Knight's Cross : A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

Knight's Cross : A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel [PDF / EPUB] Knight's Cross : A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel A vivid, balanced and frequently enthralling biography of Rommel, the general and the man It is must reading for every aficionado of modern military history San Francisco ChronicleErwin Rommel s insti A : A Life of eBook Ø vivid, balanced and frequently enthralling biography : A PDF/EPUB é of Rommel, the general and the man It is must reading for every aficionado of modern military history San Francisco Knight's Cross eBook Ø ChronicleErwin Rommel s instinct for battle and leadership places him among the great commanders of history In this definitive biography, David Fraser, an acclaimed biographer and distinguished soldier, Cross : A Kindle ´ looks at Rommel s career and shows how wild and superficially undisciplined Rommel s bold style of leadership could be, and how it inspired the men under his command to attack with ferocity and pursue with tenacity qualities that served him well in his great battles in the North African desert and throughout his entire military career Fraser also thoroughly explores the question of Rommel s possible involvement in the plot against Hitler and the reason for his forced suicide, even though there was no criminal evidence against himRevealing his failings as well as his genius, Knight s Cross is a fascinating biography of a soldier whose distinguished career has become a part of history.

About the Author: David Fraser

General : A Life of eBook Ø Sir David William Fraser, OBE : A PDF/EPUB é , KCB , GCB , born December Vallenders, Isington, Alton, Hants, the only surviving son Knight's Cross eBook Ø of Brigadier, The Honourable William Fraser DSO MC who was the military attach at Paris, France, when the Second World War begun Sir David Cross : A Kindle ´ was educated at Eton and Christ Church college in the University of Oxford.

10 thoughts on “Knight's Cross : A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

  1. says:

    With Knight s Cross the late General Sir David Fraser, GCB, OBE produced a solid military biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel Fraser was certainly no master with the pen, but his research was thorough and his style straightforward and precise He relied on Rommel s own writings, those of other German officers and officials, as well as extensive cooperation with Rommel s son, Manfred Fraser depicts Rommel fairly neither exaggerating his military prowess nor whitewashing his admiration of Hitler Throughout the book, he develops the trope of Rommel s instinct for battle as the key contributing factor to his grasp of the essence of leadership This grasp set him apart from his peers and established his position among history s great battlefield commanders Fraser wrote Rommel was ultimately beatenWar may be considered a business, open to audit, but its conduct is also an art Ultimately, Napoleon was beatenSo was Lee Few could deny their genius With all his imperfections, as a leader of men in battle Erwin Rommel stands in their company Fraser devoted considerable space to Rommel s relationship with Adolf Hitler Much of this discussion reads as an apologia for his prolonged devotion Rommel thought he knew Hitler well They lived and worked closely for extended periods of time According to Fraser, Rommel was a fervent and personal admirer of Hitler and was subject to Hitler s magic This magic was indeed strong strong enough to bewitch for a considerable time a large part of the German people It could do so because it was rooted in actual past achievement as well as in promises and prejudice in a memory of deliverance from guilt and poverty as well as in the imposition of present tyranny and pervasive fear Rommel did not ask unsettling questions about Hitler or Nazism In fact, he readily accepted Nazi antisemitism He was a man of strong common sense who simply would not see that Hitler, not his sycophants, was the source of Nazi evil While the Wehrmacht was rolling through Poland, Norway, the Low Countries, and France, Rommel remained enad of Hitler s perspicacity and initiative When the tide turned, Rommel suddenly recognized the total unreality with which Hitler was surrounding himself According to an interview with Colonel Warning, Hitler s foolish orders for El Alamein on 3 November 1942 suddenly convinced Rommel that Hitler was a lunaticdetermined on a course which would lead to the loss of the last German soldier and, one day, to the total destruction of Germany By late 1941, the war crimes of Hitler s regime, especially in the east, were widely known within the army high command Fraser mentioned the Army Group B report of late 1941 which stated Everyone now knows what is going on To me Rommel s attitude suggested a willful blindness His reputation should not be rehabilitated by his association with the anti Hitler conspirators of July 1944 Rommel, though outspoken about Germany s disastrous prospects in the war, had only an arms length connection with the plotters His forced suicide was based on false testimony and evidence obtained by torture He did not support the attempted elimination of Adolf Hitler Knight s Cross deserves a solid Three Stars Fraser s understandably prolonged exposition on the North African campaign bordered on tedious at times The sections of the book on the Battle of France in 1940 and the defense of Normandy in 1944 moved at a better pace I had two quibbles with Knight s Cross First, it contained good hand drawn maps, but they were too few and not well placed within the text Also, the maps did not reflect troop positions or movements Second, Fraser too frequently used German vocabulary and phrases without translation while my French is passable and my Russian very good, my German is virtually nonexistent I grew tired of looking up translations.

