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Rommel: The Desert Fox

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  522 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Paperback, 253 pages
Published 1957 by Berkley Books (first published 1950)
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May 24, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After carrying a paperback of this book around (over about half a dozen moves) for over 20 years, I finally pulled it of a box and read it some months after I had finished Knight's Cross, a much more recent biography of Rommel. I guess I wasn't in a hurry to read this book because I'd seen the excellent movie with James Mason when I was in grade school.

This book, written shortly after the war by a British officer, shows not only the awe in which the British held this opposing general, but also t
Apr 11, 2012 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book many years ago, when I was 12 years old. Desmond Young's book made me a lifelong student and admirer of The Desert Fox. This is not to say the book, like Rommel, does not have its flaws. It does not have the detail of the Fraser or Lewin biographies, and sometimes Young seems to border on hero worship of Rommel. He also fails to recount some of the more unsavory episodes of Rommel's career, such as his actions outside Tobruk. And yet, Young gives a superb look at Rommel t ...more
Darren Goossens
Sep 28, 2015 Darren Goossens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, military
Review from

Rommel by Desmond Young.

Fontana, 1965. 316 pages.

Cover of <i>Rommel</i> by Desmond Young. Cover of Rommel by Desmond Young.

Rommel is a highly illuminating figure when looking at the success of Hitler in Germany up to about 1941, and at the underlying rot in the regime. Brilliant leader of men that he was, Rommel was little interested in politics, and in a sense consciously simplified his life by ignoring it. The tactical sense and discipline of him and other

Sep 25, 2016 Phyllis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was living in England. And it was this book that got me interested in reading about WWII. So for three years, I read every book I could get my hands on about WWII, thanks to the writer of this book who made history so very interesting.
Jul 14, 2016 Oranje rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book's 1955 publication was bought impulsively, due to my curiosity to read and find more about this personality.

It has definitely helped me to explore certain angles of one of the most legendary Generals in WWII. It depicts Rommel in an overall positive way, without however trying to sweep under the carpet certain of his shortcomings at least as perceived by colleagues of his (e.g. including relative narrow strategic vision).

I finish the book also having learned a bit more history, althou
Les Wolf
Jul 07, 2014 Les Wolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Desert Fox, WWII German Field-Marshall Erwin Rommel fought the British forces on the desert sands of North Africa. After a series of spectacular panzer victories, British air and material superiority took its toll and Rommel's forces were defeated. Rommel was not captured. Instead, he was re-assigned to the problem of defending against the impending invasion in France along the so-called Atlantic Wall. While conferring with generals on the European continent, he became aware of the many Nazi ...more
Stuart Dean
Jan 31, 2016 Stuart Dean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by Brigadier General Desmond Young just five years after the war. The text is based on interviews with men who served with Rommel, including Generals von Esebeck, von Ravenstein, and Fritz Bayerlein. Also Frau Rommel and Manfred, Rommel's son. A good, authentic look at the man from the perspective of people who really knew him. All agree that he was no Nazi but a loyal German, and, above all, a soldier. A man made for the military life who is said to have no real outside interests and to ...more
Alberto Ambard
Aug 02, 2012 Alberto Ambard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read this book I knew little about Rommel. By the time I finished it I admired the man. How can you not? This man plotted to kill Hitler, risking not only his own life in the process (and indeed he was killed for it) but also his own family's. But of course there is so much more about Rommel. He is like a fictional character from a hero movie but real. Thus, the story is fascinating.

The biography is very well written. The writer actually fought against Rommel. A fact that only adds
Rui Valente
This is a great, touching biography of Erwin Rommel. I had supposed that a book first published in 1950 would be hopelessly dated. I was so wrong!
The book stays away from what could become a tedious, and by today's knowledge, outdated, blow-for-blow account of his numerous battles and instead the author goes mostly after Rommel's character, trying to figure out who he was and what he thought of a particular situation.
Rommel emerges not only as a resourceful general, but also as a very courageou
Prem Rao
Jan 15, 2013 Prem Rao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though it was natural for me as a young reader in India to side with the Allies in the Second World War, there were a few German commanders who earned the respect of even their enemies. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the German Commander of the Afrika Korps, who pushed the British 8th Army all the way to Tobruk, was one such.

Desmond Young's story was impartial and brought out the facts of the battle as they took place in North Africa. We get to know the ingenuity with which Rommel planned and execu
Aug 04, 2008 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historians, biography lovers
This is a well written Rommel biography researched and written by an admirer who fought against him the desert war of World War II.

Much of Rommel's official history was badly tainted by Nazi propagandists and Desmond Young got a great deal of the information from personal sources now largely deceased. The author's bias towards General Rommel is obvious but he details the military mistakes and personal foibles of the general as well.

