The son of an officer and member of the German Youth Movement, he volunteered for duty in World War I and received a severe injury to the throat. After 1922 he was a freelance author in Munich, and from 1934 to 1944, along with Karl Benno von Mechow, he edited and published the journal Das innere Reich. Alverdes's work was influenced by the youth movement and by the World War I front experience, whose purifying and "transforming" power he praised. Nonetheless, he was only moderately popular with National Socialists because he lacked an "activist-dynamic attitude". After 1945 he mainly wrote stories for children.