Knight's Cross

Knight's Cross

A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

Book - 1994 | 1st ed.
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Baker & Taylor
A British general and historian recreates Erwin Rommel's brilliant military career, investigates his possible involvement in the plot against Hitler, and examines the circumstances of his death.

Book News
A meticulously researched chronicle which details the life and character of a complex warrior. Rommel's integrity and skills were such that he enjoyed a popularity in Germany that rivaled Hitler's (even though he was not a member of the Nazi Party), and he earned the respect and admiration of his enemies, including Churchill. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
In any numbering of the great captains of history, the name of Erwin Rommel must stand in the first rank. He was the outstanding Axis field commander of the Second World War, and was respected, even admired, as well as feared by his opponents. Here, it seemed to the Allies, was a supremely professional soldier: chivalrous, decent, untainted by the crimes of the Nazi regime, carrying out his duty with often dazzling success.
David Fraser's book - surely the definitive study - brings to Rommel's career not only the perceptions of an acclaimed biographer, but those of a distinguished soldier too: his insights into Rommel's mind and methods carry the authority of experience. He shows how inspiringly spontaneous and superficially haphazard Rommel's style of leadership could be: 'Rommel believed that war is a reckless, untidy business, and that the habits of mind of a methodical manager are alien to what is required.' Instead, his hallmarks were boldness of manoeuvre, ferocity in attack, and tenacity in pursuit. These were the qualities he displayed in his great battles in the North African desert; they were, David Fraser demonstrates, evident from his earliest battles in the First World War to his last, defending Fortress Europe from the Allied invasion of 1944.
This is, first and foremost, a biography of a soldier. But Rommel reached a position in which he almost inevitably became embroiled in politics. When he realized that the Allied invasion was going to succeed, he realized also that the only way to save Germany was somehow to negotiate a peace settlement. He tried to present Hitler - to whom he had always been devoted, and who had always shown him a particular respect and affection - with the military realities: he was branded a defeatist and ignored. But his opinions, and his apparent links (meticulously discussed by Fraser) with the Stauffenberg plotters of July 1944 - one of them, under interrogation, mentioned Rommel as a possible head of post-Hitlerian Germany - condemned him in the eyes of the Fuhrer he had served so loyally. He was offered the choice of trial by a People's Court - a sham of course - or suicide, a state funeral and protection for his family. He chose the latter.
Rommel is not, to David Fraser, a flawless hero: his failings as well as his genius are recorded here. But he had that instinct for battle and leadership which sets him apart from his contemporaries and places him among the great commanders.

& Taylor

Discusses Rommel's brilliant military career, his possible involvement in the plot against Hitler, and the circumstances of his death

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins, c1994.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060182229
Characteristics: p. cm.


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