Erich Ludendorff

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A field marshal is born, not made!

Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (April 9, 1865December 20, 1937) was a German Army officer, Generalquartiermeister during World War I, victor of Liège, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the Battle of Tannenberg. After the war, he briefly supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. He was acquitted of criminal charges for his role in the Nazis' unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch. He became disillusioned with politics and retired from public life that year. When Ludendorff died in Tutzing in 1937, he was given a state funeral attended by Hitler, who declined to speak.


  • By the Revolution the Germans have made themselves pariahs among the nations, incapable of winning allies, helots in the service of foreigners and foreign capital, and deprived of all self-respect. In twenty years' time, the German people will curse the parties who now boast of having made the Revolution.
    • Quoted in "My War Memories, 1914–1918" - by Erich Ludendorff - 1919
  • The fifth act of the great drama in Flanders opened on the 22nd October. Enormous masses of ammunition, such as the human mind had never imagined before the war, were hurled upon the bodies of men who passed a miserable existence scattered about in mud-filled shell-holes. The horror of the shell-hole area of Verdun was surpassed. It was no longer life at all. It was mere unspeakable suffering. And through this world of mud the attackers dragged themselves, slowly, but steadily, and in dense masses. Caught in the advanced zone by our hail of fire they often collapsed, and the lonely man in the shell-hole breathed again. Then the mass came on again. Rifle and machine-gun jammed with the mud. Man fought against man, and only too often the mass was successful.
    • Quoted in "My War Memories, 1914-1918" - by Erich Ludendorff - 1919
  • There is but one hope, and this hope is embodied in the national groups which desire our recovery.
    • Quoted in "The Black Book: The Nazi Crime Against the Jewish People" - Page 18 - World War, 1939-1945 - 1981
  • He is the only man...who has any political sense. Go and listen to him one day.
    • About Hitler. Quoted in "Will Germany Crack?: A Factual Report on Germany from Within" - Page 134 - by Karl Boromäus Frank, Anna Caples - 1942
  • A field marshall is born, not made!
    • In an attempt to regain Ludendorff's favor, Hitler paid Ludendorff an unannounced visit in 1935 and offered to make him a field marshal. Infuriated, Ludendorff thundered back with this statement. Quoted in "World War I: Encyclopedia" - Page 716 - by Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts - History - 2005
  • I will give up troops gladly as long as I know that they will be used in the right place to bring victory.
    • Quoted in "The Origins of the Military Dictatorship of Hindenburg and Ludendorff" by Jon Bridgman - 1960

About Ludendorff

  • He became the perfect regimental commander...the younger officers came to adore him.
    • John Lee
  • Erich Ludendorff was not a sentimentalist. He had come to take charge, to issue orders, to win a crucial victory.
    • James Charles Roy
  • Erich Ludendorff was considered the brains of the new German command. He pushed for the resumption of unlimited submarine warfare, which ultimately brought America into the conflict.
    • Winston Groom

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