Erwin Rommel Quotes From the World War II German Field Marshal
May 24, 2023 1:19 AM EST
Read through these Erwin Rommel quotes if you want to learn more about World War II.
Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel was born in Wurttemberg, German Empire, in 1891 and died in Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern, Nazi Germany, in 1944.
Rommel was known as the “Desert Fox.”
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During World War II, he was a field marshal for Germany after serving as a highly decorated officer in World War I.
Rommel was known as one of the best tank commanders of World War II due to his strong command of the 7th Panzer Division.
He was known as chivalrous by his British adversaries and was famously known for his phrase “war without hate,” although historians have differed on the belief that he lived this phrase.
Rommel also commanded the German forces in the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
Take a look at these Erwin Rommel quotes to learn more about Rommel’s life.
Most Well-Known Erwin Rommel Quotes
Here are some of the most well-known quotes by Rommel.
1. “No plan survives contact with the enemy” — Erwin Rommel
2. “Which would your men rather be, tired or dead?” — Erwin Rommel
3. “Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.” — Erwin Rommel
4. “In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.” — Erwin Rommel
5. “When there’s no clear option, it’s better to do nothing.” — Erwin Rommel
6. “Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning.” — Erwin Rommel
7. “Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, but brains save both.” — Erwin Rommel
8. “In a man-to-man fight, the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine.” — Erwin Rommel
9. “A risk is a chance you take; if it fails, you can recover. A gamble is a chance taken; if it fails, recovery is impossible.” — Erwin Rommel
10. “But courage which goes against military expediency is stupidity, or if it is insisted upon by a commander, irresponsibility.” — Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel Quotes Showing War Knowledge
Rommel had experience and knowledge of war, as evidenced by the following quotes.
11. “Training errors are recorded on paper. Tactical errors are etched in stone.” — Erwin Rommel
12. “The battle is fought and decided by the quartermasters, long before the shooting begins.” — Erwin Rommel
13. “I’m happy in my own conscience that I’ve done all I can for victory and have not spared myself.” — Erwin Rommel
14. “The German soldier has impressed the world, however, the Italian Bersagliere soldier has impressed the German soldier.” — Erwin Rommel
15. “Men are basically smart or dumb and lazy or ambitious. The dumb and ambitious ones are dangerous, and I get rid of them.” — Erwin Rommel
16. “The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions.” — Erwin Rommel
17. “Anyone who has to fight, even with the most modern weapons, against an enemy in complete command of the air, fights like a savage against modern European troops, under the same handicaps and with the same chances of success.” — Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel Quotes on Leadership
Here are some Rommel quotes on leadership.
18. “For me, soldiers are all equal.” — Erwin Rommel
19. “The best form of welfare for the troops is first-rate training.” — Erwin Rommel
20. “There are always times where the place of a commander isn’t back with his Major State, but onward with his troops.” — Erwin Rommel
21. “Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide.” — Erwin Rommel
22. “War makes extremely heavy demands on the soldier’s strength and nerves. For this reason, make heavy demands on your men in peacetime exercises.” — Erwin Rommel
23. “Be an example to your men, in your duty, and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don’t in your endurance of fatigue and privation.” — Erwin Rommel
24. “It is my experience that bold decisions give the best promise of success. But one must differentiate between [strategic] and tactical boldness and a military gamble.” — Erwin Rommel
25. “Winning the men’s confidence requires much of a commander. He must exercise care and caution, look after his men, live under the same hardships, and-above all- apply self-discipline.” — Erwin Rommel
Did Rommel Support Hitler?
Historians differ on the extent to which Rommel supported Hitler.
Still, it’s believed that he supported him for at least a period.
Later Rommel was involved in a plot to assassinate Hilter; however, Hitler did not want to publicly admit that a celebrated German war hero was trying to assassinate him.
Instead, Hitler gave Rommel a choice to commit suicide, and his family would not be persecuted, and his reputation would stay intact, or Hitler would disgrace him in a trial.
Rommel chose to commit suicide by taking a cyanide pill.
The story was that he died from injuries sustained in Normandy.
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