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

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Chancellor: This has been taken care of; it had to be – if only because of public opinion.

His Excellency von Kühlmann: Prince Hohenlohe has been asked to discuss the Landwehr issue tomorrow in the train with Kaiser Karl.

His Excellency Ludendorff: I do not understand how we can help the Austrians out with grain, about which negotiations are supposed to be going on in Berlin right now. The bread ration at the front can not be reduced. At home, by contrast, the bread ration is to be reduced in any event in June. How can we help Austria in these circumstances? The situation in Austria appears to vary significantly by region. At any rate, it is not bad everywhere. On the 17th Austria is supposed to be at the end of its foodstuffs once again. Hungary still has supplies, but Austria does not dare to take them and prefers to take German supplies.

His Excellency von Kühlmann speaks of German controls, such as Burian has suggested.

His Excellency Ludendorff: How is one to understand this in practical terms? The situation has been made much more difficult because of the dual administration in the Ukraine, where Austria is conducting an anti-German policy. I recall the business about the locomotives and Austria’s sales of wood to Switzerland.

Chancellor: All these things must be discussed in the upcoming negotiations in Austria.

Field Marshall: I would like to suggest that we meet again on Monday to discuss further points.

Chancellor: Agreed. I hereby close this meeting.

Source: Unsigniertes und undatiertes Protokoll einer Sitzung Reichskanzler - OHL in Spa am 11. Mai 1918 [Unsigned and Undated Protocol of a Meeting between the Chancellor and the OHL in Spa on May 11, 1918], in André Scherer, et al, eds., L’Allemagne et les problèmes de la paix pendant la Première Guerre Mondiale. Documents extraits des archives de l’Office allemand des Affaires étrangères, publiés et annotés par André Scherer et Jacques Grunewald [Germany and the Country's Problems during WWI. Documents from the Archives of the German Office for Foreign Affairs. Published and annotated by André Scherer and Jacques Grunewald], 4 volumes, Paris, 1962-78. Vol. 4, No. 112.

Reprinted in Wolfdieter Bihl, Deutsche Quellen zur Geschichte des Ersten Weltkrieges [German Sources on the History of the First World War]. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1991, pp. 412-21.

Translation: Jeffrey Verhey and Roger Chickering

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