We’ll have none of that in this army

“In an order to Rommel dated 13 June 1942, Hitler referred to ‘numerous German political refugees with Free French forces’ who should be ‘immediately wiped out in battle’. Where they escaped being killed in battle they were to be shot out of hand ‘unless they have to be temporarily retained for the extraction of information’. Hitler forbade this order being passed on in writing, enabling Rommel to make an ambiguous response. ‘We know what to do with this, gentlemen,’ he reportedly told his staff, crumpling the message form on which the order arrived. Quite apart from ethical considerations, to shoot prisoners would have gone against Rommel’s practice of encouraging the enemy to surrender by cultivating a reputation for magnanimity.” – John Bierman and Colin Smith, The Battle of Alamein

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