Rommel and Hitler

  • So what do you guys think… Was Rommel really involved in the assassination plot against Hitler? I havent done enough research on this to make my own conclusion, but im sure some of you have an opinion (or have more info)

  • IMO i dont think he was involed. From what ive read, He was a strong NAZI supporter.

  • yeah but the OSS and British Intel. were able to get die hard nazi’s to turn. Could Rommel have been pissed that hitler didnt reinforce him properly? Could he have known that Germany was going to lose the war, or at least think they’ll lose with Hitler running the show? Just thoughts to consider.

  • the way I understand it is that Rommel was loosely affiliated with one or two individuals that had connections to the plot. This indicates that he probably didn’t know anything about the assassination attempt untill after it was carried out. The rest was just Hitler’s growing paranoia near the end of the war.

  • From what I read in Rommel at D-Day (or was it Normandy?) was that Rommel was one of the conspirators in the plot to assassinate Hitler. Apparently Rommel was enraged at Hitler for labeling him a defeatists and refushed to compromise by surrendering to the Allies during the Normandy invasion. There was even some talk about electing Rommel as the new president once Hitler was ousted.

  • Rommel was aware of the plot to some extent, but favored Hitler’s arrest and trial over a cowardly assassination. Rommel knew the war was over after Alamein and became increasingly unhappy (putting it lightly) with Hitler until his death. Rommel’s popularity with the German people made him a good candidate for president had the assassination attempt not failed. If Hitler was dead the conspirators would have thrown the presidency in Rommel’s lap. Rommel was labeled by the Allied propaganda as an evil Nazi like most of Hitler’s generals. The Nazi’s also used Rommel’s popularity to marry him to the Nazis so they looked good. He complained about this several times. Only after the war Rommel’s true beliefs were known where he was then labeled “the hero of the German Resistance” which was post-war propaganda to save his name and give the German people some dignity.

    A little known fact about Rommel is what would have happened if he would have lived. Rommel, before his wounding by the UK fighter, was going to Eisenhower to surrender the Western Front! He was suing for peace without Hitler and his regime (legal treason). He cared about what Hitler did not: the suffering of German troops on both fronts against overwhelming odds, the suffering of the German AND French people during Allied air raids, the suffering of ALL in the death and work camps, etc, etc. His plan was to make Peace with the UK/USA and send all available units to the Eastern Front to delay the Russians until a peace agreement with them could be reached. It is unclear that this would work due to the Allied demand for unconditional surrender and Nazi attrocities. It was a German’s worst fear to be ruled by the Soviets. We all know what happened after the war.

    Officially, Rommel died in the Fall of 1944 due to complications from the wounds received in that air attack. In reality, he was given the choice of cyanide or trial as a conspirator. Conspirators who chose trial never made it to Berlin alive. He chose cyanide with the understanding his wife and son would be left alone. A tragic and unfitting death to a man who gave his entire life to his country. But just another number to the millions slaughtered by the Nazis.

    Sorry for all the seriousness guys. Rommel was one of the greatest men of the 20th century (my opinion). I have a few books on him which I don’t have access to right now. Most good ones are written by British officers after the war. Check them out…

    [ This Message was edited by: Field Marshal on 2002-03-16 07:49 ]

    [ This Message was edited by: Field Marshal on 2002-03-16 07:50 ]

  • I never knew the Rommel was actually going to surrender the entire Western Front to the Allies! But what’s Rommel suppose to do about the Eastern and Southern Half!? That would’ve been great. Rommel and the Germans teaming up with UK/USA against Red Russia. Oh well… maybe in a different universe. Anyways a lot of stuff said about Rommel was correct. It’s sort of ironic that even though Rommel hated the Nazis and was even killed by them, he was given a grand burial with the Nazi flag drapped across his coffin.

    PS: Another little known fact was that after Rommel returned from Africa he desperately sought command in the Eastern Front. Allas that was never meant to be as Hitler sent Rommel to “inspect” the Atlantic Wall.

