Erwin Rommel
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Quotes for
Erwin Rommel (Character)
from The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

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The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: [Hitler just sent an order not to retreat from El Alamein] It's an order, Bayerlein, a military order from General Headquarters. A clear, straight, stupid, criminal military order, from General Headquarters.
Gen. Fritz Bayerlein: And what are you going to do, double the insanity by obeying it? We've got the best soldiers in the German Army here. They may be just hanging on now, but they're still a force, they're still fighting. If we take them out now, they can fight again tomorrow. But this! This is sheer madness! It's out of the Middle Ages. Nobody had said "Victory or Death" since people fought with bows and arrows. Why, this is an order to throw away an entire army!
Gen. Schultz: If I may remind you, sir, here in the field, these men are yours, not his.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: I just can't understand it.
Gen. Fritz Bayerlein: I can. He's insane.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: He's not insane! He's - but neither am I.
[tears up the message and throws it away]
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Pull them out, Bayerlein! I'll argue with him about it later.

Gen. Fritz Bayerlein: Nothing yet, though?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: No, but he
[Hitler]
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: knows the situation. I sent him the whole story last night. If there's anything he can do, he will.
Gen. Fritz Bayerlein: No matter what you say, to Berlin we're only a sideshow - and you know it.

Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: You've been uncommonly fortunate, I see, in deathbed confessions.
Gen. Wilhelm Burgdorf: It's all perfectly legal, I assure you, sir.

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.

Dr. Karl Strolin: How do you know this room isn't wired?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Wired? Why should it be wired?
Dr. Karl Strolin: Does Himmler have to have a reason for wiring a room?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: No, I don't suppose he does. But I don't think you have to worry about this one. Why?
Dr. Karl Strolin: [Places a chair in front of Rommel, and sits down facing him squarely] Because I want to talk to you without being overheard.

Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: [describing a meeting with Hitler] Not that it could really be described as an argument. It's impossible to have an argument with him in the sense that you and I could have an argument. He raves, he screams, he goes into such hysterics that it's like trying to make sense with a panic stricken woman.
Frau Lucie Marie Rommel: [to Strolin] He called him a coward!
Dr. Karl Strolin: [to Rommel] Did he really use that word to you?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Not once, but several times. In Russia, he said, officers like me have been put against the wall and shot, and almost I think it couldn't happen to me.
Frau Lucie Marie Rommel: And that was his thanks! That was his gratitude for all that Erwin has done for him.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: On the other hand, you mustn't hold people too accountable for everything they say when they're emotionally upset. The war is not going well, and he's naturally worried. But I'm afraid it'll be a long time before I forget what he did to the Afrika Korps.
Dr. Karl Strolin: What was that?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: When the end was near, and I asked him to get them out, he said he had no further interest or concern in the Afrika Korps.
Frau Lucie Marie Rommel: And that was THEIR thanks!


Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
Field Marshal Rommel: We shall take that big fat cigar out of Mr. Churchill's mouth and make him say Heil.

Field Marshal Rommel: [to Mouche, as she serves him coffee in bed] Your hands are neat - why isn't the spoon?

Field Marshal Rommel: [to the officers seated at the breakfast table] Rice pudding in Egypt - you never know if it's raisins - or flies!

Field Marshal Rommel: [to the British officer-prisoners] I gave you 20 questions, gentlemen. That is question 21.

Field Marshal Rommel: [to Mouche] I don't like women in the morning. Go away!


Patton (1970)
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: What is this activity near Coulances?
General Alfred Jodl: Enemy armored forces driving through our defenses at Lessay.
[reading telegram]
General Alfred Jodl: "American tanks moving rapidly, slicing through to the rear areas."
Capt. Oskar Steiger: This sounds like Patton, Field Marshall.
General Alfred Jodl: Patton is in England.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: Do we know this?
General Alfred Jodl: The landing in Normandy is merely a diversionary maneuver. The real invasion will come at Calais and Patton will lead it. The Fuehrer says that the Fifteenth Army is not to be moved to Normandy.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: Those men are sitting on the beach at Calais throwing rocks at each other while our men are being slaughtered in Normandy.
General Alfred Jodl: [firmly] The Fifteenth Army is waiting for Patton at Calais and he will land there.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: You seem perfectly willing to accept this nonsense, Jodl. Why?
General Alfred Jodl: [chuckles] Because I am not prepared to dispute the Fuehrer.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: You can afford to be an optimist. I can't.

Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl: In 15 minutes, we meet with the Fuhrer. He will want to know how you intend to deal with Patton's forces.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: I will attack and annihilate him...!
[long pause]
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: ...before he does the same to me.

German officer: [on the Battle of Kasserine Pass] The Americans were under the command of British General Anderson.
[smiles broadly]
German officer: American soldiers and British generals - the worst of both worlds!
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: [curtly] May I remind you that *Montgomery* is British?


The Desert Rats (1953)
Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel: Now, MacRoberts, l respect your pride in this little rat hole you call Tobruk, but don't insult my intelligence by telling me that if it stood in my way, l couldn't crush it like that!
Capt. 'Tammy' MacRoberts: lf you can crush Tobruk, crush it. But don't tell me it isn't a constant threat to your supply line, that it isn't an open sore in your side, or that you can take Egypt without first smashing it.


The Longest Day (1962)
[to his generals, observing the English Channel]
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: Just look at it, gentlemen. How calm... how peaceful it is. A strip of water between England and the continent... between the Allies and us. But beyond that peaceful horizon... a monster waits. A coiled spring of men, ships, and planes... straining to be released against us. But, gentlemen, not a single Allied soldier shall reach the shore. Whenever and wherever this invasion may come, gentlemen... I shall destroy the enemy there, at the water's edge. Believe me, gentlemen, the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive. For the Allies as well as the Germans, it will be the longest day... The longest day.


The Night of the Generals (1967)
Field Marshal Rommel: I am a traitor - a traitor to a madman.