FIELD MARSHALL: The Life and Death of Erwin Rommel

FIELD MARSHALL                           DANIEL ALLEN BUTLER

Field Marshal: The Life and Death of Erwin RommelErwin Rommel was a complex man: a born leader, brilliant soldier, a devoted husband and proud father; intelligent, instinctive, brave, compassionate, vain, egotistical, and arrogant. In France in 1940, then for two years in North Africa, then finally back in France again, at Normandy in 1944, he proved himself a master of armored warfare, running rings around a succession of Allied generals who never got his measure and could only resort to overwhelming numbers to bring about his defeat.

And yet for all his military genius, Rommel was also naive, a man who could admire Adolf Hitler at the same time that he despised the Nazis, dazzled by a Führer whose successes blinded him to the true nature of the Third Reich. Above all, he was the quintessential German patriot, who ultimately would refuse to abandon his moral compass, so that on one pivotal day in June 1944 he came to understand that he had mistakenly served an evil man and evil cause. He would still fight for Germany even as he abandoned his oath of allegiance to the Führer, when he came to realize that Hitler had morphed into nothing more than an agent of death and destruction. In the end Erwin Rommel was forced to die by his own hand, not because, as some would claim, he had dabbled in a tyrannical conspiracy, but because he had committed a far greater crime – he dared to tell Adolf Hitler the truth.

In Field Marshal historian Daniel Allen Butler not only describes the swirling, innovative campaigns in which Rommel won his military reputation, but assesses the temper of the man who finally fought only for his country, and no dark depths beyond.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This was a fascinating book about the only German General that both the British and the U.S. tired to assonant. That is how much they did not want to up against him. His tactics were learned in World War one as an officer in the Wurttembergische Gerber's battalion. In one of his last actions in WWI his unit in 52 hour of continuous operations covered a horizontal distance of 18 miles and a vertical equivalent of another 2 miles much under enemy fire. In rapid succession they took one enemy village, four mountain summits positions, and captured almost nine thousand enemy soldiers. He would also remember the name of the nine men that he lost plus the thirty that were wounded. He led from the front and for these reason his men would follow him anywhere. He would also look over the terrain and come up with the best way to attack instead of going straight into a hail of fire. He put his men lives on equal grounds as his own when during the war most were leading from the rear and caring if their men died or not. He would use these same tactics during WWII. Though he was not expecting another war. The author goes into how Hitler came into power and how Rommel became his favorite soldier. He goes into his romance and marriage to his wife and their life together and also how she raised his daughter from another women prior to their marriage. She stayed with them until his death. The author also goes into what made him take his life and how you wonder what would have happened to him and Germany if he would have lived. This was a book filled with a lot of information and a lot of it I don’t remember reading about in one other bio of his. A very good book. I got this book from netgalley.  I give this 5 stars.

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