Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel (b. 15 November 1891 in Heidenheim an der Brenz, Kingdom of Württemberg; d. 14 October 1944 in Herrlingen by Ulm) was a German officer of the Army of Württemberg, the Imperial German Army, the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht as well as recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. He was one of the most famous German field marshals of World War II.
He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” for the skilful military campaigns he waged on behalf of the Wehrmacht in North Africa. He was later in command of the German forces opposing the Allied cross-channel invasion at Normandy. He is thought by many to have been the most skilled commander of desert warfare in World War II.
Rommel's military successes earned the respect not only of his troops and Adolf Hitler, but also that of his enemy Commonwealth troops in the North African Campaign (Afrikafeldzug). Following the defeat of Axis forces in North Africa, and whilst commanding the defence of Occupied France. The Allies considered him so great a threat that two failed assassination attempts were made.
The possible role that Rommel played in the German resistance and the 20 July plot is unclear. Regardless, he was implicated by participants, and took his own life when given the choice.
After the war, possibly related to the attempts to make every aspect of National Socialist Germany negative, Rommel's reputation has been attacked in various ways, with attacks made on his relationship to National Socialism, his military abilities, and his chivalry and his character in general.
Leftist Wikipedia has an entire article dedicated to attacking the supposed "Rommel myth".
- Fähnrich—19 July 1910
- Leutnant—27 January 1912
- Oberleutnant—18 September 1915
- Hauptmann—18 October 1918
- Major—1 April 1932
- Oberstleutnant—1 October 1933
- Oberst—1 October 1937
- Generalmajor—1 August 1939
- Generalleutnant—9 February 1941
- General der Panzertruppe—1 July 1941
- Generaloberst—24 January 1942
- Generalfeldmarschall—21 June 1942
Awards and decorations (excerpt)
- Württembergische Goldene Verdienstmedaille on 25 February 1915
- Military Merit Order (Bavaria) Fourth Class with Swords
- Military Merit Order (Bavaria) Second Class
- Württembergischer Friedrich Order with Swords First Class
- Military Merit Order (Württemberg) on 8 April 1915
- Military Merit Cross (Austria-Hungary) III. Klasse with war decoration
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Pour le Mérite on 10 December 1917
- Wound Badge (1918) in Silver in 1918
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 in 1934
- Sudetenland Medal (Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938)
- Memel Medal (Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkehr des Memellandes)
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award, 4th to 1st Class
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Wound Badge in Gold on 7 August 1944
- Panzer Badge (Panzerkampfabzeichen des Heeres) in Silver
- Italian Medaglia d'Argento al Valor Militare (Silver Medal for Military Valour) on 22 April 1941
- Knight of the Colonial Order of the Star of Italy on 28 April 1942
- Grand Officer of the Italian Military Order of Savoy Mid-1942
- Romanian Order of Michael the Brave 3rd and 2nd Class on 12 July 1944
- Mentioned twice on the Wehrmachtbericht (26 June 1942 and 10 September 1943)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds
- Knight's Cross on 27 May 1940 as Generalmajor and commander of the 7. Panzer-Division
- 10th Oak Leaves on 20 March 1941 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 7. Panzer-Division
- 6th Swords on 20 January 1942 as General der Panzertruppe and commander of the Panzergruppe Afrika
- 6th Diamonds on 11 March 1943 as Generalfeldmarschall and commander in chief of the Heeresgruppe Afrika
- Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: Genius, Hero, Martyr … and Traitor?
- The Trail of the Desert Fox: Rommel Revised
- Franz Thomas: Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945, Band 1: A–K (in German), Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück 1998, ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6
- Thomas 1998, p. 226.