Who does Erich Ludendorff blame for the defeat in 1918?


Who does Erich Ludendorff blame for the defeat in 1918?

Erich Ludendorff:

General Erich Ludendorff was one of the principle military leaders of imperial Germany during the First World War. He led operations on the Eastern Front and pioneered the development of the theory and practice of "total war." His concept of total war envisioned the mobilization of all society's resources, military and civilian, for the war effort. It also widened the scope of acceptable targets to include the civilians and infrastructure of the enemy. Ludendorff was a fervent nationalist and lent his support to the rise of far right-wing parties, such as the National Socialist German Workers' Party (the Nazi Party).

Answer and Explanation: 1

Erich Ludendorff blamed a "fifth column" of Jews and Leftists whose subversive actions on the Home Front allegedly caused Germany's defeat in World War I. Germany's armies were largely victorious on the Eastern Front, conquering large swaths of territory as far as eastern Ukraine and helping to spur the collapse of the Russian Empire in the February and October Revolutions of 1917. On the Western Front, the German military fought the western Allies (Britain, France, and eventually the USA) to a virtual stalemate in bloody trench warfare. However, there was a chronic food and supply shortage in Germany's cities where a revolutionary movement, inspired by the Bolshevik takeover in Russia and fueled by mass discontent, organized strikes and riots and fought street battles with the police. The collapse of morale and public support for the war at home meant that the war effort could not be sustained. Ludendorff and his followers called this the "stab in the back"--an anti-Semitic, anti-leftist narrative of internal treachery as the source defeat that became one the central "legends" of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich.

Learn more about this topic:

Economic, Social & Political Consequences of the Great War


Chapter 12 / Lesson 8

In this lesson, we will explore the consequences of World War I. We will learn about the political, economic, and social impact the war had on the United States and Europe.

Related to this Question

Explore our homework questions and answers library