16
   

Looking for rommel quotes

 
 
Craftsman86
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 06:34 pm
That is the full quote genius.
0 Replies
 
Craftsman86
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 06:45 pm
The Axis leader in North Africa, Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel, described the 9th Division at Tobruk as: "immensely big and powerful men, who without question represented an elite formation of the British Empire, a fact that was also evident in battle."
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 07:28 pm
Got sources for those putative quotes, Craftsman?

I suspect that this is one of those threads which will get resurrected any time someone with an interest in perpetuating this legend shows up.
farmerman
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 12:44 am
@Setanta,
Heres one I recall. It was a text to his wife

"Lucie , passen Sie up, I want you should go on Google and look up "Tank", the Fuerher's got me taking over something called a Panzer divison and I gotta find out what a "tank" can do"

I sewar this is no ****.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 07:54 am
I believe ya, Bubala . . . i can see why they would have kept that out of The Rommel Papers . . .
0 Replies
 
proud aussie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 11:25 am
Interesting reading. More amazing is that a simliar quote was retold to me as a kid by my parents. At any rate, I happened on this blog for the reason of researching the quote. My grandfather and his brother were in Nth Afrika and they would turn in their graves today if some idiot said the Australian army was not in Europe. Regardless of numbers, the Aussie digger in past battles has overcome numerous odds and fought fearce battles, earning them the respect from their enemies such as the Boers, the Turks, the Germans, the Nth Vietnamese and (from secure resourcees) the Taliban.
I read also within the blog trail that achieved information of WW2 was also being provided by some American historians. I'm sure the Amercian's were not any where near Nth Afrika in 1941!
joefromchicago
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 09:00 am
@proud aussie,
What is it about this Rommel quotation that such a major portion of the Australian psyche is wrapped up in confirming its authenticity? It was Rommel, fer chrissake! All things considered, he was a pretty despicable guy. Is Australia so hard up for validation that it will take it from anyone?

proud aussie wrote:
My grandfather and his brother were in Nth Afrika and they would turn in their graves today if some idiot said the Australian army was not in Europe.

There was no Australian army in Europe (or in North Africa) during World War II because there was no Australian army period. But don't feel too bad: the Canadians provided even more troops and they didn't have an army either.

proud aussie wrote:
I read also within the blog trail that achieved information of WW2 was also being provided by some American historians. I'm sure the Amercian's were not any where near Nth Afrika in 1941!

I'm sure you weren't there either, but that doesn't seem to stop you from putting your A$0.02 in.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 08:43 am
@joefromchicago,
When asked who were the best soldiers in the desert by a nazi lacky who expected him to say, the 21 Panzer or some such, Rommel replied the Australians were the best fighters. he added that the New Zealand Maori soldiers were probably the finest in the world but thank god there wasnt many of them. When the shocked lacky said so you would have an army of Australians, Rommel replied no, you could only have a division as it would take the rest of the army to keep them under control. He was aware that the 9th division was all volunteers, big men who were brawlers and thugs at home and liked to use the bayonet, which to the average german was a very frightening situation to be in. They were very unruly, the sort of men you put in prison in peacetime. Most of the 9th not only survived North Africa but also the war.

The only australian military to fight on the mainland of europe in WWII were in the retreat from Greece and Crete. The australians were recalled from North Africa to fight at Finschafen in PNG under the control of Australian commanders. Some volunteers remained to fight in the British air force, most of whom had been there since the outbreak. It was the New Zealanders who remained behind to fight up Italy.

After the first voluteers were sent overseas, the draft was introduced in Australia to the point where a million men were in uniform. The work force was so depleted a division had to be disbanded to add to the civilian workers.

