Walter Model

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Otto Moritz Walter Model (January 24 1891April 21 1945) was a German general and later field marshal during World War II. He is noted for his defensive battles in the latter half of the war, mostly on the Eastern Front but also in the west, and for his close association with Adolf Hitler and Nazism. He has been called the Wehrmacht's best defensive tactician. In order to avoid surrender, he shot himself in the head in a wooded area on April 21, 1945. The location, between Duisburg and the village of Lintorf, is today part of the city of Ratingen.


  • If you need anything, take it from the Americans!
    • After a staff officer complained about shortages. Quoted in "Hitler's Generals" - Page 327 - by Correlli Barnett - History - 2003
  • Every minute that we lose will cost us great losses later that we will not be able to afford.
    • Quoted in "Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model" - Page 126 - by Steven H. Newton - Biography & Autobiography - 2005
  • We must push forward now, otherwise we risk everything. Hurry yourself with the technical aspects, a lot of time has already been lost.
    • Quoted in "Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model" - Page 126 - by Steven H. Newton - Biography & Autobiography - 2005
  • Well, then it is necessary to make the attempt, since the entire offensive has no more than a 10 per cent chance of success. It must be done, since this offensive is the last remaining chance to conclude the war favourably.
    • To Colonel Friedrich August von der Heydte, after being told that a parachute drop had no more than 10 percent chance of success. Quoted in "Hunters from the Sky: The German Parachute Corps, 1940-1945" - Page 165 - by Charles Whiting - 1974
  • I simply cannot do it. The Russians have branded me a war criminal and the Americans would be sure to turn me over to them — for hanging.
    • About surrendering. Quoted in "Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model" - Page 358 - by Steven H. Newton - Biography & Autobiography - 2005
  • Has everything been done to justify our actions in the light of history? What can there be left for a commander in defeat? In antiquity they took poison.
    • To his staffers before dissolving his command and committing suicide. Quoted in "Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model" - by Steven H. Newton - Biography & Autobiography - 2005
  • He who leads troops has no right to think about himself.
    • Quoted in "Hitler's Generals" - Page 323 - by Correlli Barnett - History - 2003


  • We have lost a battle, but I assure to you that we will not lose the war! I cannot say more at the present moment although I know the losses are crowded in your minds. That this happened does not hold importance. What counts is not to lose confidence in the future of Germany. At the same time everyone must understand the gravity of the situation. This moment will be enough to distinguish the true men from the inept ones. Every soldier has the same responsibilities: if the advancing one falls, another must be ready to take his place in order to go on.
    • September 1944, proclamation to his troops, after the disembarking in Normandy.

About Model

  • Did you see that eye? I trust that man to do it, but I wouldn't want to serve under him.
    • Adolf Hitler about Walter Model, after he had exited the room.
  • My best field marshal.
    • Adolf Hitler

External links

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