Hans von Seeckt


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(b. 22 Apr. 1866, d. 27 Dec. 1936).

German general A general staff officer during World War I, in 1920 he became the supreme commander of the German army which he developed into an elite force whose autonomy he refused to surrender to political control. The army maintained its power structures and its traditions from the days of the Empire, so that even Hitler never managed to control it completely, as became clear in the July Plot of 1944. Seeckt remained hostile to the Weimar Republic. While he was ready to use the army against insurrectionists from the left, his defence of the Republic against insurrectionists from the right in the Kapp Putsch and the Hitler Putsch remained ambivalent. He was relieved of his post in 1926 owing to personal animosities with President Hindenburg, and became a right-wing Liberal MP (1930–2). In 1933 and 1934–5 he was military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek in his attempt to defeat Mao Zedong's Long March in China.

Subjects: Military History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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