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Joining the army

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel was born on November 15, 1891 in Hedenheim, near Ulm, Württemberg. His father was a school teacher and was considered a successful doctor, and his mother was the daughter of the former president of the Württemberg government. Erwin Rommel and his brothers Karl and Gerhard, and sister Helene, grew up in a modest bourgeois house. 


Soon the whole family moved to Aalen, where little Erwin studied at a Latin school from 1900 to 1908. At school, Erwin was a sickly, brooding child, but as a teenager he became stronger in character and showed aptitude for mathematics. Young Rommel, after successfully completing his gymnasium course, planned to become an engineer and even at the age of 14 made a glider and tested it in flight. The flight was not too distant, but it was a huge achievement for the young man, especially considering that it happened in 1906, and there were still 3 years left before the Wright brothers' first flight. Then from 1908 to 1910 Rommel studied at the Shwabish Gmund High School.

Wehrmacht soldaten office


In July 1910, at the insistence of his father, he entered the army, which, later, will devote his entire life. On July 19, 1910, Erwin joined the army and became a Gefreiter. It was in the army that Rommel emerged as a person.

Rommel was sent to the local infantry unit, 124th (6th Württemberg) Infantry Regiment as a cadet officer. After 3 months of service, Erwin received the rank of Unteroffizier, and after 6 more he became a Feldwebel. In March 1911, he entered the officer's military school in Danzig (today Gdansk). After leaving school, in January 1912, Rommel returned to his unit. On January 12, 1912, he was awarded the first officer rank - Lieutenant. At that time, there were simple and eternal values ​​in the army - loyalty to the Kaiser and the country. Already at an early stage of his career, Rommel stood out among his peers: he did not drink alcohol, did not smoke, was passionate about his profession. Fighting comrades nicknamed him "the cheerful Lieutenant from Weingarten." He enjoyed the authority of the soldiers and was in good standing with the command. Young Rommel was not only an excellent soldier with a clever head, but also an excellent athlete - hardened, strong, agile, enduring.

Young Erwin Rommel and the fox


Young Erwin had a great love of snowy mountains and skiing. As a cadet, he spent a lot of time in the mountains and remembered these times until the end of his life. Love for snowy mountains helped him a lot during the First World War, as in the Alpine mountains he felt like a fish in water.

While studying at the officers' school, in 1911 in Danzig, he met his future wife of Polish roots, Lucy Maria Mollin. They were officially married on November 27, 1916. Their only child, son Manfred, was born on Christmas Eve 1928. But before his marriage to Lucy, Erwin had an affair with another girl. In 1913, Rommel and his girlfriend Walburga had a daughter, Gertrude. Despite the fact that Lieutenant Rommel was pleased with Walburga and wished to leave the army to marry her, his persistent family convinced him to abandon her and marry Lucy. After all the family disagreements, it was already 1914 and the First World War was approaching. Leaving the army was more than shameful, so Rommel remained in the ranks. Despite the fact that Erwin was married, Walburga remained faithful to him, but when he and Lucy had a son, Manfred, she committed suicide in the same year 1928.

Erwin Rommel and wife Lucy


Rommel's personal life surprised his comrades. He did an in-depth study of his profession and spent his nights reading military literature. From 1912 until the outbreak of the war, and then from 1918 until the end of World War I, Rommel served as a regimental officer and was in charge of recruiting recruits at the Weingaarten. In 1914 the war broke out and Rommel's professionalism, as well as the entire German army, were put to the test on the battlefield.

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