In 1916, on this day Paul von Hindenburg succeeds Erich von Falkenhayn, with whose strategy he disagreed, as Chief of the German General Staff. An installment from the Central Powers Victorious thread.
Central Powers Victorious Part 2 von Falkenhayn dismissedBoth his deputy Erich Ludendorff and principal staff officer Max Hoffmann also transferred from the Eastern Front. Although they reluctantly agree to appoint Ludendorff Quartermaster-General, he does not get the supremacy he desires because the Chancellor and the Emperor insist that Hindenburg and Ludendorff follow Hoffmann's plan and he has a completely free hand.
It takes eighteen months, but he formulates the winning strategy that delivers victory to Central Powers. The break through finally comes at the middle of the front in June at Marne II and the German armies surge towards Paris. The French as they always said, fall back upon the defence of their capital. There is then a cease-fire with the French, while the Germans threaten the Channel ports. The British and Lloyd-George now have what they have been talking about and feared - one to three million hostages in France.
Landsdowne is swiftly sent to Basel to accept Cousin Willi's Peace Office presented by Alfred Duke of Clarence and Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Cousins George's and Willi's uncle and British royal duke. Landsdowne signs. Meanwhile Woodrow Wilson and Pershing are wrong footed, not being in position to attack in time. FDR as the young assistant naval secretary in France inspecting "his" marine corps is absolutely furious.
Because Hindenburg and Ludendorff (pictured) had no control over the military strategy, they had spent the majority of their time focusing on war time control of the economy. A domination had inevitably developed, and they intended to convert this into a military dictatorship at the soonest opportunity. von Hertling was determined to prevent this, but he only had a year to live, and by the time of his death, the office of Chancellorship was on the cusp of abolition.