By pure accident, the Australians were then when the Germans were stopped at Tobruk and again when the Japanese were stopped at the Kokoda trail, the first major defeats for both axis powers.
joefromchicago
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 09:55 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

When asked who were the best soldiers in the desert by a nazi lacky who expected him to say, the 21 Panzer or some such, Rommel replied the Australians were the best fighters. he added that the New Zealand Maori soldiers were probably the finest in the world but thank god there wasnt many of them. When the shocked lacky said so you would have an army of Australians, Rommel replied no, you could only have a division as it would take the rest of the army to keep them under control.

And your source for this?
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 10:48 am
@Setanta,
Allow me to quote myself:

Setanta wrote:
I suspect that this is one of those threads which will get resurrected any time someone with an interest in perpetuating this legend shows up.


As i have said, there is nothing in The Rommel Papers to substantiate this story. As both Joe and i have repeatedly requested, does anyone have source for this? Because otherwise, no one making the claim should expect to be believed.
Setanta
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 10:54 am
@proud aussie,
proud aussie wrote:
I read also within the blog trail that achieved information of WW2 was also being provided by some American historians. I'm sure the Amercian's were not any where near Nth Afrika in 1941!


Being an American historian does not make someone either more or less reliable than anyone else. Given that the United States did not enter the war until the end of the first week of December, 1941, it hardly takes a rocket scientist to figure out that they weren't in North Africa in 1941. They landed in North Africa in November, 1942. The Germans attacked their section of the line in the Spring of 1943, because they were the new kids on the block, and they expected to be able to quickly deal with them. Largely, this was true, however, if you read Rommel's papers, you'll find that he was impressed with how company and field grade officers in the United States Army dealt with the debacle which they suffered, and he was also constantly frustrated by a lack of initiative on the part of his company and field grade officers, whose failure to relentlessly pursue the Americans allowed them to escape time and again, and set up new defensive lines.

It takes time for armies to get used to the business of war in whatever wars they ares suddenly thrust into. To suggest that American historians are going to ignore the accomplishments of Australian troops, just because they are Australians is pretty damned lame.
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 11:57 am
Australian historian Mark Johnston quoted Rommel praising the "tenacity" of Australian soldiers in the following books: That Magnificent 9th: An illustrated history of the 9th Australian Division and Fighting the Enemy: Australian Soldiers and their Adversaries in World War II.

He specifically quoted Rommel saying the following about Australian soldiers: "The enemy fought with remarkable tenacity. Even their wounded went on defending themselves with small arms fire and stayed in the fight to their last breath."
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2009 06:53 am
@Setanta,
As an aussie I have to take the opportunity to disasociate myself from the comments of a 'proud aussie'. I have met many american servicemen in my 24 years in the army and they do your country proud almost without exception. People who know little still have an opinion though, and there is no selection procedure for posting here except to have an opinion.

If we wished to look at the remarkable efforts of all servicemen during WWII then we would have to single out some. The american armoured corps would surely rate as better than the more famous panzer corps. Anyone can be brave in superior german tanks, but the US armoured corp maintained its will to fight hard despite being inadequately matched in tanks and suffering greater losses. Everyone knows about blitzkrieg but how many will credit the the Allied forces with taking back France in less time than it took the Germans to take it in the first place?

The US marines were widely regarded as good soldiers by the australians, but not so the US infantry divisions sent to the pacific. Yet one of these US infantry divisions recovered from a lack of training and their first time in combat to defend guadal canal.

A good soldier is born from more than geography, but the first essential to fight a war is national pride. Then you need group identity in your fighting men. Some of this spills over, even many years after, into trading insults on the internet.
0 Replies
 
butters
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 05:31 am
@joefromchicago,
There is a book that was mentioned a couple of posts ago called "Fighting the enemy: Australian soldiers and their adversaries in World War II" by Mark Johnston. It has a pretty large section on how Australians and Germans thought of each other in the North Africa campaign. It doesn't have the original quote by Rommel, as requested by the original poster, but it has a few other Rommel quotes RE: AIF soldiers.

