Here is the obituary of von Manstein from the London Times of June 13th 1973.
'####' indicates that my copy was unreadable.
'Obituary: Field Marshal non Manstein - An outstanding German soldier'
Field-Marshal Erich von Manstein, one of the outstanding soldiers of the Second World War, died on Sunday at the age of 85.
His influence and effect came from powers of mind and depth of knowledge rather than by generating an electrifying current among the troops or "putting over" his personality. Ice-cold in manner although with strong emotions underneath, he exersized command more in the style of Moltke than of Napoleon and those who cultivate the Napoleonic touch. The range and versatility of Manstein's ability was shown in the way that, after being trained as an infantryman, and then becoming pre-eminent as a staff planner, he proved a brilliant and thrusting armoured corps-commander in his first test run with mechanised troops. In his next big test he proved equally successful in directing the seige-attack on a fortress. By the variety of his experience and qualities he was exceptionally well equipped for high command.
Erich von Manstein was born on November 24, 1887, the tenth child of his parents. His original surname was von Lewinski, but his parents agreed to his adoption by a childless aunt who had married a von Manstein. Both families had long-standing military traditions and 16 of the boy's immediate forebears had been generals, in Prussian or Russian service. After leaving a cadet school in 1906, he was commissioned into the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards. Badly wounded in the autumn of 1914, he was given a staff post on recovery, and made his mark in a series of such appointments on the Eastern, Western and Balkan fronts.
After the war he was taken into Reichswehr, and by 1935 he had risen to be head of the operations section of the General Staff, while the next year he was advanced to Oberquartiermeister I - the deputy to the Chief of the General Staff, then General Beck.
Early in 1938, when Fritsch was dismissed from the post of Army Commander-in-Chief, Manstein was sent away to command a division, having come to be regarded in Nazi circles as an obstacle to the extension of their influence in the Army. But on mobilisation in 1939 he was made Chief of Staff of Rundstedt's Army Group, which played a decisive role in the Polish Campaign. He then moved with Rundstedt to the Western Front, and there soon began to advocate a change in the plan for the coming offensive. He urged that the main thrust, with the bulk of the armoured forces, should be shifted from the right wing in the Belgian plain to the hilly and wooded Ardennes - as the line of least expectation. His persistence in pressing for the change of plan deprived him of a hand in directing it, for he was honourably pushed out of the way by promotion to command a reserve corps, of infantry, just before the new plan was adopted under Hitler's pressure - after hearing Manstein's arguments.
In the crucial opening stage of the offensive, which cut off the Allies' left wing and trapped it on the Channel coast. Manstein's corps merely had a follow-on part. But in the second and final stage it played a bigger role. Under his dynamic leadership, his infantry pushed on so fast on foot that they raced the armoured corps in the drive southward across the Somme and the Seine to the Loire.
When the German plan of invading England was discarded in favour of an attack on Russia, Manstein was given the command of an armoured corps. With it he made one of the quickest deepest thrusts of the opening stage, from East Prussia to the Dvina, nearly 200 miles, within four days. Promoted to command the Eleventh Army in the South, he forced an entry into the Crimean peninsula by breaking through the fortified Perekop Isthmus, and in the summer of 1942 further proved his mastery of siege warfare technique by capturing the famous fortress of Sebastapol, the key centre of the Crimea - being Russia's main naval base on the Black Sea.
He was then sent north again to command the intended attack on Leningrad, but called away by an emergency summons to conduct the efforts to relieve Paulus's Sixth Army, trapped that winter at Stalingrad, after the failure of the main German Offensive of 1942. The effort failed because Hitler, forbidding any withdrawal, refused to agree to Manstein's insistence that Paulus should be told to break out westward and meet the relieving forces. Following Paulus' surrender, a widespread collapse developed on the German's southern front under pressure of advancing Russian armies, but Manstein saved the situation by a brilliant flank counterstroke which recaptured Karkov and rolled back the Russians in confusion.
Then in the German's last great offensive of the war in the East, "Operation Citadel" launched in July 1943 against the Kursk salient, Manstein's "Southern Army Group" formed the right pincer. It achieved a considerable measure of success, but the effect was nullified by the failure of the left pincer, provided by the "Central Army Group". Having checked the German offensive, the Russians now launched their own on a larger scale along a wider front, with growing strength.
From that time onwards the Germans were thrown on the defensive, strategically, and with the turn of the tide Manstein was henceforth called on to meet, repeatedly. what has always been judged the hardest task generalship - that of conducting a fighting withdrawal in the face of much superior forces. His concept of the strategic defensive gave strong emphasis to offensive action in fulfilling it, and he constantly looked for opportunities of delivering a riposte, while often ably exploiting those which arose. But when the urged that a longer step back should be made - a strategic withdrawal - in order to develop the full recoil-spring effect of a counter-offensive against an over-stretched enemy advance, Hitler would not heed his arguments.
Unlike many of his fellows, Manstein maintained the old Prussian tradition of speaking frankly, and expressed his criticism forcibly both to Hilter in private and at conferences, in a way that staggered others who were present. That Hitler bore it so long is remarkable evidence of the profound respect he had for Manstein's ability, and to the General Staff as a body. In March 1944, Hitler removed Manstein from command and thereby removed from the path of the Russians and their allies the most formidable individual obstacle in their advance to victory.
Manstein moved westward when the Russian tide of advance swept over Eastern Germany, and surrendered himself to the British in May 1945. The Russians demanded that he along with other generals who had served on the Eastern Front should be handed over to them as war criminals. The British and Americans refused, but agreed to put him on trial in special military courts. Many questions were raised in England about the legality or justice of the procedure adopted, while a long delay occurred, during which most of the other British prisoners of war were released. But Manstein was eventually put on trial at Hamburg, in August, 1949 - four years after the end of the war. A subscription list was opened in England, on the initiative of Lord d'Isle, VC, and Major-General Lord Bridgeman, to provide the funds necessary for an adequate defence, and Mr Winston Churchill was one of the first subscribers. Mr R.T. Paget, QC, offered to lead the defence without fee. The trial continued with intervals, until the week before Christmas. In the end Manstein was acquitted on the eight most serious charges and convicted only on a number of lessor or modified charges. The decision of the court followed Nuremberg Trial precedents, and he was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment, but this was later reduced, and in 1953 he was released. In a deeper sense, however, that period of imprisonment was penalty and retribution for his failure, in common with most of his fellow generals, to make a firm and timely stand against the Nazi regime and its abuses, despite the disapproval he early and often showed.
In 1955-56 he was chairman of a Military Sub-Committee appointed to advise the Bundestag Defence Committee on the organisation, service basis, and operational doctrine of the new German forces of the Federal Republic.
In 1920 Manstein married Jutta Sibylle von Loesch, daughter of a Silesian landowner, and had two sons, the elder of whom was killed in the war.