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Was there a German Revolution

Essay: Was there a German RevolutionBy mid 1918, Germany’s defeat on the western front seemed inevitable. Field Marshall Ludendorff launched a final last ditched attempt to deal a heavy blow to the Allies on the Western Front. In Spring 1918, the ”Ludendorff Offensive” had begun. Ludendorff focused a large portion of his army and his reserves on one point. Although the German armies gained a large amount of ground in the initial offensive, the army did not have the reserves to exploit the hole in the Allied lines. Ludendorff’s gamble had failed, with his army in disarray and their morale totally crushed. Historian AJ Nicholls commented saying ‘The amount of blood and treasure invested in the First World War made it difficult for Germans to contemplate a future in which the German Reich was not victorious.’ The apparently sudden coming of setbacks that threatened defeat was therefore a profound shock that had enormous political consequences. Kaiser Wilhelm was asked to abdicate the throne in favour of Prince Max, the Kaiser’s grandson. This set up what could be classed as a revolution. Generally, a revolution involves the transfer of power to a completely different movement outside the usual, normal process. A revolution is a complete turn, so they usually involve rapid, radical changes to infrastructure and economics. The usual interpretations of the events leading up to and including the German revolution are two revolutions or a single revolution developed in two stages. In Germany, the revolution was split into 2 main stages, the revolution from above, and the revolution from below. The revolution from above liberalised the German constitution in October 1918, however it has been argued that it was started by Ludendorff and the Army High Command (Oberste Heeresleitung – OHL) in September 1918. Ludendorff advised the Kaiser to abdicate in favour of Prince Max of Baden to try and secure a constitutional government to negotiate…

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