On This Day

Erich Ludendorff

German WWI General Erich Ludendorff

Profession: German WWI General


Why Famous: During World War I, Ludendorff and his superior Paul von Hindeburg controlled German war efforts for the duration of the conflict. His greatest victories included the Battle of Liège and the Battle of Tannenberg.

As the war progressed and German defeated neared, Ludendorff resigned his position in October 1918, a month before the country formally capitulated. Later in the war he became a prominent nationalist leader and helped propagate the 'stab-in-the-back myth' of how the war ended.

Though he was a nationalist leader he came to despise Adolf Hitler after he seized power in 1933. Writing to Hindenburg after the latter's decision to appoint Hitler as Chancellor, he said "I solemnly prophesy that this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss and bring our nation to inconceivable misery. Future generations will damn you in your grave for what you have done."

Born: April 9, 1865
Birthplace: Kruszewnia, Prussia
Star Sign: Aries

Died: December 20, 1937 (aged 72)
Cause of Death: Liver cancer

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1914-08-05 Battle of Liège: first battle of WWI, massive German assault on forts around Belgium city of Liège led by Erich Ludendorff
  • 1914-08-26 Battle of Tannenberg begins (WWI): 8th German army defeats Russian Narev army
  • 1914-08-27 Second day of Battle of Tannenberg (WWI): Germans bombard Usdau
  • 1914-08-28 Third day of Battle of Tannenberg (WWI): violent German/Russian battles
  • 1914-08-29 4th day of Battle of Tannenberg (WWI): Russian Narev-army panics, General Martos caught
  • 1914-08-30 Battle of Tannenberg (WWI) ends in destruction of Russian 2nd Narev army, ca. 170,000 killed or injured, German victory on Eastern Front
  • 1923-11-08 Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party stage "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich
  • 1923-11-09 Beer Hall Putsch's second day in Munich; Nazis fail to overthrow government, 16 die and Adolf Hitler flees
  • 1923-11-12 In Germany, Adolf Hitler is arrested for attempt to seize power during "Beer Hall Putsch" coup
  • 1924-02-26 Trial against Hitler for treason in "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich begins
  • 1924-04-01 Hitler sentenced to 5 years labor for "Beer Hall Putsch" but General Ludendorff acquitted
  • 1933-01-30 After Paul von Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany, his former WWI colleague General Erich Ludendorff sends a letter to him stating "this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss and bring our nation to inconceivable misery"

Famous Generals