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Among students of military history, the genius of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein (1887–1973) is respected perhaps more than that of any other World War II soldier. He displayed his strategic brilliance in such campaigns as the invasion of Poland, the Blitzkrieg of France, the sieges of Sevastopol, Leningrad, and Stalingrad, and the battles of Kharkov and Kursk.

Manstein also stands as one of the war's most enigmatic and controversial figures. To some, he was a leading proponent of the Nazi regime and a symbol of the moral corruption of the Wehrmacht. Yet he also disobeyed Hitler, who dismissed his leading Field Marshal over this incident, and has been suspected by some of conspiring against the Führer. Sentenced to eighteen years by a British war tribunal at Hamburg in 1949, Manstein was released in 1953 and went on to advise the West German government in founding its new army within NATO.

Military historian and strategist Mungo Melvin combines his research in German military archives and battlefield records with unprecedented access to family archives to get to the truth of Manstein's life and deliver this definitive biography of the man and his career.

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