- If Paulus's army had capitulated before the end, the Russians would have had the advantage of withdrawing forces against Paulus and against the southern front, where I had only two Romanian armies. Therefore, the resistance of the Sixth German Army, even to the death of the last man, was necessary.
- I tried at that time to relieve the Sixth Army, of which I was supreme commander, above Paulus, by counterattacks - but it was not possible. I gave the order finally for the Sixth Army to break out, but then Paulus said it was too late and not possible. Hitler did not want the Sixth Army to break out at any time, but to fight to the last man. I believe that Hitler said if the Sixth Army tried to break out, it would be their death.
- A war is not lost until you consider it lost.
- He was not only the most brilliant strategist of all our generals, but he had a good political sense. A man of that quality was too difficult for Hitler to swallow for long. At conferences Manstein often differed from Hitler, in front of others, and would go so far as to declare that some of the ideas which Hitler put forward were nonsense.
- The general verdict among the German generals I interrogated in 1945 was that Field-Marshal von Manstein had proved the ablest commander in their Army, and the man they had most desired to become its Commander-in-Chief. It is very clear that he had a superb sense of operational possibilities and equal mastery in the conduct of operations, together with a greater grasp of the potentialities of mechanized forces than any other commander who had not been trained in the tank arm. In sum, he had military genius.
- He is the best tactician and combat commander we have.
- Master of the Blitzkrieg.
- Manstein despised Goring and loathed Himmler. To his most trusted colleagues he admitted to Jewish antecedents. He could also be scathing about Hitler. As a joke, his dachshund Knirps had been trained to raise his paw in salute on the command 'Heil Hitler'. On the other hand, his wife was a great admirer of Hitler, and more importantly, Manstein, as already mentioned, had even issued that order to his troops mentioning 'the necessity of hard measures against Jewry'
- He had utter disdain for the Nazis and had no time for their racial purity agenda.
erich von manstein