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Recommended military biography of Erich Ludendorff ?


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Can anybody recommend a military-oriented biography of Erich Ludendorff ? One that analyzes what made him tick and hence how his decisions got made ? Behind the austere facade appears to have been a very human and emotional person.. a bloke determined to do his duty as he saw it, whether he was up to the task or not. But I was very disappointed by my attempt to read his personal memoirs - "How I took on the evil empire (England) and would have won except (insert list of backstabbers & weaklings here).."

He was no writer, and he was writing for posterity rather than telling it as it really was it seems to me. So any good analyses out there ?


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Try through a library to obtain Ludendorff: The Tragedy of a Specialist by Karl Tschuppik, which was published under that title in translation by George Allen and Unwin, London 1932. The American Edition was called Ludendorff, the Tragedy of a Military Mind.


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Thanks for that info gentlemen... gives me both a contemporary and modern account to study. I look forward to reading them... anybody who could tell Hitler to get stuffed is OK with me,



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I always enjoyed Robert Asprey's German High Command at War, more a double biography of Hindenburg-Ludendorff's leadership. Very readable and quite a lot of material not found in English elsewhere. There are second-hand copies floating around for about a tenner.

An excellent book which offers an insight into his mind is Albrecht von Thaer's diaries, Generalstabsdienst an der Front. A swine to track down (the IWM has a copy), but gives you an idea of his mental collapse in the summer of 1918, as does Foerster's Der Feldherr Ludendorff im Unglück.

There are plenty of biographies of Ludendorff both in English and German but none that are particularly good, certainly not by the standards of modern historiography - nothing like Afflerbach's or Robert Foley's excellent studies of Falkenhayn or Mombauer's book on Moltke the younger. Hindenburg's received the modern treatment in German recently; just waiting for Ludendorff. I'm not sure why he's not been tackled - unless perhaps he left little in the way of personal papers.

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