Review published on July 31, 2017.
The First Nazi is a very intriguing title for me. The subtitle, Erich Ludendorff, The Man Who Made Hitler Possible, is even more intriguing for an avid reader of war books like myself.
This is a first class introduction into how the First World War began, ran its course, and eventually reached an almost bankrupted finale, when Germany capitulated in 1918. The chief protagonist in Germany’s downfall was the haughty, arrogant, and independently minded Ludendorff. It was he, together with Hindenburg, who rode rough shod across all military sensibilities, prolonged the war needlessly for years, annihilated thousands and yet ultimately still lost.
Co-written by Will Brownell and Denice Drace-Brownell with Alex Rovt, this book exposes how Ludendorff, and his megalomania, almost became the dictator of Germany. He quite possibly wielded more clout than the Kaiser during the years of war and, unaided, he virtually destroyed the country, blaming everybody else except himself. His incredible deceit and arrogance manifested in the way he lied his way out of blame, how he became a mentally disturbed recluse, until called once again to the fray when Hitler came to recognition. Ludendorff’s lies and blame placing can be seen, and heard, when echoed by Hitler in his speeches.
Ludendorff then sowed the seeds for yet another World War, by his blaming of others, backing Adolf Hitler in his meteoric rise to power, despite his own failings. The supposed inhumanity of the Treaty of Versailles, signed after the World War 1, was utilised as a battering ram to misguide the German public through speeches and propaganda methods.
I found the book extremely engaging, easy to read, not too boringly in depth, and very engrossing. If the text is anywhere near factually correct, we can see, quite easily, how World War 2 came about because of Ludendorff and his megalomania. It also showed me how easily people can be duped, not once, but twice in such a short space of time.
Reg Seward 4/2
The First Nazi: Erich Ludendorff, The Man Who Made Hitler Possible by Will Brownell, Denise Drace-Brownell and Alex Rovt
Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd 9780715651049 hbk Jul 2016
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