home | bits of history | next >>>

General Ludendorff Chooses Victory

General Ludendorff

In 1918 the Great War in Europe was nearing its fourth year, a war that so far had cost the belligerents much in treasure and human lives. Some high ranking people in Germany favored a negotiated settlement. Ludendorff, the German general in charge of the war on the Western Front, against France, chose to change from defensive warfare and risk an offensive. He wanted nothing less than a military victory. His gamble weakened his armies. The Allied forces had an easier time driving against the Germans than they would have had if the Germans had dug in well in a fortified defensive position and pursued negotiations. Rather than recognize his mistake he engaged in denial and blamed his troops.

Narrative: Victory and Delusion, 1918