- Became Generalquartiermeister (Quartermaster general) of the OHL in 1916
- Championed the stab-in-the-back myth
- Participated in Hitler’s putsch in 1923
Erich Ludendorff was already climbing the career ladder quickly as a military officer before World War I; during the war, his career truly took off. In 1916, he managed to oust Chief of General Staff Erich von Falkenhayn, taking control of the OHL together with Paul von Hindenburg. This put him basically at the top of the military dictatorship, with the Kaiser’s and the Reichskanzler’s (Chancellor’s) power paling in comparison. With his Hindenburg Program, he mobilized Germany’s last reserves for the war. Despite this, he had to admit in September 1918 that the war was lost. Yet he shifted the blame for the defeat to politicians. After resigning, he became active in nationalist, völkisch circles, spreading the stab-in-the-back myth. In November 1923, he participated in the Beer Hall Putsch. Afterwards, Ludendorff’s close ties with Hitler broke off and he turned to crude conspiracy theories and left public affairs to tend to his private life.