  2. says:

    Field Marshal Rommel is one of the interesting figures of World War II, and certainly one of the most admirable, at least on the Axis side This biography gives only cursory attention to his youth, but covers the rest of his life in detail service in the German Army during WWI, the inter war period, and finally his great triumphs and eventual losses against overwhelmingly superior forces in WWII Despite its length, though, the book does not delve far beneath the surface, and does not leave the reader feeling that he or she truly understands Rommel Rommel s preference for offensive tactics in the belief that the disorganization an attack would cause for the enemy generally than offset the risks involved is made clear But the author never really identifies what made Rommel tick Indeed, this book does not even take a definitive position on how much Rommel knew of the plot against Hitler s life for which he was executed near the end of the war and how deeply he was involved in the plot, much less delve very far into the conflicting but very strong thoughts and emotions this subject must have stirred in a professional soldier of the highest honor and integrity, but also one who found himself serving an evil and senselessly destructive regime.

  3. says:

    There is not much one can add to the other reviews of this very interesting book The author, David Fraser, offers the reader a well researched and honest account on the life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in 562 pages hardback version This has been one of the better biographies on Rommel I have read in some time and one of the best military biographies I have read in the last couple of years I don t think that too many people would not enjoy this account, the author certianly portrays Rommel with his faults as well as his great points and I believe he has tried to present his subject as honestly as possible A very enjoyable book to read and well researched and presented.

  4. says:

    David Fraser s biography is one of the better books I ve read on Field Marshall Rommel It definitely does not suffer from the apologetics some biographies have that were written within the first decade of the end of the war This biography seems to be fairly even handed in the treatment of Rommel and his adversaries As one would expect Rommel s full military career is covered with in depth coverage of the African Campaign and his key involvement building the Atlantic Wall in preparation of an Allied invasion of Europe This biography s focus is on how Rommel operated as a commanding general, how his actions influenced the course of the war to include his interaction and influence on Adolph Hitler.There were a number of interesting topics examined and points made by Mr Fraser The author theorizes how Rommel s WWI experiences shaped and influenced his approach to mobile warfare that included his lead from the front leadership style so evident as Commanding General of the Afrika Corps Other areas of biographical interest are the examination of several commonly repeated criticisms of Rommel and the in depth exploration throughout the book Specifically David Fraser looked at Rommel s understanding of logistics and strategy, both areas Rommel has been heavily criticized as not paying attention to or not having adequate knowledge and experience as a Commanding General The author makes good cases for Rommel being very aware of how logistics impacted his planning and how his tactical battles played into a global strategic vision He provides specific examples demonstrating how Rommel was aware of both issues in context of military operational planning and how the criticisms of Rommel are probably not accurate.The last part of the book studies Rommel s involvement in Operation Valkyrie the assassination plot of Hitler Mr Fraser steps through the plot itself identifying the key players, the plotters organization and communications methods and looks at who knew what regarding the plans post removal of Hitler It s still hard to tell from the evidence presented exactly how much Rommel knew about Operation Valkyrie It is evident from the facts that Rommel did agree there was no way for Germany to surrender without the removal of Hitler from leadership.

