History of Erwin Rommel

Erwin Rommel, also known as the “Desert Fox,” was a German general during World War II. He is best known for his clever tactics and his ability to outmaneuver his opponents in the North African campaign.

Rommel was born in 1891 in Heidenheim, Germany. His father was a teacher and later a headmaster, and his mother was a homemaker. Rommel was an average student in school, but he excelled in sports and was a member of the school’s cadet corps.

After completing high school, Rommel attended the Royal Military Academy in Danzig. He graduated in 1910 and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the German army. He initially served in a cavalry unit, but later transferred to the infantry.

Rommel married his wife, Lucie Mollin, in 1916. They had one son, Manfred, who was born in 1928. Rommel was a devoted husband and father, and he often wrote letters to his wife and son while he was on campaign.

Rommel first gained fame for his tactics during World War I. He served on the Western Front and was known for his aggressive and unorthodox style of warfare. He was awarded the Pour le Merite, Germany’s highest military honor, for his actions during the war.

After the war, Rommel wrote a book about his experiences on the Western Front, entitled “Infantry Attacks.” The book was widely read and helped to establish Rommel as a military expert. He also served as a teacher at the military academy in Dresden, where he trained a new generation of German officers.

In 1940, Rommel was placed in command of the 7th Panzer Division and was sent to France to take part in the invasion of the country. His division played a key role in the campaign, and Rommel’s tactics were instrumental in the rapid German victory.

In 1941, Rommel was given command of the Afrika Korps and was sent to North Africa to fight against British forces. He quickly gained a reputation for his daring and innovative tactics, and he was able to outmaneuver the British and advance deep into Egypt. However, his success was ultimately limited by a lack of resources and reinforcements, and he was forced to retreat.

Despite his setbacks, Rommel remained a popular figure in Germany and was highly regarded by both the public and the military. However, his career came to an abrupt end in 1944, when he was implicated in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Rommel was offered the choice of a public trial and execution or a quiet suicide, and he chose the latter.

After his death, Rommel’s reputation as a military strategist was cemented. He was celebrated as a hero in Germany, and his tactics continue to be studied and admired by military leaders around the world. His legacy as one of the greatest military minds in history is undeniable.

Despite his contributions to military history, Rommel’s legacy is not without controversy. He was a loyal member of the Nazi Party and served as a commander in Hitler’s army. His tactics may have been brilliant, but they were also ruthless and often resulted in the deaths of countless civilians and enemy soldiers.

Additionally, Rommel was known for his use of forced labor and concentration camps in North Africa. He was responsible for the construction of several camps, where Jewish and African prisoners were forced to work under brutal conditions. These actions tarnish his reputation as a military leader and cast a shadow over his legacy.

Despite these criticisms, Rommel remains a figure of fascination and admiration for many. His tactics and strategies continue to be studied and analyzed by military scholars, and his legacy as a master of maneuver warfare endures. Whether one considers him a hero or a villain, there is no denying that Rommel was a key figure in the history of World War II and a towering figure in the field of military arts.