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"By appointing Hitler Chancellor of the Reich, you have handed over our sacred German Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss..." Erich Ludendorff on Hitler's rise to power. (1).

Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff was a German officer and war hero of World War I. The name is sometimes misinterpreted as Erich von Ludendorff however this is a common mistake based off of the German use of the word von (2). Erich was born on April 9th, 1865 in Kruszewnia, Germany. he was the son of August Wilhelm Ludendorff, a modest landowner, and Klara Jeanette Henriette von Tempelhoff (3). The future general grew up on a family farm where he recieved his early education, it was there that he would first discover his skills in mathamatics. Thanks to his mathamatical abilities he gained acceptence to the Cadet School, one of the most prestigious schools in Northern Germany.
It was in 1885 that Erich Ludendorff was made a liuetenent of the 57th Infantry Regiment. Over the next eight years Erich would serve in sever in several military posistions and recieved high praise for his excellent work. By 1905 he had quickly risen through the ranks to become a major military leader, with the rank of colonel. Even at this point Erich could see the onslaught of war and made preporations for a large scale war. The military council that Ludendorff was a part of was being attacked on all sides by the leftist side of the government and eventually Ludendorff was dismissed and returned to leading troops as a commander.
When World War I broke out he was promoted yet again to the rank of Deputy Chief of Staff to the German Second Army. However it wasn't until August 1914 that he gained national recognision for his assualt on the French front. It was at Liege that the Germans were met with strong resistence and even began to lose ground, but Ludendorff took over control of one of the regiments which he used to conquer the forts surrounding Liege, giving the German Army the chance to assualt Liege directly. This victory was seen astronomical to the German people and Ludendorff was awarded the German's Highest Honour (4) by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Footnotes.

1. Early Footage of Erich Ludendorff in 1914: http://www.firstworldwar.com/video/ludendorff.htm
2. The name "von" is commonly used when referring to people of German nobility, Erich himself would later become what could be considered a nobleman but his family was anything but German nobility and so von would be inappropriate in this instance.
3. In this situation using von is appropriate because the Tempelhoff family was part of a noble family in Poland, however in Germnay where Erich was born Polish nobility was not recognized and as such the von would not be used in German society.
4.