59 Facts About Erich Ludendorff


Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff was a German general, politician and military theorist.


Erich Ludendorff achieved fame during World War I for his central role in the German victories at Liege and Tannenberg in 1914.


Erich Ludendorff came from a family of the minor nobility in Ludendorff, located in the Prussian province of Posen.


Later in 1893, Ludendorff was admitted to the prestigious German War Academy and was recommended by its commandant to the General Staff Corps only a year later.


Once he and Hindenburg had established what some authors describe as a de facto military dictatorship, Erich Ludendorff directed Germany's entire military strategy and war effort until the end of the conflict.


Erich Ludendorff took part in the failed 1920 Kapp Putsch and 1923 Beer Hall Putsch before unsuccessfully standing for election for President against Field Marshal Hindenburg, his wartime superior.


Erich Ludendorff's father was descended from Pomeranian merchants who had been raised to the status of a Junker.


Erich Ludendorff had a stable and comfortable childhood, growing up on a small family farm.


Erich Ludendorff received his early schooling from a maternal aunt and had a gift for mathematics, as did his younger brother Hans, who became a distinguished astronomer.


Erich Ludendorff's education continued at the at near Berlin through to 1882.


In 1885, Erich Ludendorff was commissioned as a subaltern into the 57th Infantry Regiment, then at Wesel.


Erich Ludendorff rose rapidly and was a senior staff officer at the headquarters of V Corps from 1902 to 1904.


Erich Ludendorff divorced to marry him, bringing three stepsons and a stepdaughter.


Erich Ludendorff's section was responsible for writing the mass of detailed orders needed to bring the mobilized troops into position to implement the Plan.


For instance, in 1911 Erich Ludendorff visited the key Belgian fortress city of Liege.


Erich Ludendorff's calculations showed that to properly implement the Schlieffen Plan the Army lacked six corps.


In 1913 funding was approved for four additional corps but Erich Ludendorff was transferred to regimental duties as commander of the 39th Fusiliers, stationed at Dusseldorf.


Erich Ludendorff was voluble nonetheless, although he shunned small talk.


At the outbreak of war in the summer of 1914 Erich Ludendorff was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to the German Second Army under General Karl von Bulow.


Erich Ludendorff's assignment was largely due to his previous work investigating defenses of Liege, Belgium.


At the beginning of the Battle of Liege, Erich Ludendorff was an observer with the 14th Brigade, which was to infiltrate the city at night and secure the bridges before they could be destroyed.


Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff first met on their private train heading east.


Twice during the battle Erich Ludendorff wanted to break off, fearing that the second Russian army was about to strike their rear, but Hindenburg held firm.


Erich Ludendorff demanded Germanization of the conquered territories and far-ranging annexations, offering land to German settlers; see.


Erich Ludendorff proposed massive annexations and colonization in Eastern Europe in the event of the victory of the German Reich, and was one of the main supporters of the Polish Border Strip.


Erich Ludendorff planned to combine German settlement and Germanisation in conquered areas with expulsions of native populations; and envisioned an eastern German empire whose resources would be used in future war with Great Britain and the United States Erich Ludendorff's plans went as far as making Crimea a German colony.


Erich Ludendorff was again his chief of staff as first Quartermaster general, with the stipulation that he would have joint responsibility.


At each meeting Erich Ludendorff did most of talking for Hindenburg.


Erich Ludendorff's finger extended into every aspect of the German war effort.


Erich Ludendorff issued the two daily communiques, and often met with the newspaper and newsreel reporters.


Erich Ludendorff's office was in the War Ministry, not in the OHL as Ludendorff had wanted.


On 16 August 1917, Erich Ludendorff telegraphed an order reassigning Groener to command the 33rd Infantry Division.


Erich Ludendorff agreed to send the Bolsheviks in Switzerland by train through Germany from where they would then travel to Russia via Sweden.


Erich Ludendorff insisted on the huge territorial losses forced on Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, even though this required that a million German soldiers remain in the east.


