Mahncke, Alfred, born 18-03-1888 in Idasheim, Posen, entered the Army as a Fahnenjunker in the 1st Railway Regiment on 01-04-1908, age 20. Alfred Mahncke was among the first German military aviators and flew with the Kaiser’s fledgling air unit in 1911, witnessing and experiencing the exhilaration, and dangers, of flying in some of the earliest military planes. He ended the first war in the Army Flight Park 2 He met the Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Crown Prince,
who died age 69 on 20-07-1951 and also various members of the Imperial royal family, as well as Paul von Hindenburg and many prominent German political and military figures. He flew in an early airship Graf Ferdinand Zeppelin
. By the outbreak of the First World War, Mahncke was an experienced pilot and he flew subsequently over the Western and Eastern Fronts,
before assuming staff positions in France and Russia where he controlled tactical air operations. He went on a dive in a German U-boat in 1915 and later traveled to Palestine. He also suffered, and describes in highly graphic and emotional terms, the carnage and horror of the trench warfare on the Western Front in 1917. In the ‘dark years’ of the interwar period following in the wake of the Versailles Treaty. He retired on 02-07-1919, age 31 and joined the Police Service as a Hauptmann in the Security Police in Lötzen. He reactivated in Herman Goering’s growing Luftwaffe on 01-10-1935. He met Charles Lindbergh and attended the controversial 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin as well as the Nuremberg rallies where he shared a podium with the Fuhrer (see Adolf Hitler). With the outbreak of World War II he as an Oberst was Commander of the Air Region Staff 1 to October 1939 and of Region Staff 12, until 30-09-1940, as a Generalmajor. As a Generalleutnant he was the Commander of Higher Flying Training Command 10, to 31-03-1941. Inspector of Pilot Training RLM to 31-05-1942 and Commander of Air Region Staff 12 to October 1942. Mahncke was deeply involved in Luftwaffe operations at Stalingrad and later in the Kuban in 1943, before moving to Italy, where he coordinated the desperate German air defense of Sicily ahead of the slow, tenacious defense and ultimate retreat through the Italian mainland throughout 1943 and 1944. Commander of the 15th Field Division to 01-01-1943 and Commander of Flying Division Donetz, to 31-03-1943. Mahncke met and worked with Hermann Goering , Generaloberst der Flieger, Director General of Equipment for the Luftwaffe, Ernst Udet
Generalfeldmarschall der Flieger, Erhard Milch was one of the few high ranking Jews in the Wehrmacht, (see Erhard Milch), Generalfeldmarschall der Flieger, Oberbefehlhaber der Luftflotte 2, Albert Kesselring, Generaloberst der Flieger, Stabchef der Luftwaffe, Hans Jenschonnek
and many other senior commanders of the Luftwaffe and German armed forces. As Commanding General and Commander of Field Air Region Command XXVIII in Milan to 31-10-1944 he was promoted to General der Flieger. He last command before he landed in Allied captivity was of the Luftwaffe Catch Staff North, in Hamburg to 08-05-1945. His son Jochen O.E.O. (John) Mahncke was born in Konigsberg, East Prussia in 1926. While attending high school in Berlin, he was conscripted as an anti-aircraft auxiliary in the Flak defense of Berlin from February 1943 to mid-1944. He joined the Wehrmacht as a Panzergrenadier in 1944 and was dispatched to Italy where he served as an NCO, Officer Cadet. He was taken Prisoner of War by American forces in May 1945 and handed over to the British later that year and was shipped to North Africa. He was held in various PoW camps at El Dabbah, near El Alamein, until 1947. In mid-1947 he was moved to Cairo and then to the Suez Canal Zone where he served in a guard unit intended to protect British troops in their camps. Jochen Mahncke is author of U-Boats and Spies in Southern Africa.
Death and burial ground Mahncke, Alfred.
Mahncke on the right. Released on 23-05-1947 General Alfred Mahncke, retired in Eutin and wrote a book “For Kaiser and Hitler”. Alfred Mahncke died there at the old age of 90, on 12-01-1979. His ashes are buried together with his wife on the cemetery of Neudorf in Eutin, but they both didn’t want a gravestone.
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