Which British regiment welcomes left-handers

lemoLiving Museum Online

military

  • November 15: Erwin Rommel is born in Heidenheim (Württemberg) as the son of the teacher Erwin Rommel and his wife Helene (née von Luz).

  • After attending secondary school in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Rommel joined the Württemberg army as a flagjunker. He serves in Infantry Regiment No. 124 in Weingarten (Württemberg).

  • He completed a war school course at the Royal Cadet School in Gdansk (today: Gdansk, Poland).

  • Promotion to lieutenant.
    He trains recruits in Weingarten.

  • March: Rommel is transferred to a field artillery regiment in Ulm.
    August 1st: He returns to the 124th Infantry Regiment.
    August / September: At the beginning of the First World War, Rommel initially served as a platoon leader in Belgium and later at Verdun.
    September: He is wounded in the hip and receives the Iron Cross, 2nd class.

  • January: As a company commander, he leads a raid troop operation in the Argonne (Champagne) and receives the Iron Cross 1st class.
    September: After a leg wound, Rommel is promoted to lieutenant.
    October: Transfer to the Württemberg mountain battalion, with which he is deployed in the trench warfare in the Vosges.

  • October: Rommel is transferred to the Romanian front.
    November: Marriage to Lucie Maria Mollin in Danzig. A son results from marriage.

  • October: He is transferred with the mountain battalion to the Italian Isonzo Front, where he takes part in the advance on the Piave.
    December: Awarded the Pour le Mérite order.

  • Until the end of the war he worked as an orderly officer at a general command on the Western Front.

  • March: Rommel comes as a captain to a company in Friedrichshafen.
    October: New swearing-in in the Reichswehr.

  • Head of a machine gun company in Stuttgart.

  • Rommel is a teacher at the Dresden Infantry School.

  • January: Rommel welcomes the takeover of power by the National Socialists as he hopes for a revision of the Versailles Treaty.
    October: Battalion commander in Goslar (Harz) and promotion to major.

  • September 30th: At the Reichsbauerntag in Goslar, Rommel asserts that the Schutzstaffel (SS) take a position behind the army during the formation. He himself walks the front alongside Adolf Hitler.

  • Rommel becomes course director at the infantry school in Potsdam.

  • He is appointed to Hitler's military escort unit.

  • His book "Infantry Attacks" is published. 400,000 copies will be sold by the end of the Nazi regime.

  • October: During the German invasion of the Sudeten region, Rommel is in command of the Führer Accompanying Command.

  • March: Commander of the Fuehrer's headquarters during the occupation of the "rest of Czech Republic" and the Memelland.
    September: As major general at the beginning of the Second World War, he was in charge of the regular management of the Führer Headquarters.

  • May: As commander of the 7th Panzer Division, he takes part in the French campaign and receives the Knight's Cross.

  • February: After being promoted to Lieutenant General, Rommel is given supreme command of the German Africa Corps in Libya. Hitler ignores the resistance of the Army Commander-in-Chief, Walther von Brauchitsch, to the appointment of Rommel.
    March / April: With an offensive against the British troops at the beginning of the Africa campaign, Rommel succeeds in retaking Cyrenaica (Libya).
    July: He becomes commander of the "Panzergruppe Afrika".
    November: Rommel has to withdraw from Cyrenaica during the British "Crusader" offensive.

  • January: Recapture of the Cyrenaica area.
    May: The major summer offensive of the Axis powers in Africa begins.
    June 22nd: After the conquest of Tobruk, Hitler appoints Rommel field marshal. Rommel thus comes into conflict with the General Staff leadership under Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and Colonel General Alfred Jodl, who reject him because of his close relationship with Hitler and his rapid rise in the Wehrmacht leadership.
    June-August: Rommel advances to El Alamein (Egypt). Bernard L. Montgomery becomes Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces.
    September: During a convalescent vacation in Germany, Rommel appears in the Berlin Sports Palace and is celebrated by the propaganda as a war hero.
    October: The British offensive starts near El Alamein. Hitler orders Rommel, who has returned to Africa, to hold the position.
    November: After the British breakthrough at El Alamein, Rommel begins the retreat. Shortly afterwards, Allied troops land in Algeria (company "Torch").

  • February: Rommel becomes Commander in Chief of Army Group Africa.
    March: He leaves North Africa.
    May: The German Army Group Africa surrenders to the British and American troops.
    July: After the Allied landing in Sicily, Rommel is given command of Army Group B.
    August: In Italy, Benito Mussolini is overthrown and on the orders of King Victor Emanuel III. imprisoned. Thereupon Rommel occupied Italy with his army group.
    September: He is in command of northern Italy, while Albert Kesselring is in command of the German troops in southern Italy.
    November: Rommel receives the order to control the defense measures on the French Atlantic coast. He is thus directly subordinate to Hitler.

  • March: He signs the field marshals' pledge of allegiance and gives it to Hitler.
    July: During the Allied advance in France, Rommel is seriously wounded in a low-flying attack near Caen.
    After the assassination attempt on July 20, Rommel was accused by armed forces leaders of participating in the resistance.
    August: He returns to his house in Herrlingen (near Ulm) on convalescence leave.
    October 7th: He receives the order to report to the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW) in Berlin in order to answer before the People's Court. With reference to his state of health, he refuses.
    October 14: Two generals on behalf of the OKW bring Rommel in Herrlingen the accusation of having been involved in the planning of the assassination. In the presence of the two generals, Erwin Rommel kills himself with a poison capsule.
    October 18: After a major state ceremony in Ulm, his body is buried in nearby Herrlingen.

© German Historical Museum, Berlin