Ernst Röhm, the son of a railway official, was born in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, on 28th November, 1887.
Röhm later complained that his father was domineering and harsh. In his memoirs he recalled that "from my childhood I had only one thought and wish - to be a soldier". (1)
Röhm joined the German Army in 1906 and two years later had reached the rank of lieutenant. He was described as "a fanatical, simple-minded swashbuckler" soldier and by the outbreak of the First World War he was a company commander. (2)
On 2nd June, 1916, Röhm was seriously wounded during an assault on Thiamont, part of the belt of fortifications at Verdun. He was "disfigured for life, his skin marked forever with the signs of his military vocation". (3)