  5. says:

    It feels unfair to say I was disappointed in this book It s fast moving, easy to read, epic in scope, and full of action Legendary German commander Erwin Rommel emerges as a compelling figure, made up of diverse elements He s a man of integrity, honest and decent rather than cruel and ambitious Yet he willingly obeyed an evil madman for years He s a rigid military commander who enforced strict discipline yet to his own troops he was a beloved father figure and role model Even his worst enemies cheered his victories He had rock star charisma, and he was ultimately executed for treason under shady circumstances, yet he was the least devious, least rebellious person who ever lived The problem is, David Fraser is too much like his subject to explore the ambiguities David Fraser is a military man with a very conventional mind, and all he can do is say over and over again that Rommel is a decent fellow, a splendid chap, and that nothing was every really his fault It s almost comical to hear the way Fraser balances things, like he s trying not to show what a crush he has on his hero Did Rommel lead to often from the front Was he he too busy inspiring the troops with his amazing courage to realize that his own life was at risk Did he get so caught up in leading from the front that he neglected strategic considerations Well, yes But his presence at the front of the action often changed the course of the battle and therefore may have been proof of his overall strategic genius There are so many serious questions David Fraser doesn t ask about Rommel s life outside of combat Whole eras of his life aren t really explored For example, Germany surrendered in 1918 Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933 What was Erwin Rommel doing all those years Fraser tells you the facts, he was serving in the shadow German army, patiently rebuilding morale, studying new methods and equipment But there s no exploration of what he wasn t doing I mean, a German soldier like Erich Maria Remarque comes home in 1918 and he writes All Quiet on the Western Front Rommel didn t write that book But did he read it Did he talk to anyone who did Morally and emotionally it s like he went to sleep in 1918 and woke up in 1933 ready to obey Hitler with no questions asked Other guys, after 1918, might have traveled the world, studied history and philosophy, gone to Paris Hemingway once wrote a novel where his hero brags about skiing with Rommel between the wars At the time I thought that was just Hemingway being childish and dropping names But now I see it the other way around I sure wish Rommel had read some of Hemingway I wish he had read A Farewell To Arms Did Erwin Rommel read any fiction at all From the way Fraser writes his life it s like he had no inner life at all And if this is the kind of man that a typical British officer tends to idolize, what does that say about England s ruling class Reading how easily Fraser excuses Rommel s complicity in Hitler s crimes against the Jews, I found myself wondering whether Fraser s attitude and Rommel s were really very different I mean, were there any Jews in the British army when Fraser was a general Were there any Jewish officers Who was the first Jew admitted to Sandhurst How old was Fraser the first time he ever saw a Jew on the street I kept getting a really disturbing feeling that Rommel s attitude, like I have nothing against Jews, but they have no business being in my part of town, is pretty much Fraser s attitude about Jews in England This book really disturbed me, but by the end it wasn t Rommel I didn t like.

  6. says:

    Aproximaci n desde el respeto y la suficiente objetividad G nero Biograf a.Lo que nos cuenta Relato de la vida del protagonista y de los eventos que construyeron su imagen para la posteridad, desde su nacimiento en Suabia, pasando por su participaci n en las dos guerras mundiales, con protagonismo de los sucesos de la Segunda, por razones obvias, hasta los sucesos que rodearon su muerte Quiere saber m s de este libro, sin spoilers Visite

  7. says:

    Boring book about everyone s favorite Nazi It s hard to make ice war in the Alps in WWI, Blitzkrieg in France in WWII and the brilliance which was his two stints in North Africa seem pedestrian, but Fraser pulls it off You will learn lots about Rommel, but unless this is the only book you can get yours hands on, read anything else, although in fairness to Fraser, most every other author has a disturbing amount of man love for Rommel I will also credit him for pointing out many of Rommel s flaws.

  8. says:

