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Quotes for
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt (Character)
from The Longest Day (1962)

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The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: [It's] too late for me. I'm seventy now - too old to fight, too old to challenge authority, however evil... but not too old, however, to wish you and your friends the best of luck in their extremely interesting enterprise.

Field Marshal Keitel: Have you any better suggestions?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Yes, one very much better. Make peace, you idiot!

Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: From the moment the Bohemian corporal promoted himself to the supreme command of our forces, the German Army has been the victim of a unique situation: not only too many of the enemy, but one too many Germans.

Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: His astrologers have informed him that this is only a feint, that the real invasion is yet to come, north of Calais. The Fifteenth Army is sitting on those cold beaches up there, waiting for an invasion that is already taking place, is an excellent example of war by horoscope.

Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: I tell you this in confidence, Rommel: I don't think anything we can do would be of the slightest use. The pattern for defeat has already been set. "Hold fast. Don't give up a millimeter of ground. Victory or death." Wars simply can't be won by men whose knowledge of tactics is based on copybook maxims. They may stir schoolchildren, but they don't stop troops. But give me a free hand for a few months and I'd make them pay for it. I'd make them pay such a price in blood they'd wish they'd never heard of Germany. I might not be able to stop them all, but they'd know they'd fought an army, not a series of stationary targets.

Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: I'm told you once referred to me as a clown. A clown of Hitler's circus.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, did I?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: If so, I think you should know that I've been a great deal more explicit about you, many times.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, that's quite all right, Field Marshal. I find it almost impossible to keep my mind on anything harsh said about me.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Did you say it?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Whoever said it, you've given them ample reason to regret such a foolish remark.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Thank you, Field Marshal.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Not at all.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Is there anything else?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: I don't believe so, at the moment.
[Rommel salutes and heads for the door]
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: One suggestion, perhaps, in view of our cordiality. If I were you, I wouldn't be altogether unguarded about what I had to say about this new strategic arrangement. I think you should know that from now on, you'll be under more or less constant observation.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: From Berlin?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: [shrugs] Friends of the management, I believe.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Have you any information as to why I should be singled out for such attention?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, but you are not, we all are. Apparently you didn't have it in Africa, but here on the continent, it's an honor that goes with staff rank.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: You too?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: [chuckles] My dear fellow, I'm the commander-in-chief.


A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Everyone knows you have never lost a battle.
Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: I'm still young, give me time.

Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: Let's get to the point. Air power?
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Air power, Field Marshal...
Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: Briefly, please.
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Air power is minimal.
Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: Ammunition?
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Also minimal.
Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: Tanks, troops, replacements?
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Minimal.
Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: Morale?
[Blumentritt hesitates, then says nothing]
Field Marshall Gerd von Runstedt: [sighs] Nonexistent.


The Longest Day (1962)
[Blumentritt has just gotten off the phone with General Max Pemsel on Allied airborne landings behind Normandy]
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Pemsel is convinced this is the invasion.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: No no no, I do not agree with him. This is my conclusion.
[Von Rundstedt points to the main map]
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: Normandy is the site of a diversion. A diversion, Blumentritt! That is not where the main landings will take place, that will come at Pas-de-Calais, where it was always expected!
[Von Rundstedt then realizes what he has just said]
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: [to himself] Where we always expected it.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: [to Blumentritt] We can't take any chances. I want the reserve panzers moved forward.
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: But we need permission from the Fuhrer's headquarters.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: They won't dare refuse me! Call the Fuhrer's headquarters and insist. Insist, Blumentritt! Insist the panzers be released to me.
[as Blumentritt leaves the office to call Berlin, Von Rundstedt returns to the main map]
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: A landing at Normandy would be against military logic. It would be against ALL logic.

Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: This is madness... madness... sheer madness!
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: I just talked to General Jodl... the Fuhrer is awake.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: I don't care if he's awake or not! What about the reserve panzers?
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: The Fuhrer went into one of his tantrums... and no one dared bring up the subject.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: They're still held in reserve!
Major General Gunther Blumentritt: Sir, if you would call the Fuhrer yourself I am convinced he would respect your views.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt: Call that Bohemian corporal? Crawl on my knees to him? No! It is out of the question!