The World at War


Rommel, Erwin

Rommel Erwin Rommel is renowned for his victories over the British and Commonwealth Armies in the North African Deserts during World War II. Born in Heidenheim in 1891, he joined the German army in 1910. After winning the Pour le Merite for bravery in World War I, he taught in military academies and wrote Infantry Attacks, an excellent book still in print. In August, 1939 he was promoted Major General and commanded Hitlerís bodyguard. In the German push to the English Channel in 1940 Rommel headed the victorious 7th Tank Division. He was made a lieutenant general the following year and placed in command of the Afrika Korps in North Africa. He achieved a brilliant record as a tactician in desert warfare, driving the British from Libya to Al ĎAlamayn (El ĎAlamein) by June 1942; his victories earned him promotion to field marshal as well as the nickname the Desert Fox. Subsequent reverses forced him back to Tunis, and he returned home in March 1943 before the final surrender of the Afrika Korps. In 1944 he commanded the German armies charged with the defense of northern France. Accused of complicity in the attempt on Hitler's life in July 1944, he chose to take poison rather than stand trial.

Erwin Rommel merits to huge acclaim accorded to him. He conducted the profession of arms in the best tradition of the gentleman, treated his prisoners with respect, and never squandered his soldiers lives. His desire to save his country lead him into the Stauffenberg Plot to overthrow Hitler for which he paid with his life.

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