Quote: General Max Hoffman on Ambition


Max Hoffman was the real architect of the great German victory of Tannenburg in 1914, for which his superiors, Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg, received the lion's share of credit. In a diary entry from 1915, Hoffman commented on the infighting and plots that routinely went on among top generals and the basis of honourable behaviour.

"When one gets a close view of influential people -- their bad relations with each other, their conflicting ambitions -- one must always bear in mind that it is certainly much worse on the other side among the French, English, or Russians, or one might well be nervous. The race for power and personal position seems to destroy all men's characters. I believe that the only creature who can keep his honour is a man living on his own estate; he has no need to intrigue and struggle -- for it is no use intriguing for fine weather."

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