Even when the legend surrounding his invincibility was overturned at El Alamein, the aura surrounding Rommel himself remained unsullied. In this classic study of the art of war Rommel analyses the tactics that lay behind his success. First published in it quickly became a highly regarded military textbook, and also brought its author to the attention of Adolph Hitler. Rommel was to subsequently advance through the ranks to the high command in the Second World War. As a leader of a small unit in the First World War, he proved himself an aggressive and versatile commander, with a reputation for using the battleground terrain to his own advantage, for gathering intelligence, and for seeking out and exploiting enemy weaknesses. Rommel graphically describes his own achievements, and those of his units, in the swift-moving battles on the Western Front, in the ensuing trench warfare, in the campaign in Romania, and in the pursuit across the Tagliamento and Piave rivers.
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He was the third of five children to Erwin Rommel Senior — and his wife Helene von Lutz, whose father, Karl von Luz , headed the local government council. Rommel had one older sister who was an art teacher and his favorite sibling, one older brother named Manfred who died in infancy and two younger brothers, of whom one became a successful dentist and the other an opera singer.
He returned to the th when war was declared. He successfully employed the tactics of penetrating enemy lines with heavy covering fire coupled with rapid advances, as well as moving forward rapidly to a flanking position to arrive at the rear of hostile positions, to achieve tactical surprise.
The offensive, known as the Battle of Caporetto , began on 24 October In one instance, the Italian forces, taken by surprise and believing that their lines had collapsed, surrendered after a brief firefight. Convinced that they were surrounded by an entire German division, the 1st Italian Infantry Division — 10, men — surrendered to Rommel. The need for national unity thus became a decisive legacy of the first World War.
It became a bestseller, which, according to Scheck, later "enormously influenced" many armies of the world;   Adolf Hitler was one of many people who owned a copy.
Here he clashed with Baldur von Schirach , the Hitler Youth leader, over the training that the boys should receive. Schirach appealed directly to Hitler; consequently Rommel was quietly removed from the project in Rommel is on his left and Martin Bormann on his right.
They have erected numerous barricades which blocked civilian movement and exposed people to bombardments from which they could not escape. The mayor estimated the number of the dead and injured to be 40, The inhabitants probably drew a breath of relief that we have arrived and rescued them".
By the third day Rommel and the advance elements of his division, together with a detachment of the 5th Panzer Division under Colonel Hermann Werner, had reached the River Meuse , where they found the bridges had already been destroyed Guderian and Reinhardt reached the river on the same day. Rommel brought up tanks and flak units to provide counter-fire and had nearby houses set on fire to create a smokescreen. He sent infantry across in rubber boats, appropriated the bridging tackle of the 5th Panzer Division , personally grabbed a light machine gun to fight off a French counterattack supported by tanks, and went into the water himself, encouraging the sappers and helping lash together the pontoons.
He was surprised to find out only his vanguard had followed his tempestuous surge. He was the only divisional commander present at the planning session for Fall Rot Case Red , the second phase of the invasion of France.
By this time the evacuation of the BEF was complete; over , Allied troops had been evacuated across the Channel, though they had to leave behind all their heavy equipment and vehicles. He treated prisoners of war with consideration. On one occasion, he was forced to order the shooting of a French lieutenant-colonel for refusing to obey his captors. Showalter claims there was no massacre at Le Quesnoy. Benghazi fell that night as the British pulled out of the city.
Rommel was equally forceful in his response, telling Gariboldi, "One cannot permit unique opportunities to slip by for the sake of trifles". Knowing Gariboldi could not speak German, Rommel told him the message gave him complete freedom of action. Gariboldi backed down. Rommel ordered the 5th Light Division to unload all their lorries and return to El Agheila to collect fuel and ammunition. Driving through the night, they were able to reduce the halt to a single day.
Fuel supply was problematic throughout the campaign, as no petrol was available locally; it had to be brought from Europe by tanker and then carried by road to where it was needed.
On 4 May Paulus ordered that no further attempts should be made to take Tobruk via a direct assault. This order was not open to interpretation, and Rommel had no choice but to comply. While awaiting further reinforcements and a shipment of tanks that were already on their way, Wavell launched a limited offensive code named Operation Brevity on 15 May. The British briefly seized Sollum , Fort Capuzzo , and the important Halfaya Pass , a bottleneck along the coast near the border between Libya and Egypt.
Rommel soon forced them to withdraw. The attack was defeated in a four-day battle at Sollum and Halfaya Pass, resulting in the loss of 98 British tanks. The Germans lost 12 tanks, while capturing and seriously damaging over 20 British tanks.
Infantry Attacks by Erwin Rommel - PDF free download eBook
Throughout the book, Rommel reports assigning small numbers of men to approach enemy lines from the direction in which attack was expected. The men would yell, throw hand grenades and otherwise simulate the anticipated attack from concealment, while attack squads and larger bodies of men sneaked to the flanks and rears of the defenders to take them by surprise. These tactics often intimidated enemies into surrendering, thus avoiding unnecessary exertion, expenditure of ammunition, and risk of injury. Contents The text is divided into six chapters: I.
He was probably the most famous German commander of World War II, an aggressive and brilliant tactician who bested French, British and American opponents repeatedly throughout the war. Outnumbered and outgunned, he held off Allied forces in North Africa from early to mid before his infamous Afrika Korps and their Italian allies surrendered in Tunisia. As a lieutenant and then a captain, the twenty-something Erwin Rommel demonstrated the tactical acuity and tempered aggression which would mark not only his own campaigns in the s, but also those of the entire Wehrmact at seemingly every level of command during the first few years of WWII. During the s, while commanding a Jaeger regiment between the wars, he compiled his journal notes and wrote a first-hand account of his WWI experiences in the book Infantry Attacks Infanterie Greift An.