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Knight's Cross: A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,505 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Looks at the career of Rommel, and shows how superficially undisciplined his bold style of leadership could be, and how it inspired the men under his command to attack with ferocity and pursue with tenacity - qualities that served him well in his battles in the North African desert.
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 601 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. (first published November 1993)
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Jul 25, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII buffs
This is a good book about the military genius of Rommel. It is a biography so it also discusses his actions in WWI all the way up to the details behind his suicide. It is a great book, a tad long, but still quite readable.
Oct 29, 2007 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written and accessible biography of one of the most prominent military men of the last century. The author is himself a veteran of the military and his admiration of Rommel's professional prowess is apparent. Very little of the book is spent on his pre-military life, not that it matters. Personally, I was suprised by how much Rommel had accomplished in World War I, a time of his life I had never read about.

Rommel is an interesting character, and studies of him are equally interesting. He
Nov 29, 2007 Alec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military history fans.
This was an exciting and informative, if overly apologist, biography of Rommel. It focuses almost exclusively on his military actions rather than his personal life, and tends to gloss over his military defeats. Thats not an entirely indefensible stance however, since Rommel's victories were some of the most sensational and exciting in history, while his defeats tended to be sad, arrogant, and grinding.

My other major criticism, as suggested earlier, is that the author seems to go out of his way
Apr 20, 2008 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII history buffs
a good book on the great general's life. well worth the read if you are interested in the subject of WWII at all.
Boring book about everyone's favorite Nazi. It's hard to make ice war in the Alps in WWI, Blitzkrieg in France in WWII and the brilliance which was his two stints in North Africa seem pedestrian, but Fraser pulls it off. You will learn lots about Rommel, but unless this is the only book you can get yours hands on, read anything else, although in fairness to Fraser, most every other author has a disturbing amount of man-love for Rommel. I will also credit him for pointing out many of Rommel's fla ...more
Dec 26, 2008 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best and most comprehensive biographies of this true warrior. Covers many of the influencing factors and events surrounding the decisions he made in battle and in life.
Mar 08, 2009 Hasanuddin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Ermin Rommel, Field Marshal Jerman era PD II memiliki kepribadian yang bersahaja. Meski berpangkat Jendral, tak sungkan memimpin langsung anak buahnya terjun dalam pertempuran. Rommel lebih suka memberi komando langsung dari tank. Jendral yang tak sungkan beradu nyawa, nyali dan bersimbah peluh. Selain itu, Rommel adalah pemimpin yang mumpuni. Karirnya kian cemerlang sejak menghancurkan dominasi sekutu di Afrika. Rommel juga jendral yang paling manusiawi. Baginya medan perang tetap harus menjaga ...more
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 'Aussie Rick' rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-military, ww2

There is not much one can add to the other reviews of this very interesting book. The author, David Fraser, offers the reader a well researched and honest account on the life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in 562 pages (hardback version). This has been one of the better biographies on Rommel I have read in some time and one of the best military biographies I have read in the last couple of years. I don't think that too many people would not enjoy this account, the author certianly portrays Rommel
Aug 24, 2009 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military history buffs, historians
Erwin Rommel is a popular subject of biography, not least because he is such a likeable figure. Many milhist buffs who spend most of their time reading about "heroic" American generals also probably have an interest in Rommel, even if their understanding of his past is more troubling. Rommel is the sort of "honorable enemy" which most arm-chair generals like to believe is worth fighting. He is "clean" of the worst crimes of the regime he served, chose an honorable suicide over the dishonor of tr ...more
Mar 29, 2010 Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A solid read of one of the more notable figures of World War II, a respected military officer. I found Knight's Cross to provide more background that peeled away some of the heroic telling of Rommel in Africa to provide a more compelling description of the man and his military career.

As a well-developed book, it provided insight into the challenges that Germany felt in World War II once the United States entered the war and its manufacturing plant and its population.
carl  theaker
Jun 01, 2010 carl theaker rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww2

An excellent read. There are a couple areas that were
covered particularly well, one is the feelings and
perspective of German Officer Corps of the 1920s and
how they became accepting of any political events to
get Germany and its military on its feet again.

Additionally, since the Ultra secrets have mostly
been revealed, the bio can take advantage of explaining
how those affected Rommel's efforts, particularly against
Montgomery. To paraphrase, it was like a poker game
in which Monty could see all Ro
Feb 20, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal biography of a great warrior who found himself on the wrong side of the greatest conflict--WWII-- in the history of man.
Mick Maye
Jun 26, 2011 Mick Maye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, german
Probably biased in my appraisal, however I really loved this book and the account of Rommel. I would recommend this to everybody interested in German and WW2 history,
Denice Sunderland
Aug 28, 2011 Denice Sunderland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasnt bad at all! Im not a huge military history buff, but the personalities of WWII have always intrigued me especially Rommel. I relate him to Robert E Lee in that he was a great military man reluctantly caught on the wrong side of history.

