It has been my destiny to hold various high appointments. Upon Field-Marshal von Hindenburg and myself, in conjunction with other men, devolved the task of conducting the defense of the Fatherland.
In these pages I propose to give an account of those deeds of the German people and their army with which my name will for all time be associated. I shall tell of my strivings and of all that lived through in this struggle of the nations - how the German people fought as men have never fought before, how they endured, and how their efforts were gradually paralyzed.
Germany has not yet had time for introspection and heart-searching. She is too heavily weighted down. And yet she can take heart from the magnificent deeds of her army, and from all they, too, accomplished who worked at home. But if she wishes to learn anything from the succession of events which culminated in her undoing she has no time to lose, for the worlds history strides ruthlessly on and tramples underfoot those nations who tear themselves to pieces by internal conflict.
Written at Hessleholmsgard, in Sweden, between November 1918 and February 1919; completed in Berlin by June 23, the day on which we accepted(!) the Peace.