Who Was Erwin Rommel

Known as the “Desert Fox”, and respected by allies and enemies alike, Erwin Rommel was a prominent German field Marshal in WWII. He was born Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel on Nov. 15, 1891, in Heidenheim, Germany. In 1910, Rommel joined the German Army as an officer cadet in the 124th Infantry Regiment. Two years later he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. In WWI Rommel fought on the French, Romanian, and Italian fronts. Known for his courage and leadership, he was regarded as a hero and military strategist. After the First World War, Rommel taught in the Dresden Infantry School and Potsdam War Academy. While there he wrote and published his book Infanterie greift an, a textbook on military tactics. The book was published in 1937.

By 1938, Rommel had been promoted to Colonel and was placed as commander of the officers’ school in Wiener Neustadt, near Vienna. This occurred after the annexation of Austria to Germany.

At the beginning of WWII Rommel was placed in command of the troops guarding Hitler’s headquarters. He assumed command of the 7th Panzer Division, in February of 1940. Although he had never commanded a tank division before, he quickly realized the offensive potential. In May of 1940 he proved his prowess in his raid on France’s Channel coast. In February of 1941 Rommel was placed in charge of the troops sent to help the Italian army in Libya. Here in the deserts of North Africa he earned his nickname “Desert Fox”. In the African theatre, Rommel became known for brazen surprise attacks on the enemy. Hitler was so impressed by Rommel’s successes that he promoted Rommel to Field Marshall