The old warhorse put to rest

Today, 84 years ago, the lion that was the 6′ 5″ German Field Marshal and President Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg shuffled off to the great parade ground. He had the unique lot in life to accomplish most of the heavy lifting in his life after he had already retired.

Born 2 October 1847 in Posen, old Hindy became a military academy cadet at age 11 as expected and by age 19 was a lieutenant in the 3rd Garderegiment of the Imperial Prussian Army riding off to fight the Austrians. He later saw combat against the French in 1870 as a battalion adjutant and retired from the military in 1911 at the mandatory retirement age of 64, sure the service was done with him.

Then, of course, came WWI and a rushed call to return to the colors to fight to Russians in East Prussia (where he took much of the credit from Max Hoffman for Tannenberg), a move so ad hoc the sexagenarian appeared at his new headquarters at Marienberg just three weeks into the war still decked out in his old blue Prussian uniform, reeking of mothballs.

He died at age 86, while still on public service in the last gasps of the Wiemar Republic, the bridge from the old monarchy to something far worse. Soon after the old lion’s death, his son, Maj Gen. Oskar von Hindenburg, was discharged from the Reichswehr while only 51, and retired to his family estate, later testifying against Franz von Papen– who persuaded his father to appoint Hitler as Chancellor– at Nuremberg after WWII.

German president Paul von Hindenburg lying-in-state at his country house in Neudeck, Prussia, guarded by two Reichswehr cavalry officers, both Great War Iron Cross holders. 1934.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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