    This was an amazing biography I have not read one this impressive since Robertson s Stonewall Jackson biography Fraser does an amazing job detailing not only the tactical genius of Rommel but also the atmosphere of Nazi Germany and why it was so easy for so many to fall for Hitler s charm My only problem with this book is that Fraser went out of his way to convince everyone that Rommel had no idea about the atrocities of the Nazi regime and he was just a naive general who had been fooled by Hitler like everyone else I find this hard to believe as Rommel was close with Hitler, admired him, and often ate with him and had in depth conversations with him At the same time I do not believe Rommel was directly responsible for any of the atrocities as that does not fit with his character I personally believe that Rommel had a general idea of what was going on and simply turned a blind eye for his Germany Rommel was NOT a Nazi, but he was a loyal German and I think he wouldn t mind if a few inferiors disappeared for the betterment of Germany I m also not sure how much he would want to believe I think it is hard to this day to fully understand the horrors of the Nazi regime and Rommel could very well have put on blinders, even when the evidence was staring him in the face An interesting element of Rommel s character is his participation in Valkyrie Fraser makes it plainly clear that Rommel did not want Hitler dead and makes a compelling argument that Rommel was aware of the plot to dispose Hitler, but not the assassination This fits in with Rommel s character and the general nature of the conspiracy Rommel had lost faith in Hitler, but he was not one who liked to destroy a conquered opponent and I believe he still had a sort of gratitude towards Hitler even at the very end Hitler had returned pride and efficiency to Germany, had given Rommel his military career, and for a brief moment returned glory to Germany I think for someone of Rommel s nature that would be hard to forget, even though he also realized that Hitler was insane, militarily blind, and destroying his Germany Rommel is a very complex character and Fraser does well with his material, but I felt slightly disappoint that in an attempt to protect Rommel from Nazism, he made him two dimensional instead of three dimensional Rommel s appeal is the fact that he was a good man and an incredible general fighting for Nazi Germany His tragedy is that he had given his immense talents to a mad man I do not doubt that Rommel was a good German , but the tragic power of his legacy is diminished when one does not take into account all of his aspects the good ones and the evil ones Rommel is the perfect example of a good man used by evil and I think Fraser missed a great opportunity to explore this tragedy by using kid s gloves around Rommel s participation in the Nazi regime.

  9. says:

    I read this book when I was in college I was taking a Nazi Germany history class from the amazing Dr Wooster He gave out an extensive reading list to choose from This was one of the books that I had chosen to read for the course A very interesting and detailed account of Erwin Rommel s military exploits, and about his character as a person and a soldier Rommel seems to have been a soldier s soldier, doing what he felt was right for the German population and its army up until the end of his life He was certainly a mystery in his personality, having two very opposing sides with the evilness of Nazism versus his reputation as an upright person You get the sense that he was first and foremost a soldier In the end, he was given the choice of killing himself or being killed for treason against Hitler because he was found to have been tied to the July 1944 attempt on Hitler s life, or at least to have known about it and not said anything of warning He chose suicide, partly, to protect his family from being harmed There s hardly a single person involved in the Nazi high command that you could say was a good person, but Rommel seems to have been a fairly decent human being.

  10. says:

    Erwin Rommel is a popular subject of biography, not least because he is such a likeable figure Many milhist buffs who spend most of their time reading about heroic American generals also probably have an interest in Rommel, even if their understanding of his past is troubling Rommel is the sort of honorable enemy which most arm chair generals like to believe is worth fighting He is clean of the worst crimes of the regime he served, chose an honorable suicide over the dishonor of trial by that regime for resistance, he fought well, was liked by his men, and was true to his oath as a soldier As such, it is rare to find a historically satisfying book about him Books on Rommel rarely probe his views on democracy and fascism, much less antisemitism, because it is understood that he was a good man and not a Nazi Books on military history are already flawed in their interest in strategy and battle effectiveness over the historical meaning of events, and Rommel bios are often lost in a morass of tactical data rather than human story This book, at the very least, avoids that flaw, and Fraser works hard to create a portrait of a human being However, his use of sources must be seen as flawed, particularly his over dependence on interviews with Manfred Rommel, the Field Marshal s son whose successful political career relies on his re crafting of his family s Nazi heritage and the books of David Irving, including his _Hitler s War_, in which he first advanced his revisions of the Holocaust.Fraser fails to give context that would justify his claim that Rommel had no personal anti Jewish feelings despite quoted speeches in which he spoke of the Jewish problem in Germany He avoids probing deeply into the contradictions that could lead a man with a strong sense of honor into supporting a criminal regime, writing it off as mere idealism and naivete Probing deeply into the fundamental issues would, no doubt, tarnish the shine on Rommel s armor and, by extension, the many Germans of his generation who took moral shelter in the fact that even so powerful a figure as Rommel was innocent of murder , but would also make for far informative and interesting reading.

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