General Erich Ludendorff

Date of birth1865-04-09 Prussia 
Date promoted  1894  Senior member of German General Staff. 
Other  1914  Served in East Prussia as Chief of Staff to Hindenburg. 
Date promoted  1916  Promoted to the rank of General. 
Date promoted  1916  Promoted to Chief of Staff of the German Army. 
Other  1918-10-26  Resigned as Chief of Staff of the German Army. 
Date of death1937-12-22  

Ludendorff was a senior member of the German General Staff from 1894. On the outbreak of the First World War, was responsible for capturing the Liege Forts. Later in 1914 he served in East Prussia as Chief of Staff to Hindenburg, and was instrumental in the defeat of the invading Russian armies at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes (1915). After Hindenburg became Chief of Staff of the German Army in 1916, he worked closely with Ludendorff who became responsible for managing the German war effort in a near military dictatorship. An aggressive commander, Ludendorff played a key role in the punitive Brest-Litovsk Treaty (3 March 1918), which formally secured Russian withdrawal from the war. Though optimistic that the German "Spring Offensives" of 1918 would win the war, he realised once the German attacks were spent that there was little chance of a German victory (a perception reinforced by the Allied success following the Battle of Amiens in August 1918). He resigned on 26 October 1918 and following the Armistice left Germany for Sweden. His post-war writings argued that the German Army had not been defeated, but rather had been "stabbed in the back". In the 1920s he became involved in right-wing politics being elected to the Reichstag in 1924 as Nazi representative; he served until 1928 and died on 20 December 1938, aged 72.