11 February 2008 | guidon7
A Momentous Turn in World History
I was very impressed with Fall of Eagles. And what a distinguished cast of British actors!! (Including the German Curt Jurgens in a masterful performance as Prince Otto von Bismarck.) A contributor above remarks on the influence of General Ludendorff, not so much on World War One it would seem, but rather by his association with Adolf Hitler in the days after the Great War. While Ludendorff's impact during WWI was very great, the old man's influence afterwards was really only as a figurehead, a minor player, as an early adherent of Hitler.
One must keep in mind the condition of the German people at this period. The British sea blockade of Germany was not lifted until many months after the war had ended. The German people were starving and freezing. The Versailles Treaty demanded huge reparations from a prostrate Germany and limited the nation to a mere 10,000 man army, this with belligerent neighbors surrounding it, all eager for a piece of the helpless German state. Communism tried to gain power but failed in postwar Germany -- this not from any lack of effort on the part of the Communists themselves, but rather, I believe, that Marxist ideology itself does not have appeal to the German people per se. The successive Social Democratic governments were helpless to relieve the agony of the people. Is it any wonder that after the failure on the part of totalitarian Communism and the failure of democratic, liberal governments that, in their distress, the German people flocked to Hitler's banner, he who denounced and rejected the Versailles Diktat and who started the economy rolling again, meaning bread and jobs, where all these other political ideologies had failed so miserably?
I maintain that the rise of Hitler and all that followed in his wake was the direct result of the crushing demands by the victorious Allies forced upon a helpless nation in defeat. The victors of the First World War then, bear ultimate responsibility for Adolf Hitler's accession to power.
None of the above, however, detracts from this fine mini-series, the praises of which are not only from me, but also the other contributors here. Personally, my only criticism would be that rather than the archaic film clips shown from time to time throughout the production it would have been wiser instead to utilize Michael Hordern's commentary where deemed necessary for story continuity.