Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Field Marshal Erwin RommelField Marshal Erwin Rommel

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel by Wolfgang Willrich

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Erwin Rommel was given command of the 7th Panzer Division (Ghost Division) that invaded France in May, 1940. Rommel’s troops moved faster and farther than any other army in military history. After reaching the Channel he turned south and raced along the coast until he reached the Spanish border.

As a result of his exploits in France he was promoted to the rank of General. When Benito Mussolini asked for help in North Africa Adolf Hitler sent Rommel to command the new Deutsches Afrika Korps and successfully drove the British 8th Army out of Libya. He moved into Egypt but was defeated at El Alamein. With the USA Army landing in Morocco and Algeria, his troops were forced to leave Tunisia.

It was in North Africa that he earned the nickname “Desert Fox”. His exploits became legendary. However, he was always frustrated with the fact that Hitler never saw the African campaign as a priority and therefore Rommel never received the necessary equipment and forces that he needed.

He received his countries highest military decorations in both WW1 and WW2. In WW1 he was awarded the Pour le Merite (Blue Max) and in WW2 he was awardes the Knights Cross with Oakleaves Swords and Diamonds.