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Decorations of Erich Ludendorff

Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (09.04.1865-20.12.1937) made history as a talented strategist, theorist of German militarism and founding father of the "Total war" concept. He was arguably the most significant German military leader during the WWI. Soon after the war broke out he was appointed Chief of Staff of Paul von Hindenburg, and since August 1916 became the chief manager of the German war effort.

Bent on a military career, Ludendorff entered military cadet school at the age twelve in 1878, and five years later he was admitted to the Military Academy. His service record looks very impressive: Secondeleutnant (15.04.1882); Premierleutnant (01.07.1890); Hauptmann (March 1895); Major (01.07.1902); Oberstleutnant (01.04.1908); Obesrt (21.04.1911); Generalmajor (22.04.1914); Generalleutnant (27.11.1914); General der Infanterie (29.08.1916).

After the defeat in the Great War Ludendorff fled in disguise in Sweden, but returned to Germany where he entered its volatile political scene and found himself as a supporter of right-wing nationalists. Ludendorff participated in two failed uprisings: Kapp Putsch (1920) and Beer Hall Putsch (1923). Despite being close to the Nazis in early 1920s, General was no longer sympathetic to Hitler after the latter came to power. However, Reich Chancellor made an attempt to regain Ludendorff's favour by offering him the rank of Generalfeldmarschall on occasion of his 70th birthday in 1935. The old war hero rejected that offer by telling that "A field marshal is born, not made". One of the most influential German leaders during the Great War went to his deathbed on December 20, 1937 at the age of 72. He was given a state funeral organized and attended by Hitler and many prominent warlords.

Orders and medals of the German states

- Kingdom of Prussia. Wilhelm I Centenary Medal (Kaiser Wilhelm I Erinnerungsmedaille) /1897/ 

- Kingdom of Prussia. Long Service Award for Officers (Dienstauszeichnung für Offiziere) /1907/ 

- Kingdom of Prussia. Order of the Red Eagle, 4th Class (Königlich Preußische Rother Adler Orden 4.Klasse) /before 1909/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Order of the Red Eagle, 3rd Class (Königlich Preußische Kronenorden, 3.Klasse) /before 1909/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Order of the Red Eagle, 3rd Class with Bow and Swords (Königlich Preussische Roter Adler Orden 3.Klasse mit der Schleife und der Krone) /before 1913/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Order of the Crown, 2nd Class (Königlich Preußische Kronenorden, 2.Klasse) /before 1914/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Iron Cross, 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse) /August 1914/ 

- Kingdom of Prussia. Iron Cross, 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse) /August 1914/ 

- Kingdom of Prussia. "Pour le mérite" Order /August 08, 1914, No.4731/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Order of the Red Eagle, 1st Class with Oak Leaves and Swords (Königlich Preussische Roter Adler Orden 1.Klasse mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern)

- Kingdom of Prussia. Oak Leaves for the "Pour le mérite" Order (Eichenlaub zum "Pour le mérite" Orden) /February 23, 1915, No.142/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Merit Cross for War Aid (Verdienstkreuz für Kriegshilfe) ССЫЛКА

- Kingdom of Prussia. Order of the Red Eagle, Grand Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Königlich Preussische Roter Adler Orden, Großkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) /June 29, 1917/

- Kingdom of Prussia. Iron Cross, Grand Cross (Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) /March 24, 1918/ 

- Kingdom of Bavaria. Military Merit Order, Officer's Cross (Offizierkreuz des Militär-Verdienstordens) /before 1913/

- Kingdom of Bavaria. Military Order of Max Joseph, Grand Cross (Großkreuz des Militär Max Joseph Ordens)

- Kingdom of Saxony. Military Order of St.Henry, Commander's Cross 1st Class (Komturkreuz 1.Klasse des Militär-Sankt-Heinrichs-Ordens)

- Kingdom of Saxony. Military Order of St.Henry, Grand Cross (Grosskreuz des Militär-Sankt-Heinrichs-Ordens) /May 07, 1918/

- Kingdom of Saxony. Military Order of St.Henry, Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz des Militär-Sankt-Heinrichs-Ordens)

- Kingdom of Saxony. Albert Order, Grand Cross with Swords (Großkreuz des Albrechts-Ordens mit Schwertern)

- Kingdom of Württemberg. Order of the Württemberg Crown, Honour Cross (Ehrenkreuz des Ordens der Württembergischen Krone) /before 1913/

- Kingdom of Württemberg. Military Merit Order, Commander's Cross (Komturkreuz des Militärverdienstordens) /1915/

- Kingdom of Württemberg. Military Merit Order, Grand Cross (Großkreuz des Militär-Verdienstordens) /1918/

- Kingdom of Württemberg. Order of the Württemberg Crown, Grand Cross with Swords (Großkreuz des Ordens der Württembergischen Krone mit Schwertern)

