Secrets of War TV - Winston Churchill - David William Fraser - Erwin Menny - Martin Bormann - Heinrich Eberbach - Nazi Underworld: Hitler’s Desert Fox TV - Hitler’s Generals TV - Erwin Rommel - Adolf Hitler - Guy Walters - Chronicle of the Third Reich TV -
In February 1941 Hitler’s favourite general, Erwin Rommel, landed in north Africa to take command of the Afrika Korps … the perfect battleground for his tanks. Secrets of War s1e10: Rommel’s Enigma, History 1998
Rommel had been ordered to Germany a sick man. 238,000 Axis forces became prisoners. World War II: The Complete History: The Beginning of the End, 2000
He was a splendid military gambler, dominating the problems of supply and scornful of opposition … His ardour and daring inflicted grievous disasters upon us, but he deserves the salute which I made him — and not without some reproaches from the public — in the House of Commons in January 1942, when I said of him, ‘We have a very daring and skilful opponent against us, and, may I say across the havoc of war, a great general.’ He also deserves our respect because, although a loyal German soldier, he came to hate Hitler and all his works, and took part in the conspiracy of 1944 to rescue Germany by displacing the maniac and tyrant. For this, he paid the forfeit of his life. In the sombre wars of modern democracy chivalry finds no place … Still, I do not regret or retract the tribute I paid to Rommel, unfashionable though it was judged. Winston Churchill, cited The Second World War volume III
Beyond dispute, Rommel was a master of manoeuvre on the battlefield and a leader of the purest quality. Wherever he appeared he inspired. His speed of perception and decision, his energy of execution and his boldness of concept placed him among the great; and his military exploits have left a footprint in history as clear as that of Prince Rupert, to whom Montgomery once, in a somewhat uncharacteristic flight of imagery, likened him. Certainly he erred badly at times. The first attack on Tobruk was hasty and ill-prepared, the ‘dash to the wire’ was prompted by a misreading of the situation, Alam Halfa offered only improbable chances of success (and was called off early), Medenine was a disaster. But the victories, generally with the dice loaded against him, display a very recognizable quality of command, a quintessential ‘Rommel’. David William Fraser, Knight’s Cross: A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, 1994 p560
But he was more than a tactical commander of bravery and genius. He was reflective. He evolved from his own experience and observations soldierly lessons which he committed to paper and from which all learned and continue to learn. Wherever he went, as has been remarked, he taught; and he teaches still. Rommel was not only a master practitioner; he deduced theory from practice and the military art benefited therefrom. ibid.
On a personal level, Rommel is a great guy. But there is no hint of a strategist. He isn’t even a tactician. He can’t lead at all. General Erwin Menny, 1944
Several of the accused that are still alive said that the Field Marshal had been in the picture about the attack. Rommel had said that he would be at the service of the new government after the successful attack. Martin Bormann 28th September 1944
Rommel said to me that the Fuhrer has to be killed, there is nothing for it ... that man has to go. General Heinrich Eberbach, September 1944
Rommel said to me out there at the front: ‘There is no option left to somehow sensibly make it through with Germany, other than killing the Fuhrer and his closest associates as soon as possible.’ General Heinrich Eberbach, September 1944
In September 1944: the British Intelligence Service listened in on the conversations of captured German generals ... Hitler’s favourite General, the legendary Desert Fox, had apparently turned against the Fuhrer he had so gallantly fought for. But just a month later it was the Great Field Marshal who was dead. Nazi Underworld s1e2: Hitler's Desert Fox, National Geographic 2013
Germans were told he had died from injuries sustained in a car crash; the real cause of his death was covered up. The great general was forced to poison himself. ibid.
It was in the Libyan desert where Rommel’s reputation flourished. ibid.
Rommel even made it on to the cover of Time magazine. ibid.
In private the great Field Marshall, once Hitler’s favourite, was becoming increasingly critical of Hitler, the war, and German defences. ibid.
A memorial marks the spot where he committed suicide. ibid.
October 14th 1944: the man in the back seat is dying … Hitler had heaped honours on him and made him a Field Marshal … His so-called suicide came from orders at the very top. The funeral ceremony was a mockery. Hitler’s Generals: Rommel: The Hero
His was a fatal pact with power. ibid.
In March 1943 Rommel left the African continent for ever. He was sent on leave by Hitler. ibid.
Rommel decided to spare his family and take the poison. ibid.
Today the troops are topping their work to date by conquering the fortress of Tobruk. The Nation’s victory is assured. Erwin Rommel
In addition to my accident, the attempt on the Fuhrer’s life has shocked me especially. We can thank God that it ended so well. Erwin Rommel
You cannot show your troops any other way than that to victory or to death. Adolf Hitler, 1942
Germany’s most famous Field Marshall is actually a traitor? Guy Walters, historian & writer
Rommel distances himself more and more from the Fuhrer. Chronicle of the Third Reich I II III IV, H2 2013