Erich Ludendorff (9 April 1865 - 20 December 1937) was an Imperial German Army officer. From 1916 until October 1918, Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg directed Germany's war effort during World War I. After Germany's defeat, Ludendorff went into exile. He dabbled in politics upon his return in 1920, even becoming an ally of Adolf Hitler. Ludendorff participated in the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in 1923, but was acquitted. He served in the Reichstag until 1928, and was defeated in the 1925 presidential election by his former comrade, Hindenburg. He left politics in 1928, having grown disenchanted with Hitler.
Ludendorff's reflections on World War I laid the foundation for the "Stab-in-the-Back" philosophy espoused by Nazism.
Erich Ludendorff was Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Imperial German Army during the Great War. After the war, he and his colleagues and subordinates debated how severely they should restrict the French military as part of an armistice agreement, as did his American counterpart, Leonard Wood, with Confederate military restrictions.