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On War and Leadership by Owen Connelly

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VII

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel

(1891–1945)

NO BETTER EXEMPLAR of military leadership can be found than Erwin Rommel. As a lieutenant and captain in World War I, he led infantry on the Western and Italian fronts, in the latter often penetrating enemy lines and in the final days capturing thousands of prisoners. As a general and field marshal in World War II, Rommel made legend as the “Desert Fox” in North Africa at the head of his Afrika Korps. He was a “natural.” Major General von Mellenthin, a lieutenant colonel in Africa, wrote: “Between Rommel and his troops was that mutual understanding which cannot be explained and analyzed, but which is the gift of the gods. The Afrika Korps followed Rommel wherever he led, however hard he drove them ...

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