Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

Get access

“Stab-in-the-Back” Legend (Dolchstosslegende)
(930 words)

“Stab-in-the-Back” Legend (Dolchstosslegende)

The claim that Germany’s military defeat in 1918 was not, or not primarily, to be ascribed to the failure of the military leadership, or the exhaustion of the soldiers, but to failure or betrayal on the part of particular persons or groups on the home front. There were a number of quite different variants of the legend. Thus, for example, the inadequacy of supply in the battles for Verdun in 1916 was already referred to in military circles as a Dolchstoss. As early as July 1917, General von Seeckt gave voice to the typical accusati…

Cite this page
Krumeich, Gerd, ““Stab-in-the-Back” Legend (Dolchstosslegende)”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2015

▲   Back to top   ▲