Marcks, Erich, born 06-06-1891, in Schöneberg, Potsdam, as son of the German Historian Dr. Erich Marcks and his wife Friederike, born von Sellin, daughter of the prison director Gustav v. Sellin (1823–1876) and Agnes, born Balluseck (1839–1914). His siblings were Albert, who fell in World War I in 1914, Otto (1905–1978), most recently Colonel i. G. der Wehrmacht, and Gertrud “Gerta” (1897–1986), who led the historian Prof. Dr. Willy Andreas married. he studied Philosophy in Freiburg but broke off his studies after only three semesters and became a Career Officer of the German Army in October 1910. In the early 1930’s, he was assigned as the Chief of Public Affairs for the Armed Forces Minister. From 1932 until 1933 he served as the Public Affairs Officer for Chancellors Franz “Fränzchen” von Papen and Kurt von Schleicher. During the 1940 Campaign in France, while serving as Chief of Staff of the 18th Army, Marcks altered German plans to prevent bombardment of the City of Brugges and bombardment of bridges in Paris, believing that the historical significance of these sites required their preservation, even in time of war. In 1940, Marcks here with Erwin Rommel worked on the initial invasion plans of the Soviet Union. Taking part in Operation Barbarossa, Marcks was seriously wounded in the Ukraine on 26-06-1941, as the Commander of the 101st Light Infantry Division.This wounding resulted in the amputation of one of his legs. Adolf Hitler. declared in 1943 that all infantry divisions except for his elite Jäger and Mountain Jäger formations were now Grenadier Divisions Two of Marcks’s three sons were lost during the Russo-German War. Subsequently, despite his disability, Marcks commanded the 337th Infantry Division in Paris where he succeeded Generalleutnant Kurt Pflieger the LXVI Army Corps at Clermont-Ferrand, and the LXXXVII Army Corps in Northern Brittany prior to his final assignment. Pflieger died age 68 on 19-09-1958 in Hamburg. The 337th Infantry Division was formed on 16-11-1940 in Kempten. The division was destroyed on the Eastern Front in July 1944 and formed the stab of Divisions Gruppe 337 on 07-08-1944 which later was the basis of the 337th Volks-Grenadier-Division.
In 1944, Marcks commanded the German 84th Corps against the Allied Normandy Invasion. He was one of the few Wehrmacht Generals who believed an invasion in Normandy was a serious possibility.
High on a hill to the north of St Lo is the chateau chosen by General Erich Marcks to be his headquarters for the 84th Corps
Death and burial ground of Marcks, Erich.
The D-Day Invasion took place on Marcks’s 53rd birthday. While on a daily round of troop unit inspections, Marcks was mortally wounded on 12-06-1944 by an Allied fighter-bomber attack near Hébécrevon près de Marigny, several kilometres northwest of Saint-Lô. A projectile of 20 mm attained General Marcks to the upright groin dividing thus an artery. His driver, who remained unharmed couldn’t do anything to help. A hemorrhage killed Erich Marcks around 09.45 while he rested in a ditch close to the road. Marcks was a holder of the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves
. General Marcks, age 53, is reburied on the War Cemetery of Marigny, Section 2, together with 11.168 other German servicemen.
General Erich Marcks at Château De Chiffrevast – Headquaters of the 84th Corps on D-Day and actor Richard Münch starring General Erich Marcks in the movie, The Longest Day, 1962
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