22.06.

1942: Erwin Rommel Becomes the Youngest Field Marshal in the German Army

1942: Erwin Rommel Becomes the Youngest Field Marshal in the German Army
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 22 June 1942
  • Interestingly, German field marshals received special batons that marked their position. These were the so-called Marshall’s batons (Marschallstab), about 48-49 cm long. They are decorated with gold and velvet, and bear German Iron Crosses and eagles.

On this day in 1942, German General Erwin Rommel was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal, as an reward for successfully capturing the town of Tobruk in what is today Libya.

Specifically, Rommel was the commander of the German Africa Corps (Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK), which has grown into an entire Panzer Army (Panzerarmee Africa), since the previous year (1941).

 Receiving this new rank, Rommel became the youngest field marshal in the German Army. Namely, he was 50 years old at the time.

The oldest field marshal at that time was Gerd von Rundstedt, aged 66. While in power, Hitler appointed 26 German field marshals, which is exactly the same number as the number of marshals that Napoleon Bonaparte had.

Interestingly, German field marshals received special batons that marked their position. These were the so-called Marshall’s batons (Marschallstab), about 48-49 cm long. They are decorated with gold and velvet, and bear German Iron Crosses and eagles.

A baton which used to belong to Marshall Kesselring was recently auctioned and reached a price of $731,600.

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