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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Erwin Rommel: Selected full-text books and articles

Rommel's Greatest Victory: The Desert Fox and the Fall of Tobruk, Spring 1942
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.
Presidio Press, 1998
The War against Rommel's Supply Lines, 1942-1943
Alan J. Levine.
Praeger Publishers, 1999
The Desert Generals
Correlli Barnett.
Viking Press, 1961
World Military Leaders: A Collective and Comparative Analysis
Mostafa Rejai; Kay Phillips.
Praeger Publishers, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Erwin Rommel, 1891-1944" begins on pg. 95
The Other Desert War: British Special Forces in North Africa, 1940-1943
John W. Gordon.
Greenwood Press, 1987
Command Decisions
Kent Roberts Greenfield.
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1960
Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook
Robert M. Citino.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Tanks and Armor in Modern Warfare
James Cary.
Franklin Watts, 1966
Desert Battle: Comparative Perspectives
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
Martin Kitchen.
Longman, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The War in the Mediterranean (March 1941-May 1943)"
Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942
Jack Greene; Alessandro Massignani.
Combined Books, 1999
The Desert Fox in Normandy: Rommel's Defense of Fortress Europe
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.
Praeger Publishers, 1997
Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception
William B. Breuer.
Praeger, 1993
Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West
George F. Howe.
Center of Military History, 1991
Meeting the Fox: The Allied Invasion of Africa, from Operation Torch to Kasserine Pass to Victory in Tunisia
Orr Kelly.
Wiley, 2002
Biographical Dictionary of World War II
Mark M. Boatner III.
Presidio Press, 1999
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