This exciting new series opens with "The Desert Fox," the most famous German field marshall in World War II, Erwin Rommel. A hero of the people of the Third Reich and widely respected by his opponents, Rommel proved himself highly adept at Blitzkrieg warfare. Both in France and North Africa he consistently outwitted his adversaries through his ability to sense the weak spot in his enemy's deployment and the pace at which he conducted his operations. Rommel's serious wounding in France came just three days before the aborted attempt on Hitler's life. Rommel subsequently came under suspicion of being involved in the plot and, under pressure, he committed suicide. Rommel displayed an outstanding ability to seize the initiative and retain it, and here, Charles Messenger draws on the skills behind this ability for the benefit of modern day leaders.
Beyond spellbinding depictions of pivotal confrontations at El Alamein, Monte Cassino, and the Ardennes forest, author-scholar Terry Brighton illuminates the personal motivations and historical events that propelled the three men's careers: how Patton's, Montgomery's, and Rommel's Great War experiences helped to mold their style of command—and how, exactly, they managed to apply their arguably megalomaniacal personalities (and hitherto unrecognized political acumen and tact) to advance their careers and strategic vision.
Opening new avenues of inquiry into the lives and careers of three men widely profiled by scholars and popular historians alike, Brighton definitively answers numerous lingering and controversial questions: Was Patton really as vainglorious in real life as he was portrayed to be on the silver screen?—and how did his tireless advocacy of "mechanized cavalry" forever change the face of war? Was Monty's dogged publicity-seeking driven by his own need for recognition or by his desire to claim for Britain a leadership role in postwar global order?—and how did this prickly "commoner" manage to earn affection and esteem from enlisted men and nobility alike? How might the war have ended if Rommel had had more tanks?—and what fundamental philosophical difference between him and Hitler made such an outcome virtually impossible?
Abetted by new primary source material and animated by Terry Brighton's incomparable storytelling gifts, Patton, Montgomery, Rommel offers critical new interpretations of the Second World War as it was experienced by its three most flamboyant, controversial, and influential commanders—and augments our understanding of each of their perceptions of war and leadership.
From the Hardcover edition.
General Erwin Rommel. His battlefield manner was authoritative, his courage proven in the trenches of World War I when he was awarded the Blue Max. He was a front line soldier who led by example from the turrets of his Panzers. Appointed to command Adolf Hitler’s personal security detail, Rommel had nothing for contempt for the atrocities perpetrated by the Reich. His role in the Führer’s assassination attempt led to his downfall.
Except for a brief confrontation in North Africa, these two legendary titans never met in combat. Patton and Rommel is the first single-volume study to deal with the parallel lives of two generals who earned not only the loyalty and admiration of their own men, but the respect of their enemies, and the enmity of the leaders they swore to obey. From the origins of their military prowess, forged on the battlefields of World War I, to their rise through the ranks, to their inevitable clashes with political authority, military historian Dennis Showalter presents a riveting portrait of two men whose battle strategies changed the face of warfare and continue to be studied in military academies around the globe.