Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Rommel, Erwin

(313 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Rommel, Erwin (November 15, 1891, Heidenheim an der Brenz – October 14, 1944, Herrlingen [now Blaustein]; compelled suicide), German officer (after 1942, field marshal). The son of a gymnasium teacher, Rommel was commissioned a lieutenant and joined the 6th Württemberg Infantry Regiment. In 1914–1915 Rommel was decorated several times for personal valor. For his bravery in the storming of Monte Matajur on the Isonzo Front in 1917, Rommel received the highest German decoration for bravery, the order Pour la Mérite, and was promoted to captain. Accepted into the Reichswehr (regular ar…

Troop Strength

(1,120 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Troop Strength The initial numbers of soldiers mobilized for immediate wartime service. The peacetime strength of the individual armies before 1914 provided the foundation for troop strength in the war. A cadre of commanders for reserve units and an attachment of reservists for these troop units were included in their mobilization plans. This would make it possible to raise units to wartime strength once the mobilization was begun. The troop strengths planned in the event of war, and the troop str…

Infantry Weaponry/Weapons

(3,025 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Infantry Weaponry/Weapons Weapons technology during the First World War was geared mainly to the ground war, drawn from traditional types of infantry and artillery weapons. At the beginning of the war, cavalry was still relatively important, though they no longer had a decisive function in battle. For equipment early in the war, troops relied upon firearms such as rifles, carbines, machine guns and pistols; cutting and thrusting blades including bayonets, sabers, and lances; and explosive devices …