generation of German generals in the Second World War who claimed they fought for Germany, not for Hitler and National Socialism. The polished, urbane von Manstein was no uncouth Nazi. He persuaded the British writer Liddell Hart to assist in organising his defence during his war crimes trial at Hamburg in 1949. Sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment, he was released after three and then advised the West German government in raising its new army in the 1950s.

Manstein was the mastermind who created the plan for the 1940 blitzkrieg that overran France in just six weeks. He played a key role in the invasion of Russia and conquered the Crimea, but failed to rescue the doomed Sixth Army at Stalingrad, his most controversial campaign. Three months after the inevitable failure there, he inflicted a massive defeat on the Red Army at Kharkov in a brilliantly designed counter-attack: a battle that has been studied in military academies ever since.

Major-General Mungo Melvin speaks good German and knows Germany well. He has been assisted by the Manstein family, has delved deeply into the military archives and studied many of Manstein's battlefields close at hand. His book is much more than a biography of an extraordinary soldier: it describes the dilemmas encountered on operations and highlights the enduring tensions between senior military commanders and their political leaders in the prosecution of strategy.

In Germany today, Manstein has become a symbol of the moral corruption of the Wehrmacht, whose commanders' actions enabled Hitler to prosecute a devastating war of conquest and perpetrate the Holocaust. This book reveals the true story of Hitler and his greatest general.

Biographical Notes

Major General Mungo Melvin was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Cambridge University and the German Armed Forces Staff College at Hamburg. He has directed the British Army's Strategic and Combat Studies Institute, managed the Joint Services' Higher Command and Staff Course and recently commanded the British Army's Support Command in Germany. He is currently the Senior Directing Staff (Army) at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, responsible for strategic research, analysis and education.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780297858447
  • Publication date: 06 May 2010
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N

Alex Danchev

John Keegan in his review of ALCHEMIST OF WAR in The Spectator described Danchev as "one of the two most brilliant people [he] taught at Sandhurst". He is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Nottingham. In addition to editing the Alanbrooke WAR DIARIES he is the author of an acclaimed life of Basil Liddell hart, ALCHEMIST OF WAR.

Brenda Reid

Brenda Reid was an award winning producer at the BBC before becoming Head of Drama at Anglia Television. She worked with, amongst others, Rose Tremain, Alan Bennett, Jilly Cooper, P.D. James, Fay Weldon and Lynda la Plante. She was also the executive producer of the popular series Ballykissangel. Brenda now divides her time between the Welsh borders, her children's houses in London and her village house in Crete.

Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb was born in 1914, and went to sea as an apprentice with the Clan Line in 1930. He later served as a Midshipman in the RNR , and joined the RAF in 1935 to learn to fly. He transferred to the Fleet Air Arm in 1938, flew throughout the war, and was given a permanent commission in 1945. He remained active in naval and public affairs until his death in 1981.

Charles Williams

Charles Williams, Lord Williams of Elvel, former industrialist and banker and now a Labour peer, was appointed to a life peerage in 1985. He served on the Opposition front bench from 1986 onwards and was elected Opposition Deputy Leader in 1989. He is one of Britain's most distinguished biographers.

Christopher Duffy

After obtaining his doctorate at Oxford, Christopher Duffy divided his time between researching history and teaching officer cadets and student officers at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Army Staff College. From 1996 to 2001 he was Research Professor in the History of War at De Montfort University, and he now devotes himself entirely to voluntary work and writing. He is the author of some twenty books, including The Army of Frederick the Great and The '45. Fluent in six languages, he is an acknowledged expert on the Austrian and German armies from the eighteenth century to 1945, and his work on European military history of the eighteenth century has won him international renown.

Christopher Landon

Christopher Landon served with the 51st Field Ambulance in North Africa during WWII. After the war he wrote several novels, including A Flag in the City, Stone Cold Dead in the Market, and Hornet's nest. His most famous novel, however, was Ice Cold in Alex, which was made into an internationally famous movie, starring John Mills.

Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer served as Ambassador to the United Kingdom to the United States from 1997 until 2003. He was a vital link in the important relationship between America and Britain, one of the closest periods since the Second World War. He had previously been British Ambassador to Germany and chief spokesman and press secretary for former Prime Minister John Major, and for Geoffrey Howe when he was Foreign Secretary. In 2003 Meyer was appointed Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, a position he held until April 2009. He was knighted in 2001.

