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The Third Supreme Army Command and German War Aims (May 11, 1918)

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His Excellency Ludendorff: We are not fighting a new enemy, but an old one (think about Finland). Persia is a completely impotent country – entirely in foreign hands.

Chancellor: I am thinking less about new dangers than about new financial burdens.

His Excellency Ludendorff: I admit they exist.

Field Marshall: But the war will end more quickly, so the financial burdens will not be greater.

His Excellency Ludendorff: Whether the troops fight here or there makes no difference. I hope there will also be financial relief (mineral resources) from Transcaucasus.

Chancellor: Up until now, peace in the east has brought us no financial relief. I must be convinced that we are taking the right actions. Then I shall answer for them to the Reichstag.

His Excellency Ludendorff: At present we are not thinking about military activity in the Orient, but perhaps later.

His Excellency von Kühlmann: Are there any objections to a confidential notice to the leaders of the political parties that the military enterprises discussed today in no case entail more than a very small number of German troops?

His Excellency Ludendorff: No.

The Field Marshall returns once again to the Polish question and for this purpose pulls out a map and points to the very narrow swath of land to the north of Poland, which is available to Germany as a line of communication in case of war. Therefore, even if we achieve the solution to the Polish question that we hope to, the border strip must be extended far enough that we control an additional route for the deployment of our troops.

His Excellency Ludendorff: Another question. How is the business with the grain stand in Austria? There have been apologies to be sure, but no guarantee against a recurrence. I must insist on the dismissal of General Landwehr.

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