The ending includes an Appendix written by Rommel himself on the
Allen Perry
Sep 02, 2013 Allen Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot on Rommel but this book holds a special place to me among the histories I have read. First though let me say that it is very well written and based on quite a bit of first hand knowledge and research from good sources like Field Marshall Rommel's widow. I love this book because it illustrates the great respect adversaries can have for one another even in times of war and shows Rommel not only for his military genius but his sense of honor without compromise. Anyone who wants a ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rummel is quite the guy, integrity that stands out given the events should not be understated.

Book was interesting and the author certainly did go to lengths to talk to people and muster up details.

Could have used many more pictures, diagrams and maps though as most of the battles and maneuvers had me glazing over slightly given i was not too acquainted with the history and terrain (author assumes a bit here) and whilst it does give you insight as to Rummel ' s knack/intuition it ends up being
Detailed account of the personal life of the most well known German military office of WWII (not necessarily best, though I've yet to hit Guderian's PANZER LEADER to compare). As a personal portrait this is intriguing,and Rommel is painted in a generally positive light, from his undistinguished origins to his voluntary suicide in the dwindling days of the great war. But without a thorough knowledge of tank warfare, WWII personalities, the sociopolitical history of Nazi Germany and British WWII e ...more
Sep 16, 2015 Baronation rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating man who lead a very interesting life, this book tells his story from his brave deeds in WW1 to his almost mythical actions in WW2 to his demise at the hands of the horrendous regime that was running the country he loved. Lots of fresh interviews from people who served with him during his career and from his family and also his opponents within the allied forces (he seems to have had more enemies with the Nazi party than he did at SHAEF). The book was even written by a man who had b ...more
Matthew Moss
Feb 19, 2015 Matthew Moss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Important book on Rommel, as it's one of the very first post war biographies. Researched right after the war even as the Nuremberg trials were taking place. Well written, with personal insight into how Young researched. Although many later books have now re-examined Rommel's papers it's still interesting to look at one of the first.
Doug Turnbull
Jan 19, 2013 Doug Turnbull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in 1964 and was impressed by Brigadier Desmond Young's even handed account of Rommel's life and career. If you want detailed accounts of the many battles in North Africa, you will have to go to other books, but for a good account of Rommel the man, this one is the best. Brigadier Young interviewed family and friends as well as other officers, so this is a well rounded biography.
Wachlin007 Hotmail
Feb 22, 2008 Wachlin007 Hotmail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I respect Rommel a lot more after reading this book. Tactically, he was amazing, but many others have been too. What really impressed me was that in the end he was one of the few German leaders who actually tried to take Hitler down. In the end, he was forced to commit suicide. He was a good man and a good fighter.
Neelakantan Nair
Made me admire the german efforts in war from a purely academic and military/strategic point of view. It's fascinating to read that there were gentlemen on the German side as well. It's a fact that gets obscured by the American portrayal of all Germans at war as being Nazis.
Feb 26, 2016 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential with a promising subject matter but how the author choose to deliver it made it borderline unreadable. Specifically he was apparently a British WWII POW & kept in his narrative reverting to the 1st person. Nor did it help there were WAY to many commas.
Nov 03, 2008 Lafang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one a long time ago (15 years?) and thought it very well done. Rommel seems to have been a great general and had some scruples: trying to get rid of Hitler at the end of the day. Worth reading if you like war history. I generally don't so this is high praise.
Kingsley Layton
Jun 23, 2015 Kingsley Layton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Really enjoyed this riveting read of one of the most outstanding generals (field marshals) to have ever been born. Relays well the genius of the man.
Richard Fulgham
Nov 18, 2008 Richard Fulgham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best, most exciting book about Rommel I've read. I admire Rommel and was pleased to see him fairly treated.
Mar 25, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erwin-rommel
A good overview of Rommel's military career and accomplishments. I really enjoyed reading this book for the second time.
Apr 04, 2012 Roark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dad read this book as a youth and passed his copy on to me. Most interesting to me was to see the war presented from an non-american viewpoint.
Nick Black
Dec 06, 2008 Nick Black marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Amazon 2008-12-06. Recommended in Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (p1079, paperback edition).
Luis Belisario
Great book, one of the best I have read about the mariscal Rommel. It`s a Classic. Well written, very English perspective but in a good way. I recommend this book. ...more
Nov 10, 2014 Hannu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tämä suomennos ei ole erinomainen ja kirjasta on tainnut jäädä oikoluku tekemättä: siinä on useita lauseita joissa ei ole niissä olevien virheiden takia paljoakaan järkeä.
Barry Smith
Jun 20, 2008 Barry Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Of War & Tacticts
Nonfiction book that keeps you on the edge of your seat even when you know the outcome. Very informative.
Marcos rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2012
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