Generally Speaking: The Memoirs of Major-General Richard Rohmer

Generally Speaking: The Memoirs of Major-General Richard Rohmer

Generally Speaking: The Memoirs of Major-General Richard Rohmer

Generally Speaking: The Memoirs of Major-General Richard Rohmer


Lieutenant-General Richard Rohmer is arguably Canada's most decorated citizen. A commander of the Order of Military Merit and an Officer of the Order of Canada, his career began in World War II where he earned the reputation as one of Canada's top Mustang reconnaissance pilots. For his service, which includes flying over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. A lawyer, litigator, journalist and best-selling author of 28 fiction and non-fiction books, Rohmer has met with such public figure as Queen Elizabeth, General George Patton, "Intrepid" Sir William Stephenson, Presidents Eisenhower, Regan, and Clinton, and has flown with John F. Kennedy. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Hollinger Inc. Recently, he chaired the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Advisory Committee to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. His autobiography, Generally Speaking: The Memoirs of Richard Rohmer, is written with Rohmer's characteristic frankness and insight.


Looking back over a reasonably long life I have decided that the one event I took part in that had the most impact and significance occurred in the late afternoon of July 17, 1944.

The place was Normandy. the event occurred during the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from D-Day on June 6, 1944, through to August 20, when the German 7th Army was defeated and the Falaise Gap was finally closed.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, arguably the most capable of all the German generals who faced the Allied forces in northwest Europe, was the commander of the German 7th Army and all of the forces facing the Allies (the Canadian, British, American, Polish, French, and others who had successfully assaulted the German forces in Normandy, breaching Hitler’s Atlantic wall on D-Day).

By July 17, the Canadians and the British were pressing against Caen and were moving toward Falaise to the west of that city. the battle was tough and slow.

On that day, Field Marshal Rommel had left his headquarters on the northern bank of the Seine River at La Roche Guyon, west of Paris. His plan was to visit his Panzer Corps commander in Normandy, General Sepp Dietrich, a long-time crony of Hitler. Dietrich’s headquarters were located in the village of St. Pierre sur Dives southeast of Caen. It was a long drive to Normandy, one that Rommel had taken many times with his driver, Corporal Daniel. It was Rommel’s practice to sit in the passenger seat and do the map reading. the automobile was a huge Horch with a canvas top that on this day was down so that Rommel and Daniel and the three officers in the back seat, Rommel’s aides, could keep a . . .

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