The Desert Fox:
Rommel, Man or Monster?
The place, called Al ‘Alamayn, held by British troops commanded by Montgomery, was the site of a defeat for the man called the Desert Fox and his Afrika Corps during October of 1942 and a turning point in the war in North Africa. British troops held the city itself, besieged by General Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Corps. General Bernard Law Montgomery held the city and defeated Rommel, whose Afrika Corps surrendered in March of 1943. The Afrika Corps was only one unit of many Erwin Rommel served in over his fifty-two years of life. He served in the German army during World War I and then again during World War II. Some people see him as a villain because he was a member of the Nazi Party and a high-ranking officer in the German Army—the Nazi Army—while others hail him as a hero. Despite the fact he served the Nazis, Erwin Rommel was a good man who refused to condone Hitler’s actions plotted to kill him.
Erwin Rommel did serve in the German Army during the Second World War, this is undeniable. He was a veteran officer of the German Army and merely an instructor at a military academy when the war began. However, he served the Nazis only because he believed in his nation and wanted to do right by Germany, not by Hitler. In fact, he hated Hitler so passionately he would plot to kill him later.
After the Normandy invasions, Rommel realized the war was over for Germany, and saw no reason to continue to condone the scathing atrocities of Adolf Hitler. He became outspoken in his condemnations of Hitler’s actions, which ultimately led to his implication in the plot to assassinate Hitler.
When men within the German Army and bureaucracy attempted to kill Hitler in July 1944, Rommel was one of those implicated. Several of Hitler’s officers confronted Rommel, recovering at his home from a head wound, with the crime and offered Rommel a choice: death by suicide, or a public trial which would forever tarnish his family name and cause the German people great pain. Rommel chose suicide and died at his home. The officers reported his death as being from his wounds.
Erwin Rommel was a good man despite whom he served. As an officer in the German Army, he protected his people and his nation in a war that tore the world apart. To protect his family, he died a death that he did not deserve and to protect his nation he plotted to kill a man so dastardly he would destroy thousands of innocents to get what he wanted. Rommel hated Hitler passionately, and only followed orders for the sake of his nation and his family. He did not serve the Nazis for their dream, he served to save Germany from total and utter downfall as he was a patriot in every sense of the word. Rommel accepted the fact, as all Germans later did, that Hitler was wrong. As Oberbürgermeister Manfred Rommel later wrote: “It was not a realisation that came easily to anyone in the face of four million dead soldiers, but it was imperative to embrace it in order to regain self respect.” Rommel saw this before his death and died with his self-respect intact.
Matanle, Ivor World
War II 1998 CLB Publishing, Godalming, Surrey, England.
“Al ‘Alamayn,” Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Erwin Rommel” Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 "Al ‘Alamayn," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 "Erwin Rommel" Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 Matanle, Ivor World War II 1998 CLB Publishing, Godalming, Surrey, England. Pg. 11