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In English there is an expression: to "take someone down with you." For example if a gangster is fleeing from the police and is expecting a shootout, he might say,

I'm taking two of them down with me.

In other words if he dies he expects to kill two of his opponents first. Is there a concise colloquial way to translate this into German?

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  • To clarify a bit, this "take you down" is very different from in the "Let me take you down" in the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever". It's partly a trope and partly an idiom; see this TV Tropes entry for a more detailed explanation. The said gangster might say it before some kind of last stand or suicidal attack. It might also be used in less violent circumstances: "If you get me fired then I've got enough on you to take you down with me."
    – RDBury
    Jul 15, 2023 at 5:21

2 Answers 2

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I am not sure if this idiom is used everywhere, but at least in Austria and (as per @planetmaker's comment) Northern Germany "mitnehmen" is used that way:

Sie kriegen mich, aber zwei nehme ich mit.
They (will) get me but I (will) take two down with me.

"mitnehmen" (to take with so.) implies "to death" or "to the grave" or whereever the situation is going here. This would also extend to less violent situations like the one mentioned in the comment by @RDBury:

Wenn Du mich feuern läßt, dann habe ich genug (Material über dich) um dich mitzunehmen.

Although, such threats are usually delivered differently in my experience (with no difference in meaning):

Du kannst mich feuern lassen, aber dich nehme ich mit.

or

Lass' mich feuern und ich nehme dich mit.

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    Hier im Norden Deutschlands kenne und nutze ich 'mitnehmen' auch in dieser Bedeutung Jul 15, 2023 at 10:47
  • @planetmaker: thanks, I edited it in.
    – bakunin
    Jul 15, 2023 at 11:22
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A related option, usually for non-lethal cases, is »mitreißen«.

Wenn ich [ins Unglück] stürze, reiße ich jeden mit, den ich kriegen kann.
(When I fall [into misfortune], I take whoever I can with me.)

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