Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, was born November 15, 1891 in Heidenheim an der Brenz near Ulmen Wurtemberg, Germany. The province of his birth name was Llamada Swabia, a land, the cradle of warriors who seemed to live only to achieve military glory. His father was a teacher and his mother Helena von Luz was the daughter of the president of the government of Wurtemberg.
Despite claiming to be an engineer at age 18 he joined the army, being accepted as an aspiring cadet in the 124th Regiment of Wurtemberg. In 1911 appeared at the War School in Danzig where he joined with the degree of Ensign in 1912.
The August 2, 1914, his regiment was drafted into the war. In September he was awarded for killing with a bayonet to the three French soldiers have been found without any ammunition. He was wounded in the leg, and was the first war wound. Returning to the front in September / October 1915 became worthy of the Iron Cross First Class for bravery shown in combat actions during the Argonne.
In May 1917 he was transferred to the Western Front and took part in the attacks of Monte Cosna Caporetto and hence obtained the Order of Merit, having come to be regarded as Captain. In 1918 he was transferred to his old regiment at Weingarten in 1919 and is transferred to Friedrichshafen to command internal security company.
WWI / WWII
Ten years later, in 1929 held the post of infantry instructor at the Military Academy in Dresden. Publishes his first book titled Attacks Infantry (Infanterie Greiftan), based on his experiences of World War II.
In October 1933 becomes major and is sent to Goslar which is commanding a unit of the mountain. Meet Adolf Hitler in 1934, which Erwin thinks could be the man that can take the situation in Germany it was. Not being a politician, not interested in National Socialism, but Hitler gets to have a great affection for him.
In 1938 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and is assigned the post of professor at the Potsdam War Academy. In August of 1939 (the eve of the war with the attack on Poland), Rommel, who was the commander of the War Academy in Wiener Neustadt, is called by Hitler to remain in their headquarters during the operations. Becomes Major General and commander of the Body Guard of Adolf Hitler during the campaign.
After the campaign in Poland, Hitler Erwin Rommel asks what it wanted to do, and this prompted the command of a Panzer division. Consequently, 15 February 1940, despite having no experience in armored command, becomes commander of the 7th Panzer Division to form the XV Panzer Corps under the command of General Hoth. With that, he participated in the invasion of France, which starts May 10, 1940.
Campaign in France
During the Campaign of France, Rommel captured Dinant and reaches Philipville without resistance to 12 and May 15 respectively. One attempt to contain the forces of Guderian, occurred May 21 at Arras, at the time when 74 cars and three battalions of British infantry trying to reach the 8th Panzer Division. The British military were then intercepted by the 7th Panzer Division Rommel, who ruined the attack with the help of Stukas and 88 anti-aircraft gun, which was first used as anti-tank weapon with great success.
Later, when German forces launched the attack on the interior of France, Rommel Abeville advances from reaching Rouen on 10 June and winning Cherbourg on the 19th. The May 26 is awarded the Knight's Cross for his Iron Cross.
Rommel was characterized by marching one step ahead of his troops, especially at points where they spoke of a greater resistance from the enemy. Student's leading creator ofBlitzkrieg (General Guderian), came to perfect the movements of the Panzer forces in relation to the speed and great courage in trying to overcome all the movements of the enemy.
The 7th Panzer Division came to be called Division Phantom, since on many occasions, even the German High Command nor the General Staff of Rommel knew where he was their commander, and its success was the speed of penetration into the ground and always being ahead of his troops, and there occasions when turned off the radio equipment not to be bothered.
After the campaign of France, devoted himself to writing his diary where he describes the events from May to June 1940. In January 1941, is now a lieutenant general and transferred to Berlin. On February 6, receives the command of the Afrika Korps in order to prepare the force to support his campaign in Italy against the British. Their orders were to go to Tripoli on February 12.
The February 14, 1941, Rommel already installed in Tripoli with the 5th Light Panzer Division (5th leichte), which joined in May to 15th Panzer Division. The February 24 is the first time with the British in El Aghelia March 31 and launches a successful attack on British positions at Mersa Brega, using tactics perfected the Blitzkrieg in France. Pushes the British, advancing this Tripolitania and throwing himself against Libya in Cyrenaica, and was trying to capture Benghazi.
The April 15, 1941, is in Bardia-Solum and march to the west of Egypt. The English are required to atrincheirar in Tobruk. In these months came to be known by the Desert Fox, as shrewdly as viewed by the fighting. In order to obtain results that seemed impossible to achieve.