Clare Corbett

Clare Corbett has had a successful career on stage, screen and radio. Theatre credits include 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' 'Pygmalion' and Spoonface Steinberg' and her TV credits include BBC's 'Spooks,' 'Fastnet' and 'Final Demand'. A winner of the prestigious Carleton Hobbs Radio Award, she has appeared in over 250 radio plays including 'Absolute Power' 'Venus and Adonis' and ' Dr Zhivago'. Her other voice work comprises of Aardman Animation's ' the planet sketch' and numerous audiobooks (children and adult) including 'Poppy Shakespeare', 'Swallowing Grandma' and 'Child X'. She read 'Alys, Always' by Harriet Lane for Orion.

Connie Willis

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis has won, among other accolades, ten HUGO Awards and six NEBULA Awards for her writing, and was recently named an SFWA Grand Master. She lives in Greeley, Colorado with her husband Courtney Willis, a professor of physics at the University of Northern Colorado.

David Morgan

David Morgan was awarded the DSC for his services in the Falklands War. He left the forces in 1991 and now flies commercial jets for Virgin Airways. A dedicated aerobatic pilot, he regularly flies at air shows.

Frank Harrison

At the age of twenty Frank Harrison served on the signals staff during the siege of Tobruk. He was subsequently captured and spent several years as a prisoner of war in Africa, Italy, Germany and finally Czechoslovakia. Frank became an art teacher after the war and it was while teaching on an Indian reservation in Northern Canada that his writing career began.

Gavin Lyall

Gavin Lyall (1932-2003) was born in Birmingham, UK and, after serving as a pilot in the RAF, read English at Cambridge and then worked as a journalist for the Picture Post, the BBC and The Sunday Times. He published his first novel, The Wrong Side of the Sky, in 1961. His other books include The Most Dangerous Game and The Secret Servant. He was married to the writer and journalist Katharine Whitehorn.

Guy Sajer

Sajer was a French citizen living in Alsace, who served as a foreign conscript in the German Army during World War II, fighting the Russians on the Eastern front in the Grossdeutschland Division.

H.E. Marshall

Surprisingly little is known about the life of Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall. She is thought to have been born in 1867, but the date of her death is unknown. She concealed her gender using the initials H.E. in her writing. H.E. Marshall is the author of OUR ISLAND STORY.

Heinz Magenheimer

Heinz Magenheimer is one of Austria's most respected historians and commentators. Since 1972 he has been a member of the Academy of National Defence, Vienna, and since 1993 a permanent member of the editorial staff of the Austrian military periodical OMZ. In addition to five books, he has written more than a hundred articles in periodical and compendia on the subjects of military strategy, security politics and the history of warfare.

Hugh Bicheno

Hugh Bicheno has had careers as an academic, an intelligence officer and a freelance kidnap and ransom negotiator in South America. He now devotes himself to writing about men at war. His previous books include the bestselling Rebels and Redcoats, written in conjunction with Richard Holmes.

Ion Trewin

Ion Trewin is a London publisher. Originally a journalist, he was Literary Editor of The Times 1972-79. He was Alan Clark's editor and publisher for the original 'Diaries' and following his death edited two further volumes of the celebrated diaries. In 2008 he edited and introduced THE HUGO YOUNG PAPERS: Thirty Years of British Politics Off the Record (Allen Lane) which won the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award 2009. Married with a son who is a literary agent and a daughter who is a teacher, he has since 2006 been literary director of the Man Booker prizes. He was chairman of the Cheltenham Literature Festival 1996-2007.

James Lucas

James Lucas fought with the British infantry in the Second World War. He has long since established a reputation as a popular historian with a particular interest in good soldiering. Battle Group! Is one of a number of books about his former enemy.

Jane Wellesley

Jane Wellesley spent four years in the art world before starting her career in TV in 1975. She worked for the BBC and Granada before becoming an independent producer. This is her first book. She lives in London.

John Hughes-Wilson

John Hughes-Wilson (author of Military Intelligence Blunders) and Cathryn Corns lead 'Shot at Dawn' battlefield tours through France and Flanders.