The book is okay I guess, but you can't really write a bad book about such an interesting life.
Marco Grillo
Sep 04, 2011 Marco Grillo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biografia del mitico Rommel, la volpe del deserto. Appunto, mitico, avvolto nel mistero, qui però David Fraser ci descrive gesta, ascesa e caduta del soldato ed uomo Erwin Rommel.
Mar 27, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing biography. I have not read one this impressive since Robertson's Stonewall Jackson biography. Fraser does an amazing job detailing not only the tactical genius of Rommel but also the atmosphere of Nazi Germany and why it was so easy for so many to fall for Hitler's charm. My only problem with this book is that Fraser went out of his way to convince everyone that Rommel had no idea about the atrocities of the Nazi regime and he was just a naive general who had been fooled by H ...more
I thought that Knight's Cross was a very good book. It tells the life of Erwin Rommel who became famous for his role commanding his afrika corps in northern Africa. This book however goes so much deeper than that especially how he was a decorated WWI soldier. Overall anyone who has an interest in military or German history/WWII should read this book.
Aug 06, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this some years ago. It is a solid biography that both enhances and explodes the myth of a General. Great tactician, but as we are just a man,
Adequate analysis of the military abilities and characteristics of one of Germany's most celebrated commanders. The difficulty was getting a sense of the man behind the decision-making process. His personality slowly emerges, but perhaps the best part of the book comes in the latter chapters during the account of Rommel's reactions to the collapse of the Third Reich and the plot to end Hitler's life. Sympathetic treatment for a man dedicated to service to country and morally sustainable honor am ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Aproximación desde el respeto y la suficiente objetividad.-

Género. Biografía.

Lo que nos cuenta. Relato de la vida del protagonista y de los eventos que construyeron su imagen para la posteridad, desde su nacimiento en Suabia, pasando por su participación en las dos guerras mundiales, con protagonismo de los sucesos de la Segunda, por razones obvias, hasta los sucesos que rodearon su muerte.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:
Jan 06, 2014 Sebastiano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
With “Knight's Cross” the late General Sir David Fraser, GCB, OBE produced a solid military biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Fraser was certainly no master with the pen, but his research was thorough and his style straightforward and precise. He relied on Rommel's own writings, those of other German officers and officials, as well as extensive cooperation with Rommel's son, Manfred.

Fraser depicts Rommel fairly – neither exaggerating his military prowess nor whitewashing his admiration o
Without question a good biography, but the writing leaves something to be desired: I find myself reading by alinea for dozens of pages on end. (Especially on Africa)
Jan 21, 2015 Akshay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sympathetic yet absorbing portrayal of General Rommel and his times. It is evident that over the course of war the British and German generals came to regard each other and as such Fraser's treatment of Rommel may seem tolerant it is in no way some worshiping tome. The book is masterly written, impartial and in-depth account of what made Rommel, his outlook, the beliefs and faith behind his unflinching loyalty to fight for Germany. The book adequately reflects the making of Rommel along with h ...more
Neal fleming
May 28, 2015 Neal fleming rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Book was ok but way to much time spend on almost every battle he was involved in. With better editing book could be almost half the size
Jan 04, 2016 Lis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un'opera approfondita e dettagliata su uno dei più grandi comandanti dell'esercito tedesco. Ne vengono trattati pregi, difetti, inclinazioni, aspirazioni e vengono passsate al setaccio le sue decisioni prese durante la guerra, sia in positivo che in negativo.
L'unica nota dolente è forse un eccessivo livello di dettaglio: nel commentare le battaglie arriva a descrivere la dislocazione delle varie compagnie.
Ad ogni modo, una lettura molto interessante ed istruttiva
Mar 13, 2016 Darren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book about combat leadership. Many other reviewers have stated that Fraser provided too favorable a picture of Rommel. I did not see it that way. He respected Rommel's abilities, but also acknowledged his shortcomings. It is interesting how Rommel became an icon for all sides during the war, largely making his name fighting in a "backwater" theater winning only a couple of major victories. But, Rommel's genius of maneuver warfare, especially with limited means at his disposal, should ...more
Jun 06, 2016 Loyalhistorian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was in college. I was taking a Nazi Germany history class from the amazing Dr. Wooster. He gave out an extensive reading list to choose from. This was one of the books that I had chosen to read for the course.

A very interesting and detailed account of Erwin Rommel's military exploits, and about his character as a person and a soldier. Rommel seems to have been a soldier's soldier, doing what he felt was right for the German population and its army up until the end of his
John Nelson
Field Marshal Rommel is one of the more interesting figures of World War II, and certainly one of the most admirable, at least on the Axis side. This biography gives only cursory attention to his youth, but covers the rest of his life in detail: service in the German Army during WWI, the inter-war period, and finally his great triumphs and eventual losses (against overwhelmingly superior forces) in WWII. Despite its length, though, the book does not delve far beneath the surface, and does not le ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: 9780060925970 should have 601 pages 2 16 Apr 18, 2016 11:51AM  
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General Sir David William Fraser, OBE (1962), KCB (1973)[1], GCB (1980), (born 30 December 1920) Vallenders, Isington, Alton, Hants, the only surviving son of Brigadier, The Honourable William Fraser (1890-1964) D.S.O., M.C., who was the military attaché at Paris, France, 1938-1939 when the Second World War begun. Sir David was educated at Eton and Christ Church college in the University of Oxford ...more
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