Here is a link to a Google books copy, it is missing quite a few pages, but the German section seems to mostly be there. It has a lot of in text footnotes, but the bibliography doesn't seem to be viewable in the preview.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=zOgMy7rBFCoC&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq=rommel+australian+soldiers&source=web&ots=V0FE71p3yd&sig=ljx619NyrIYETfiyLyLmBZInFGw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#v=onepage&q=rommel%20australian%20soldiers&f=false

As for all this talk about quotes of American progress by Rommel, I don't believe that is relevant to what the original poster was talking about?
0 Replies
 
butters
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 05:45 am
Another great book, more about the African campaign as a whole is "Alamein - - War Without Hate" by John Bierman and Colin Smith. It has a few more quotes about the 9th Division, and maybe the Rommel quote. Apparently the 9th was considered by Allied commander Montgomery as his "secret weapon" and pinned his hopes of victory in the 2nd Battle of El Alamein on them. I believe he said "We could not have won the battle (El Alamein) in twelve days without the magnificent 9th Australian Division." (Denny Neave, Denny Neave and Craig Smith. Aussie soldier prisoners of war. Big Sky Publishing. p. 276.)
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 07:22 am
@butters,
thanks for the interesting posts
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 08:28 am
@butters,
Thanks, butters, for injecting a little sanity into this discussion.
0 Replies
 
45South
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 04:20 pm
Aki aki kia kaha
He admired the Australians' individual fighting spirit but considered a Division would be hard to manage. He said the New Zealanders' were the best soldiers on the allied side. No distinction between Maori or Pakeha is mentioned but he was known to be 'colour-conscious' " not unlike most people of his time.
Source: The biography mentioned above (Ernest Rommel)
The author mentions Frau Rommel's first question was as to the welfare of a particular New Zealand soldier who her husband had mentioned in correspondence. I no longer possess the book (a light-fingered friend acquired it)
An interesting story is of a platoon of Italian soldiers ordered to attack across open ground. Once they had got beyond their own sides' range of fire they dropped their weapons and ran towards the allied lines with their arms raised in surrender. However realising that the allied line was made up of Australians, they turned and ran back to their own lines, the observing Germans laughing at the spectacle.
45South
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 05:02 pm
@45South,
Another anec'quote': A captured soldier was brought before Rommel. They spoke for some time about the situation and respective behavior of the combatants " it was the 'gentlemans' war after all. The POW escaped some minutes later and managed some hundred miles or more on foot with only a can of water. Rommel met with him upon recapture, observing that it was an impressive feat but that he could have managed better. The cheeky soldier suggested that Rommel was perhaps a little too portly to manage such an effort. 1st point to the soldier. Rommel replied that he would have taken a car. 2nd point to Rommel. Said soldier retorted he had one lined up at the time but lacked the opportunity. Game point. Rommel concluded by threatening to shoot the POW himself if he tried to escape again. Match point.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
T.S. Eliot 'The Waste Land' IV

Anzac remembered <Poppy>
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 05:13 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
There is one readily available source for Rommel, although i don't recall it having any such statement. The Rommel Papers, which were edited by B. H. Liddell Hart and Frau Rommel and her son, Manfred, is a very revealing document about the Field Marshall, and show that he was very perceptive about the probable course of the war once the Allies landed in France. Otherwise, it would likely be necessary to do some serious digging to come up with correspondence in which he is quoted making such a remark. Joe is correct that there were few Australians in Europe. However, i do believe that upwards of five or six divisions served in North Africa, and some of those later served in Sicily and Italy. But when Perceval surrendered Singapore to the Japanese (stupid, stupid, stupid!), he surrendered the last Australian divisions then available. Of those "diggers" who survived the Tobruk debacle, most were sent back to Australia, and eventually served with McArthur in the southwest Pacific theater. At the time of the fall of Corrigedor, when McArthur went to Australia, they had no army at all at home, and very likely, the most of their army at that time were POW's in the hands of the Germans or the Japanese.
Please note that his name was MacArthur.





David
 

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