- Grand Duchy of Baden. Order of the Zähringer Lion, Commander's Cross 2nd Class (Komturkreuz 2.Klasse des Ordens vom Zähringer Löwen) /before 1913/

- Grand Duchy of Baden. Order of the Zähringer Lion, Grand Cross with Swords (Großkreuz des Ordens vom Zähringer Löwen mit Schwertern)

- Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhein. General Honour Decoration for Bravery (Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen für Tapferkeit)

- Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Order of the Griffon, Commander's Cross (Großherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Komturkreuz des Greifenordens) /before 1913/

- Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Military Merit Cross, 2nd Class on a ribbon for military personnel (Militär-Verdienstkreuz 2.Klasse am Kämpferband)

- Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Military Merit Cross, 1st Class (Militär-Verdienstkreuz 1.Klasse)

- Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.  Military Merit Cross, 2nd Class (Kreuz für Auszeichnung im Kriege 2.Klasse)

- Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Military Merit Cross, 1st Class (Kreuz für Auszeichnung im Kriege 1.Klasse)

- Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. Friedrich August Cross, 2nd Class on a ribbon for military personnel (Friedrich-August-Kreuz 2.Klasse am Kämpferband) 

- Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. Friedrich August Cross, 1st Class (Friedrich-August-Kreuz 1.Klasse) 

- Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. House and Merit Order of Duke Peter Frederick Louis, Grand Cross with Golden Crown, Swords and Laurel Wreath (Großkreuz mit der goldenen Krone des Haus- und Verdienstordens des Herzogs Peter Friedrich Ludwig mit Schwertern und Lorbeer /October 29, 1918/

- Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. House Order of the White Falcon, Commander's Cross with Swords (Komturkreuz des Hausordens der Wachsamkeit / vom weißen Falken mit Schwertern)

- Duchy of Anhalt. Friedrich Cross on a ribbon for military personnel (Friedrich Kreuz am Kämpferband) 

- Duchy of Brunswick. War Merit Cross, 2nd Class on a ribbon for military personnel (Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2.Klasse am Kämpferband) 

- Duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Carl Eduard War Cross (Carl Eduard-Kriegskreuz) 

- Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen. Cross for War Merits (Kreuz für Verdienst im Kriege)

- Principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont. War Merit Cross, 1st Class with Swords (Verdienstkreuz 1.Klasse mit Schwertern)

- Principality of Lippe. War Merit Cross on a ribbon for military personnel (Kriegsverdienstkreuz am Kämpferband) 

- Principality of Reuss. War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz)

- Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe. Cross for Faithful Service on a ribbon for military personnel (Kreuz für Treue Dienste am Kämpferband)

- Saxon Ernestine House Order, Grand Cross with Swords (Großkreuz mit Schwertern des Sachsen-Ernestinischen Hausordens)

- Princely House Order of Hohenzollern, Honor Cross 1st Class with Swords (Fürstlich Hohenzollernscher Hausorden Ehrenkreuz 1.Klasse mit Schwertern)

- Free and Hanseatic City of Bremen. Bremen Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz Bremen) 

- Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Hamburg Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz Hamburg) 

- Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck. Lübeck Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz Lübeck)

Orders and medals of foreign states

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. Order of Franz Joseph, Commander's Cross (Komturkreuz des österreichischen Franz Joseph-Ordens) /before 1913/

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. Military Order of Maria Theresa, Grand Cross (Großkreuz des Militär-Maria Theresien-Ordens) /March 26, 1918/

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. Military Merit Cross, 2nd Class with War Decoration (Militärverdienstkreuz 2.Klasse mit Kriegsdekoration)

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. Large Military Merit Medal on ribbon of the Military Merit Cross (Grosse Miltärverdienstmedaille am Bande des Militärverdienstkreuzes) /March 26, 1918/

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. Military Merit Cross, 1st Class with War Decoration and Swords (Militärverdienstkreuz 1.Klasse mit Kriegsdekoration und Schwertern) /July 28, 1917/

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Order of Leopold, Commander's Cross 1st Class with War Decoration (Kommandeurskreuz 1.Klasse des österreichischen Leopold-Ordens mit Kriegsdekoration)

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Order of Leopold, Grand Cross with War Decoration (Grosskreuz des österreichischen Leopold-Ordens mit Kriegsdekoration)

- Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Order of the Iron Crown, 1st Class with War Decoration (Österreichischer Orden der Eisernen Krone 1.Klasse mit Kriegsdekoration)

- Kingdom of Italy. Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Commander's Cross (Commendatore dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro) /before 1914/

- Ottoman Empire. War Medal, a.k.a. Gallipoli Star (Harb Madalyasi, a.k.a. Eiserner Halbmond) 

- Kingdom of Sweden. Royal Order of the Sword, Grand Cross (Kungliga Svärdsorden, Kommendör med stora korset)