“The Desert Fox” was the nickname of Rommel for his exceptional invention and his ability to use various tricks skilfully on the battlefield.
Having gone through World War II, Rommel remained in the Staff of the Reichswehr (Realm Defence) in peacetime. Since 1938 he had been Commander of the Theresian Military Academy, during the Poland Campaign he headed Hitler’s Bodyguard. After that, Fuhrer personally allowed Rommel to choose the next place of employment on his own. In spite of the fact that Rommel’s military experience was exclusively restricted by the service in the infantry unit till that time, he appointed himself to the post of Commander of the 7th Panzer Division.
During the invasion of France his unit was nicknamed ‘Ghost Division” due to the fact that nobody knew where it was situated, including even military commanders. Rommel preferred commanding from the forward positions, often moving along with reconnaissance. He didn’t like interference with his affairs from above and could not get in touch with the higher Headquarters for a long time, preferring his own judgement. Despite that fact, the actions of the 7th Panzer Division were extremely effective in France. One of the new tactical maneuvers, which were successfully used by Rommel, became the fire from the 88mm air defence gun Flak on the enemy tanks. Later, this maneuver was used by him in Africa.
Having headed the African Corps, Erwin Rommel inflicted a number of crushing defeats on the British and in April 1942 he managed to seize the Fortress Tobruk only from the second attempt. Having rather enormous forces, Rommel drove the English grouping far off to the South, to the Nile River delta. But in spite of the brilliant tactical success, the general strategic situation was against the Desert Fox. The forces of the African Corps were exhausted and the following British counter-offensive turned out to be the annihilation of the whole German grouping in North Africa. Then Rommrl’s military service was in Europe in a position of Inspector General of the Atlantic Wall. After landing the Allied Forces in Europe, Rommel took part in preparing an unsuccessful attempt on Hitler’s life. As a result, he was ordered to choose between a trial or suicide. Rommel chose the last.
In the history of World WarII he remains an outstanding military leader with the unique methods of commands. The British felt both fear and respect towards him. Moreover, for all the time of his participation in the combat actions, Erwin Rommel didn’t dishonour his biography by taking part in the military offences, very few German commanders of that time managed to escape it.