The Warlords: The Campaigns of Hindenburg and Ludendorff by John Lee - review by Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes

Two Teutonic Titans

The Warlords: The Campaigns of Hindenburg and Ludendorff


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 207pp £16.99

Students of the British Army in the First World War, this reviewer amongst them, have good reason to be grateful to John Lee for his work on both General Sir Ian Hamilton and the British Army on the Western Front. On the face of it, he brings great gifts to his present task. He writes beautifully, and has an excellent feel for operational military history. And his subject is an intriguing one. This is a joint biography of the quintessential warlords, those towering figures Hindenburg and Ludendorff, who came to dominate not simply German military strategy in the First World War, but the German state itself.

Lee’s book succeeds well enough at one level. It is a straightforward factual account of the rise and fall of this field-grey pair, set in the context of the army of Wilhelmine Germany and the dreadful war which eventually led to its destruction. It is unusual for a British author

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