1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mackensen, August von

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MACKENSEN, AUGUST VON (1849-), Prussian field-marshal, was born Dec. 6 1849 at Hausleipnitz in the Prussian province of Saxony. His career was in the cavalry, and he at one time commanded at Danzig the well-known regiment of Hussars who wore a silver skull and crossbones on their busbies. As the commander of the XVII. Army Corps he was brought into close touch with the German Crown Prince at a time when the heir to the imperial dignity had been sent to Danzig in order to withdraw him from the temptation of meddling with politics. In 1914, at the outbreak of the World War, Mackensen was appointed to the command of the IX. Army on the eastern front, and won victories over the Russians at Kutno, Lodz and Lowitz. After April 1915 he led the German troops in western Galicia and helped to break through the Russian line at Gorlice. On June 20 of the same year he was made a field-marshal. In the advance into Russia Mackensen took Litovsk on Aug. 26 and Pinsk on Sept. 15 1915. Later in the autumn of the same year he was in command of the army sent against Serbia, and in 1916 he commanded the expedition against Rumania. In Nov. 1918, after the conclusion of the Armistice, when the German troops were being brought home from the Balkans, he was detained by the French and interned at Neusatz, where, in spite of many protests from the German Government, he remained until he was set at liberty at the beginning of Dec. 1919.