Special Sub-Topic: Random Historical Figures
|Born in 1861, son of an Edinburgh distiller, this historical figure served as a military adviser to the Liberal Minister of War, Lord Haldane, between 1906 and 1908. He was very critical of Sir John French, the commander of the Western Front, 1912-15, and eventually replaced him in Decemer 1915, remaining in this position to the end of the war. |
Sir Douglas Haig. Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig believed strongly in attrition and was thought to be lacking in new ideas on how to win the First World War. His leadership was, however, successful in 1918.
|This historical figure was born in 1865 in Prussia, the son of a family of rural merchants. In 1914 he was appointed chief of staff to General Hindenburg and by 1916 he became very much the controller of the German war effort.|
Erich Ludendorff & Ludendorff. When the war started, Erich Ludendorff entered the army and was quickly promoted by his impressive leadership during the capture of the Belgian fort of Liege in 1914. It was his decision to gamble with all out German attack in the spring of 1918 and Ludendorff was very much responsible for the use of stormtroopers and the adoption of new tactics.
|Previously a journalist, he fought in the First World War and became wounded and was angry at how little Italy gained in the peace treaties. He set up his own party, know as the Fascists, and in 1922 organised a march in Rome which made him prime minister. He soon made himself dictator of Italy and wanted success abroad to boost his popularity.|
Benito Mussolini & Mussolini. What more can I say about this amazing historical figure?
|British Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Chancellor of the Exchequer, this historical figure had a great desire to keep peace in Europe and was the brother of the Nobel Peace Prize winner following the Locarno Treaty in 1925.|
Neville Chamberlain. Neville Chamberlain had been Lord Mayor of Birmingham where he introduced many reforms, building council houses, schools and public libraries. His brother was Austen Chamberlain who won the Nobel Peace Prize.
|Born in 1894 in a village in the Ukraine into a very poor family, he served as a political commissar in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, 1918-21. In 1929 he was sent to the Stalin Industrial Academy in Moscow and got to know Stalin's wife. During the purges of the 1930s he rose to the position of second in command of the Moscow party organisation. In 1939 he became a full member of the Politburo.|
Nikita Khrushchev & Khrushchev. Nikita Khrushchev had very little education but was a clever politician. Opponents underestimated his cunning which helped him become leader a few years after Stalin's death.
|He was born in Mayari, Cuba, in 1926. The son of middle-class parents, he had a good education and received a law degree from the University of Havana in 1950. In 1953 he was jailed following a failed uprising against Juan Batista. He was sent to exile and lived in Mexico and the USA before returning to Cuba in 1956, when he began a guerrilla campaign against Batista. In 1959 he succeeded in overthrowing the dictator and immediately began to reform Cuba.|
Fidel Castro & Castro. Fidel Castro's policies drove many middle-class Cubans into exile which made the American government believe that Castro was unpopular. This led the USA to support the Bay of Pigs invasion.
|Born in 1931 in the village of Privolnoye in Stavropol province. His family were poor farmers and at the age of 13 he began work on the farm. In the 1950s he studied Law at Moscow University, returning to Stavropol after he graduated. He worked as a Communist Party official and was eventually promoted to become a member of the central committee of the Communist Party with the responsibilty for agriculture. The Politburo made him its new leader at the age of 54.|
Mikhail Gorbachev. Mikhail Gorbachev became a member of the Politburo at the age of 49 and was the most powerful ruling body of the Communist Party. He served under President Brezhnev and was deputy under President Chernenko. When Chernenko died in 1985 the Politburo made Gorbachev its new leader.
|He was born in 1878 and became leader of the German National Liberal Party before 1914. He became Chancellor briefly in 1923 and foreign secretary from 1924-29. He died in October 1929.|
Gustav Stresemann. As Foreign Secretary Gustav Stresemann worked closely with his counterparts in France and Britain, Aristide Briand and Austen Chamberlain and many Germans believed that he could have saved Germany from the worst effects of the Depression.
|He was a famous fighter pilot during the First World War and joined the Nazi Party during the 1920s. In 1932 he was elected speaker of the Reichstag and then became its President in 1933. As Prime Minister he also set up the Gestapo and the first concentration camps.|
Herman Goering. Herman Goering was one of the three Nazis in Hitler's first goverment of 30 January 1933. He was largely responsible for persuading President Hindenburg to allow the use of Article 48 to declare a state of emergency.
|Born in Simbirsk in 1870, the son of a school inspector. His revolutionary brother was executed for being involved in the assasination of Alexander II. He went to university to study law but was expelled because he took part in demonstrations. He became involved with Marxism and in 1894 joined a Marxist group. He was sent to London due to his Marxist activities, where he became editor of the Party newspaper, 'Iskra Spark'. In 1903, when the Social Democratic Party split, he led the Bolsheviks. |
Vladimir Ulyanov. Vladimir Ulyanov otherwise known as Lenin, spent the next 14 years after the split of the Social Democratic Party in exile organising Bolshevik activities.
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