The January 21, 1942 are awarded the Swords to his Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and on the 30th happens to be Colonel General. Later, June 21, 1942, is the Field Marshal, with 50 years of age, being the youngest Marshal of German history. In August 1941, the Afrika Korps are reorganized and formed as the Afrika Panzer Gruppen. Rommel is placed in command of all forces in North Africa including five Italian divisions. One of its tactical was the canvas cover with the cuffs 88 and place them in a U-shape, making it look like sand dunes.Thus, when launched attacks with light tanks, retreated up these positions in U. This movement caused the British armored stay at the mercy of the guns 88.
Debacle in North Africa
The 5th Light Division was renamed 21st Panzer Division and Rommel received the 90th Light Division. Never really got the reinforcements requested. In October he began planning a new offensive and strengthened the position until November 1941.
On the night of November 17, 1941 English enters a command in the camp of Rommel's headquarters, in order to assassinate him, however, this was not there. The November 18, 1941, the British launch offensive Crusader and Rommel is forced to retreat to El Aghelia in Libya. In January 1942 Rommel resumes its offensive and the British forces to withdraw to the Gazala line.
Rommel orders arrest logs and tree branches to Italian light tanks marching in front against the British. The British thought it was a frontal attack with all the German forces and opted to retire in the wrong direction. Rommel immediately, with the Panzer Division attacked from the other side, destroying the British forces.
In late January launched a new offensive, recapturing Benzagi and force the British to retreceder to the Gazala Line. In February consolidate defensive positions. The May 26 begins a new offensive that ended with the capture of Tobruk on June 21. On 30 Marsa Matruh and reaches down defensive lines at El Alamein to 96 km from Alexandria and Cairo a step.
At that time, forces are decimated Afrika group. Only 50 remaining tanks and their catches depend on the provisions made to the enemy. Despite its many applications, can not get enough equipment due to the growing need for them on the Eastern Front. However, the offensive restarts causing the British to turn back from the defensive line at El Alamein and Alam Halfa reach, despite being required to go back to their starting lines at El Alamein due to resource depletion.
With health problems in October, traveling to Germany. However, with the counter-British offensive, Rommel returned to his headquarters on October 25. Without being able to stop the British, leaving El Alamein and kicks. The British recapture Tobruk on 12 November at the beginning of Operation Torch with the landing of Anglo-American forces on the western coast of Africa.
On 17 December, the British recapture El Aghelia and Rommel decides without equipment or fuel back to Tunis. On 23 January, the British capture Tripoli. On February 19, Rommel launched its latest offensive and recapture Paso de Kasserine, although the 22 months that is forced to stop due to the superiority of the Allied forces. Rommel took command of the new Army Group Africa to General von Arnin, however, on day 23 was forced to resume the command. The March 6, 1943 was called to Germany and took the opportunity to convince Hitler that the struggle in Africa did not make sense unless he received reinforcements. This measure was impractical given the situation of this Front. The March 11, 1943 was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, being the sixth officer to receive such an honor. Between March and July 1943, Rommel is a vacation with his family recovering his health was much detiorada.
In May 1943, without reservations, without equipment or fuel, the German forces surrendered, having been made about 200,000 prisoners. Rommel is completely disillusioned. The 10 July is named Commander in Chief of the Axis forces in Greece, however, is called Germany. Likewise, it is appointed master head in Italy, however, is by General subsituído Kesselring.
In late 1943, Hitler awarded him the Army Group B under the command of Field Marshal von Rundsted, and undertakes the construction of the so-called Atlantic Wall whose function is to stop the impending Allied invasion. Since it is realistic, does everything possible to prevent the penetration of the Allied forces. However, the forces necessary to repel the attack are widely scattered and poorly equipped.
In an air raid while he was traveling in his car near Vimoutier, is wounded and hospitalized in a French hospital. In a short time is involved in an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944, when a meeting was held in the General Staff Headquarters of Hitler. Your participation is discussed and rejected by the historians.
However, Rommel is transferred from the hospital Herrlingen, being put under house arrest. In these circumstances, you are given two alternatives: being accused of treason, humiliating his family, or suicide. In case of suicide, find out that Rommel would have been died due to injuries and would be given him military honors.
On 14 October 1944, is taken to a hospital in Ulm, committing suicide. On 18 October 1944 is buried with the highest military honors, and was decreed a national holiday, since he was a Field Marshal of the Reich. In 1950 a compilation of Rommel's personal papers, made ??by his wife Lucie-Maria, son Manfred and Lieutenant Colonel Fritz Bayerlain entitledKrieg ohne Hass and known as The Rommel Papers.
The english version of this article will be available soon. In the meanwhile, the text above was the result of a Google translation from portuguese version to english.