Erwin Rommel

Erwin Rommel (ĕr´vēn rôm´əl), 1891–1944, German field marshal. He entered the army in 1910 and rose slowly through the ranks. In 1939, Adolf Hitler made him a general. Rommel brilliantly commanded an armored division in the attack (1940) on France. In Feb., 1941, he took the specially trained tank corps, the Afrika Korps, into Libya. For his successes there he was made field marshal and earned the name "the desert fox." In 1942 he pressed almost to Alexandria, Egypt, but was stalled by fierce British resistance and lack of supplies. A British offensive overwhelmed (Oct.–Nov., 1942) the German forces at Alamein (see North Africa, campaigns in). Rommel was recalled to Germany before the Afrika Korps's final defeat. He was a commander in N France when the Allies invaded Normandy in June, 1944. Allied success led Rommel, who had lost his respect for Hitler, to agree to a plot to remove Hitler from office. Wounded in an air raid in July, he had just recovered when he was forced to take poison because of his part in the attempt on Hitler's life in July, 1944.

See his memoirs and correspondence of World War II, The Rommel Papers, ed. by B. H. Liddell Hart, 1953; biography by D. Young (1950, repr. 1969); studies by R. Lewin (1968, repr. 1972), C. Douglas-Hume (1973), and M. Kitchen (2009); P. Caddick-Adams, Monty and Rommel (2012).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Erwin Rommel: Selected full-text books and articles

The Desert Generals By Correlli Barnett Viking Press, 1961
World Military Leaders: A Collective and Comparative Analysis By Mostafa Rejai; Kay Phillips Praeger Publishers, 1996
Librarian's tip: "Erwin Rommel, 1891-1944" begins on pg. 95
Command Decisions By Kent Roberts Greenfield U. S. Government Printing Office, 1960
Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook By Robert M. Citino Greenwood Press, 1994
Tanks and Armor in Modern Warfare By James Cary Franklin Watts, 1966
Desert Battle: Comparative Perspectives By Bruce Allen Watson Praeger Publishers, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Erwin Rommel: Birth of a Desert Legend"
A World in Flames: A Short History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia, 1939-1945 By Martin Kitchen Longman, 1990
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "The War in the Mediterranean (March 1941-May 1943)"
Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West By George F. Howe Center of Military History, 1991
Biographical Dictionary of World War II By Mark M. Boatner III Presidio Press, 1999
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