Sunday, 12 March 2017

Erwin Rommel: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History - Book Review

This is a short biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel who served under the Nazi German army during the Second World War; popularly known as the Desert Fox for his North African exploits.

The book starts with his early life and how he went on to develop a liking towards the Nazi ideology primarily owing to his hatred towards the Treaty of Versailles, a feeling shared by many Germans. It then talks about Rommel's very quick rise in the army during peace time, his exploits in North Africa and then talks about the amount of faith Hitler had in him and then, eventually moves on to describe his shift in ideology and his failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, leading to his eventual downfall.

I felt the book was a well structured biography and I am glad that the Hourly History team chose to present a book on him considering we know a lot about Allied Generals, be it Alan Brooke or Douglas McArthur or Dwight Eisenhower but I am unsure whether in case of Axis Generals, we'd be able to go beyond Himmler or Emp. Hirohito. The book also brought out the reasons for his success in North Africa, the reasons for his eventual shift in ideology quite well. My favourite part was the conclusion, where the book presented all points of view surrounding Rommel as to whether he was merely Hitler's stooge or a genuine rebel who started the crumbling of the Third Reich or a mere opportunist who claimed to follow the right ideology at the right time.

What I expect from a biography on a controversial figure is usually the ability to pass judgements as to which side of history whether I wish to put them and in this case, the book helped me do that. Considering that, I would award the book a rating of seven on ten.

Rating - 7/10

Have a nice day,

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