  • Rommel wanted to be where the action was. He felt he could have made a difference at that front. At that time, he was unaware that the Nazi’s were running the show in Russia. There would be no “Gentlemen’s War” like in Africa. Hitler would have eliminated him sooner.

    I think it came down to days when Rommel was going to go to the Allies with his proposals and his being wounded. After that, he openly talked bad about Hitler, even in the company of Nazi and Gestapo agents. Shortly before his death, he was asked the status of the war. His iritated answer, " The Americans are here, the British there, and the Russians there. What do you think? Hitler is a fool!" This helped fuel the conspiracy ties to him. Rommel was lying in a French hospital being treated for his head injuries days before the attack on Hitler’s life. He obviously could have no direct involvement, and it will always be argued how much knowledge he did have.

    Personally I believe he had limited information, being a professional soldier, that occupied the majority of his time. He expressed his desires for alternative measures rather than murder. He had his own plans, which meant acting against Hitler outside the conspiracy, but it was a good enough excuse to kill him.

  • Rommel rubs off as arrogant if you ask me. He sounds like he knows everything in his book Infantry Attacks, and he never listened to Kesselring (however you spell that guy’s name.) rommel over extended in Africa, plain and simple.

  • Rommel wasn’t nearly as Arrogrant as he apears to be. He was very cautious in planing his battles and deeply respected Allied commanders. Plus he was a realists and knew when Germany was finished. As for over-extending, what do you expect from a “second-rate front.” Even though Rommel spent time in oil rich areas, he barely got any fuels or supplies from Germany.

  • I dont know that Rommel was that good, as much as, the British were inexperienced. His(Rommel) main tactic was to attack British positions, engage their armor, fall back and draw the armor into tank traps(hidden anti-tank guns). Once the allies recognized this, it was on.

  • I’d hardly call Lybia an oil rich area.

  • Bossk, take this:

    Africa is a continent of 54 countries with an estimated mid-2000 population of 805 million people. The upstream oil industry is key to the continent of Africa, with proved reserves of 75.4 billion barrels and in 1998 it produced 7.8 million barrels per day (381 million tons/year) of over 40 types of crude oil. Five countries dominate Africa’s upstream oil production. Together they account for 85% of the continent’s oil production and are, in order of decreasing output, Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola.

    Never before have we had so little time in which to do so much

    [ This Message was edited by: TG Moses VI on 2002-03-20 20:42 ]

  • 2019 Moderator

    Mr Ghoul:

    His genius lies in the fact that he came up with a tactic that worked extreemly well. Perhaps with better resourses he could have come up with more tactical improvements.

    If you haven’t already you should check into his exploits in WWI. German army officers didn’t become generals because they looked good in the uniform. That is until Hitler came along:(

  • What I really admire about Rommel was that he really did care about his troops. He really wanted to transport his Afrika Korps back to Italy, but for Hitler and Allied Air power, that was never meant to be. (Imagine 300,000 more veteran Germans in Italy!) The true genius behind Rommel was that he was able to take his limited supplies and mount an offensive that more often then not succeeded. Rommel knew that he would be outmatched if he sat there over long battles of attrition.

  • Ya, your right, Rommel was tight.

  • Rommel’s level of arrogance was displayed at his failure at the attacks on the fortress at Tobruk. Probably his greatest failure, he was counting on the wave he road of successes from Tripoli. He attacked with poor intelligence about the enemy strengths, positions, and reserves. He was beaten back horribly with heavy casualties. Poor communications and Rommel’s need to “lead from the front” also led to the failure. This quality, many times criticized, was part of his “magic”. He had a keen sense, almost a sixth sense, for battle. He used every advantage in his favor and exploited all enemy weaknesses. He was good with the men and shared all their hardships. He had great respect for his enemies and treated all prisoners as his own troops.

    Given the proper logistical support, which would have been no easy task (maxing out all occupied port capacities), Rommel WOULD have taken the Suez and Middle Eastern oil fields. India would have been cut off and Russia would have faced a more southern front. There is little doubt in that.

