In 1916, on this day Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff were both killed on the Eastern Front.
The Tragedy in KovnoThe pressure of Brusilov's offensive had forced the Germans to move Oberost headquarters south-west to Kovno. But tragically the railway carriage that occupied was derailed and only Max Hoffmann survived. All three (pictured) had worked together as a close knit team ever since the Battle of Tannenberg, and in truth, that victory was Hoffman's triumph because it was effectively won before Hindenburg and Ludendorff reached the Eastern Front.
Success in the East only made failure in the West look worse. By this stage of the war it was increasingly clear to the Kaiser that Falkenhayn's strategies had failed. Although the tragedy at Kovno meant that he got a further six months in his role, he was eventually succeeded by Hoffmann who eventually became the Supreme Commander of the German Army. Hoffman's own strategies were generally considered a success, Petrograd was taken in early 1917, the Russians forced to sign a separate peace. But most importantly on the Western Front, the German army managed to hold on for long enough for the US/UK to go bankrupt.