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Knight's Cross: Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel [Paperback]

David Fraser
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

10 Oct 1994
Erwin Rommel was one of the oustanding commanders of World War II, respected as well as feared by his opponents. His instinct for battle and leadership set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired the men under his command. David Fraser's study brings to Rommel's career not only the insights of a biographer, but also those of a soldier. He shows how superficially undisciplined Rommel's style of leadership could be, and how he believed in boldness of manoeuvre, ferocity in attack, and tenacity in pursuit.

Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (10 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000638384X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006383840
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.4 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Erwin Rommel was the outstanding Axis field commander of the Second World War, respected, even admired, by his opponents. here, it seemed to the Allies, was a supremely proffessional soldier: chivalrous, decent, largely untainted by the crimes of the nazi regime, carrying out his duty with often dazzling success.

David fraser's definitive study brings to Rommel's career not only the insights of an acclaimed biographer, but also those of a distinguished soldier. He shows how inspiringly spontaneous and superficially haphazard Rommel's style of leadership could be; how his hallmarks of boldness of manoeuvre, ferocity in attack and tenacity in pursuit, which characterised his great campaign in Northern Africa, were evident from his earliest battles in the First World War. 'Knight's Cross' is first and foremost the biography of a soldier, but Rommel reached a position in which he almost inevitable became embroiled in politics, including his alleged involvement in the plot to kill Hitler, whichcondemned him in the eyes of the F(hrer he had serverd so loyally. Rommel is not, to David Fraser, a flawless hero: his failings as well as his genius are recorded here. But he had that instinct for battle and leadership which set him apart from his contemporaries, and places him among the truely great commanders of history.

'A masterly essay in military biography.'

'Consolidates David Fraser's place as a military historian to be reckoned with.'

'Many books have been written about Rommel. None has been more thoughly researched or examines his personality and character in more detail than this one . . . Fraser gets under the skin of this man as well as any biographer ever can.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
In the 55 years since his enforced suicide on Hitler's orders, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel has been elevated to the status of a legendary hero, the "Desert Fox" who fought and conquered against vastly superior odds. The greatest strength of David Fraser's biography is that he explores the brilliantly talented yet surprisingly naive human being beneath the popular mythology, without undermining the glamour, the panache, that Rommel's name conveys to this day.
"Of this extraordinary brotherhood is Rommel - the brotherhood of Hector, of Rupert of the Rhine, of those who can only be described as heroes; and it is curious that so determinedly practical a modernist as Rommel - the least fanciful of men - should have joined a company so bonded by myth."
In a gripping, richly detailed narrative that is both accessible to the lay reader and enlightening to the military historian, Fraser tells the story of Rommel's in the context of the tumultuous changes, social and political, through which he lived. Fraser's is a cohesive and well-balanced story, lavishing as much attention on Rommel's experiences in the First World War and between the wars as on his glory days in the North African desert.
General Sir David Fraser, who is a retired Vice Chief of the General Staff, describes Rommel's battles and campaigns with admirable clarity and an engaging sense of immediacy. His maps are informative and uncluttered, although they would have been easier to use if they had been grouped together rather than sprinkled throughout the text.
Fraser wisely recognises that Rommel was much more than just a soldier.
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