  • “Given the proper logistical support, which would have been no easy task (maxing out all occupied port capacities), Rommel WOULD have taken the Suez and Middle Eastern oil fields. India would have been cut off and Russia would have faced a more southern front. There is little doubt in that”

    What if? What if? What if!!! The truth is that rommel blundered because he relied too much on having better intelligence. he was given a map found in the desert that said that it was rocky where it was sandy, and threw his tanks that way. If hitler wasn’t so arrogant himself and continued to support his fallshirmjager, the axis could of taken out malta, attacked turkey, or who knows (at least malta.) the truh is the kesselring realized that if malta stayed, the germans couldn;t get the supplies needed to defeat the british.

  • Well the main problem with logistical support is that you can’t expect much from a second rate front. “To place a leader with his qualities in a secondary theater and expect him to fight a holding operation was a serious misjudgement of his ability.” As for the whole planing buisness, even though Rommel did analyzed battles he was fond of saying, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” I guess you could rule that under his sixth sense.

  • Horten,
    Where exactly did Rommel “blunder”? He lost a war of attrition against the British. Monty took no chances. He had the time and the resources. Rommel knew he had to win fast in Egypt before American production tipped the scales against him. Once that occured, he knew the war was lost.

    Reviewing the desert war, both sides had their share of tactical mistakes. Little did Rommel know at that time, Hitler and his top brass considered Africa more as a diversion rather than a serious front. It kept the UK/USA out of Europe - temporarily. Anything Rommel needed or requested was 2nd to the Eastern Front. Hitler, on more “sane” days, initially never considered Africa more than just “helping” their Italian Allies. A purely “political” decision. Only after it was too late, did the Reich understand Africa’s true importance. Soon after, the vaunted “Afrika Korps” surrendered.

    Rommel learned his first lesson of Hitler - the intentional sacrifice of German soldiers. Hitler’s orders were to fight to the last man, delaying a European invasion as long as possible. Good strategic sense. Bad for the possible thousands of lives that could have been lost for nothing. Luckily, the German commanders in charge did surrender against orders.

    After wars lines are re-drawn and cities re-built. But all that is really accomplished is that many lives are lost. In this case, because of one madman.

  • I can’t remember when exactly he blundered relying on a fake british map. what I can remember was that when he was in france (washe the in command of the 10th panzer division? I can’t remember) he was the ghost division, because his superior intelligence compared to the french. it was less of a “sixth sense” and more of a “wow, we found out about a bridge the french didn’t blow up.” He endedup behind the french lines this way. In Egypt, the british used mass d eception to hurt rommel’s military intelligence, and they were already breaking german code. Rommel’s superior military intelligence was out done, and he was sent reeling back in africa.

  • Well a big part as to why Rommel lost out in Africa was the overwhelming Allied Naval and Air Cover. These two make piecemeal of Rommel’s supply lines.

  • i’m not sure if you said this earlier but he was one of the few german commanders not guilty of any war crimes and he died by swalloing a cianide pill on his way to meet hitler ware he would have been probalble exicuted.

  • Man, Field Marshal, thanks for the insight on Rommel. This stuff is very interesting…

    As far as Rommel being “arrogant”–he was a General. They’re all “arrogant” to the extent that they believe they are going to win and that the thousands of lives in their hands are safe (or at least, well-spent). Look at Montgomery, or especially MacArthur!

    You can’t knock Rommel’s acheivements in Africa, you just can’t. The strategy of ALL British Generals there in every campaign of WWII was to mass the HUGEST force they could, with the most overwhelming superiority in numbers and stick it to the Germans. that Rommel was able to survive at all (let alone invade Egypt) is a testament to his genius…


  • Well unlike the British and Russians, German military doctrine did not express the overwhelming need for numbers. I think it was Guardin (spell check, but he was the guy who invented the blitzkreig tactics) who once said, “5 tanks right now is better than 10 tanks 30 minutes minutes from now.” I know it was something like that. (He was referring for the need to strike quickly and efficiently)

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