Erwin Rommel

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Rommel, Erwin

(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 AlameinAlamein, El
or Al Alamayn
, town, N Egypt, on the Mediterranean Sea. It was the site of a decisive British victory in World War II (see North Africa, campaigns in).
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 (see North Africa, campaigns inNorth Africa, campaigns in,
series of military contests for control of North Africa during World War II. The desert war started in 1940 and for more than two years thereafter seesawed between NE Libya and NW Egypt.
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). 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).

Rommel, Erwin


Born Nov. 15, 1891, in Heidenheim, Baden-Würtemberg; died Oct. 14, 1944, in Herlingen, near the city of Ulm. Fascist German field marshal (1942).

Rommel entered military service in 1910 and fought in World War I. He served in the Reichswehr in 1918, and later, the Wehrmacht. During the 1930’s he was a teacher and head of a military academy. In September 1939 he became military commandant of Hitler’s headquarters. In February 1940, Rommel was made commander of the 7th Panzer Division during the campaign in France. From February 1941 until March 1943 he commanded the German expeditionary forces in North Africa. From July to November 1943 he commanded Army Group V in northern Italy. In November 1943, Rommel functioned as military inspector for the headquarters of the High Command in Denmark. In November 1943 he became commander of Army Group B in France. On July 17 he left the post because of a serious injury. Rommel was associated with the right wing of the conspirators against Hitler, and after the conspiracy was uncovered, he committed suicide on Hitler’s order.

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The weeks following Desert Fox proved that the operation had a decisive impact.
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