Erich Ludendorff regarded the Germans as the "master race" and after victory planned to settle ex-soldiers in the Baltic states and in Alsace-Lorraine, where they would take over property seized from Balts and the French.


At first the defense was directed by General von Lossberg, a pioneer in defense in depth, but when the British adjusted their tactics, Erich Ludendorff took over day-to-day control.


Erich Ludendorff became increasingly cantankerous, railing at his staff without cause, publicly accusing Hindenburg of talking nonsense, and sometimes bursting into tears.


The chancellor told the Kaiser that he and his cabinet would resign unless Erich Ludendorff was removed, but that Hindenburg must remain to hold the army together.


Erich Ludendorff had assiduously sought all of the credit; now he was rewarded with all of the blame.


Erich Ludendorff was a brilliant general, according to John Wheeler-Bennett, stating that he was "certainly one of the greatest routine military organizers that the world has ever seen", but he said he was a ruinous political meddler.


In exile, Erich Ludendorff wrote numerous books and articles about the German military's conduct of the war while forming the foundation for the, the "stab-in-the-back theory," for which he is considered largely responsible, insisting that a domestic crisis had sparked Germany's surrender while the military situation held firm, ignoring that he himself had pressed the politicians for an armistice on military grounds.


Erich Ludendorff was convinced that Germany had fought a defensive war and, in his opinion, that Kaiser Wilhelm II had failed to organize a proper counter-propaganda campaign or provide efficient leadership.


Erich Ludendorff was extremely suspicious of the Social Democrats and leftists, whom he blamed for the humiliation of Germany through the Versailles Treaty.


Again focusing on the left, Erich Ludendorff was appalled by the strikes that took place towards the end of the war and the way that the home front collapsed before the military front did, with the former poisoning the morale of soldiers on temporary leave.


Erich Ludendorff reconciled with Hindenburg, who began to visit every year.


In May 1923 Erich Ludendorff had an agreeable first meeting with Adolf Hitler, and soon he had regular contacts with Nazis.


Erich Ludendorff addressed the now enthusiastically supportive audience and then spent the night in the War Ministry, unsuccessfully trying to obtain the army's backing.


Erich Ludendorff was indignant when he was sent home while the other leaders remained in custody.


Erich Ludendorff was acquitted, but Heinz Pernet, Erich Ludendorff's stepson, was convicted of "aiding and abetting treason," given a fifteen-month sentence.


Nonetheless, Erich Ludendorff was persuaded to run for President of the Republic in the March 1925 election as the DVFP candidate, in alliance with the Nazis, but received only 1.1 per cent of the vote; there is some evidence that Hitler himself persuaded Erich Ludendorff to run, knowing that the results would be humiliating.


Erich Ludendorff was so humiliated by what he saw as a betrayal by his old friend that he broke off relations with Hindenburg, and in 1927 refused to even stand beside the field marshal at the dedication of the Tannenberg memorial.


Erich Ludendorff attacked Hindenburg abusively for not having acted in a "nationalistic soldier-like fashion".


Tipton notes that Erich Ludendorff was a social Darwinist who believed that war was the "foundation of human society", and that military dictatorship was the normal form of government in a society in which every resource must be mobilized.


The historian Margaret L Anderson notes that after the war, Ludendorff wanted Germany to go to war against all of Europe, and that he became a pagan worshipper of the Nordic god Wotan ; he detested not only Judaism, but Christianity, which he regarded as a weakening force.


In 1926, Erich Ludendorff divorced Margarethe Schmidt and married his second wife Mathilde von Kemnitz.


Erich Ludendorff launched several abusive attacks on his former superior Hindenburg for not having acted in a "nationalistic soldier-like fashion".


On 30 January 1933, the occasion of Hitler's appointment as Chancellor by President Hindenburg, Erich Ludendorff allegedly sent the following telegram to Hindenburg:.


Erich Ludendorff died of liver cancer in the private clinic in Munich, on 20 December 1937 at the age of 72.


Erich Ludendorff was buried in the in Tutzing in Bavaria.