Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944), popularly known as the Desert Fox (Wüstenfuchs), was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought. He was a highly decorated officer in World War I, and was awarded the Pour le Mérite for his exploits on the Italian front. In World War II, he further distinguished himself as the commander of the 7th Panzer Division during the 1940 invasion of France. However, it was his leadership of German and Italian forces in the North African campaign that established the legend of the Desert Fox. He is considered to have been one of the most skilled commanders of desert warfare in the conflict.He later commanded the German forces opposing the Allied cross-channel invasion in Normandy. As one of the few generals who consistently fought the Western Allies (he was never assigned to the Eastern Front), Rommel is regarded as having been a humane and professional officer. His Afrikakorps was never accused of war crimes. Soldiers captured during his Africa campaign were reported to have been treated humanely. Furthermore, he ignored orders to kill captured commandos, Jewish soldiers and civilians in all theaters of his command. Late in the war, Rommel was linked to the conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler. Because Rommel was widely renowned, Hitler chose to eliminate him quietly; in trade for assurances his family would be spared, Rommel agreed to commit suicide.

Flag of a Field Marshal as Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces 1941-1945.
Flag of a Field Marshal as Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces 1941-1945.

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4 thoughts on “Field Marshall Erwin Rommel”

  1. It’s also good to mention his disdain for the Italian troops and how his operations in Afrika were certainly in vain, nothing but a suicide mission to please Mussolini. Many soldiers regarded him as an incompetent lucky commander and his risks and success were that of luck not skill. His health was poor and it was only his knowledge of the assassination coup that would lead to his death. He had a big mouth however in the early years he was a believer in Hitler. Never a Nazi but a man of goals and a need for recognition which in turn led to his risky military decisions. He was a beaten down, depressed man when he was assigned to the Atlantic wall defenses. He had a realistic approach to the defenses and his demands were the only way the Germans could defend an invasion. But he was an afterthought, and Hitler only listened to his henchmen. If Rommel was given the material and authority over the reserve panzer divisions the allies may never have made it ashore.

    He had no interest in politics and refused to be a part of operation Valkyrie. Its unfortunate the planners ever mentioned it to him.

    1. I do not know where you get these facts that you are trying to state? To be honest, we do not agree with you so also ‘good to mention’ would never be added to this section.

      Rommel was a brilliant tactician that had limited amounts of armor and supplies due to the location and the Italian situation. He took major risks with an eye based on strategy. But we can break down your opinion.

      Afrika was not a suicide mission. One can state this with knowing what had happened based on the under supplying of arms and men to Africa plus the invasion by the Americans in northwest Africa. If Hitler took the African campaign more seriously by diverting some forces from preparations for Russia then we might have seen Rommel at the Suez. Rommel was given 2 whole divisions. This is why it was called the Afrika Korps. Korps is only part of one Army. 2 divisions is rather weak considering one was light division which became the 21st Panzer and the other was the 15th Panzer. He of course had numerous Italian divisions, but technically he was under Italian control himself even though he only listened to Berlin. The Italians being well-trained, but lacked competent commanders and equipment was fact for WW2 Italy.

      It should be noted though, that throughout the desert war Rommel was acting from a position of relative weakness. His forces were outnumbered 2 to 1 during the campaign before the Americans arrived. To succeed he had to accept risks that commanders like Montgomery were never forced to take General Fritz Bayerlein, Rommel’s chief of staff through much of the campaign, noted that risks taken were made only after carefully weighing the potential dangers and rewards.

      I did a state he was under supplied in men and armor once they were depleted. The Italians also ran the supply logistics in which they were very good at, but they supplies their units first then Rommels units which at times lacked even water.

      “Many soldiers regarded him as incompetent?” I would assume you are speaking of mainly General Hoth plus a few other jealous commanders during the Battle of France. He had many jealous enemies in the armed forces with his stellar rise and popularity. Hoth’s opinion was absolutely proved wrong with his success in Africa.

      I would assume we are also not speaking about his men. His men and NCO’S loved his ability to speak with them, and he was very astute about the morale. His staff officers at times hard a hard time with since he was demanding and removed sub-standard officers. The Italians never got along with him due to his issues with them holding supplies back from German units.

      His health was never poor. He did leave Africa due to poor health and returned. He was wounded in both World Wars so poor health does not figure into that.

      He also had more than knowledge of the plot. In February 1944, he agreed to support the plot to “come to the rescue of Germany.”

      Believer in Hitler? Most people were in the early stages. He was actually in command of the 500 man protection squad for Hitler by the Heer during the invasion Czechoslavkia and of Poland. Yes there was Hitler’s SS protectors then there was also the Heer. This is how his name came up because his unit was more competent than Hitler’s SS protectors. Hitler enjoyed his command of the unit so he gained admiration by Hitler.

      I would like to know where the depressed, beaten down man came from? Multiple sources we read never stated this. He actually inspired vigor and was able to get the well behind schedule defense building back on track. He had made the decision that a defense on the beaches would be the best strategy due to Allied airpower.

      The reserve Panzer divisions is something many historians have wrong. Allied air power would have battered those divisions down if used to close the coast. Most of the German forces were at Pas de Calais being the shortest route for an invasion. Command In Chief Gerd von Runstedt of France and Western Theatre decided that this would be the place. German intelligence mostly suggested this also which convinced Hitler. The slow response by not believing an invasion was and not releasing the Pas de Calais forces is what gave the Allies there beach head. Also not having all the forces of the Waffen SS, Luftwaffe, Kreigmarine under the Army command slowed the response. 14 of the 62 divisions and 7 of the 25 first grade formations in the West were not under Army command.

      We do ask you to cite your sources then we could look into it. Otherwise we do have most of this is based on opinion since many of it is not correct.

      We are only here to tell the facts.

  2. I apologize and I think I only misunderstood the purpose of your comment section. This was absolutely based on my readings and opinions based on my readings. I will cite and keep opinions out. I was having a few drinks that night and on my droid pad cruising your new site and I got carried away. I will stick to the facts.

  3. No your fine on the comment. Just next time say it is your opinion. Others will get confused if these are really the facts.

    You do not have to cite your comments either. We were wondering where the opinions came from is all so we could read them too.

    And most of all. Enjoy your few drinks. 😉

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History