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Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel (Heidenheim, November 15, 1891 – Herrlingen, October 14, 1944) was a General (Field Marshal) German commander ofduring . He is also known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (“Wüstenfuchs”).
Rommel was born in Heidenheim, about50 kmfromUlmin the state of Württemberg. He was the third of five children (he had three brothers, Manfred died young, Karl and Gerhard, and a sister, Helene). His father Erwin Rommel Sr., was a professor of mathematics at the school inAalen, his mother, Helene von Luz, was the daughter of the President of the Government of Württemberg. Later, in recalling his childhood, Rommel described it as one of the happiest periods of his life. Her sister Helene would say of him that was a sweet and docile boy and very attached to his mother.
Rommel wanted to become an engineer (perhaps working on Zeppelin). His talent manifested itself early when, at the age of fourteen, with the help of a friend built a glider that could fly the natural size for short distances. However, according to the wishes of his father, he decided to enlist in the room 124 ° Infantry Regiment as an officer cadet in 1910. Two years later he was appointed lieutenant. In 1911, as a cadet atDanzig, Rommel met his future wife, Lucie Maria, who married in 1916. In 1928 they had a son, Manfred Rommel (who was three times elected Mayor of Stuttgart from 1974 to 1996). Scholars Bierman and Smith argue that Rommel also had an affair with Walburga Stemmer in 1912, and that history had produced a daughter named Gertrud.
Before World War II
During World War I, Rommel served inFranceas well as on the front of the Romanian and Italian, serving in the elite corps of Alpenkorps: during which time he was wounded three times and awarded the Iron Cross first and second class. He was also the youngest to receive the highest military honors German military, the medal Pour le Merit, which he received after fighting in the mountains of North East, specifically in the battle of theof Caporetto and Spar. There with a bold coup he took 9000 prisoners and an impressive haul that earned him the medal, which, even though he was assigned December 10, 1917, was received by him from the beginning of January along with the mail, that aroused his disappointment and indignation.
After the First World War
In World War I he was regimental commander and instructor at theInfantrySchoolinDresden(1929-1933) and thePotsdamWarAcademy(1935-1938): his war diaries, Infanterie greift an (Infantry attack), became one of the leading textbooks after being published in 1937. In 1938, Rommel (now) was appointed commander of theWarAcademyin Wiener Neustadt. He was transferred shortly afterwards, however, and placed in command of the battalion’s personal security . He was again promoted to General on August 22 split just before the invasion ofPoland, valid retroactively since 1 June 1939.