Customer Reviews for

Killing Rommel

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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5 Star

(15)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Finding Rommel in severe desert warfare

    This novel presents an excellent account of Desert warfare in Africa during World War II. The account is taken from manuscripts written by R. Lawrence Chapman, ¿Chap¿ as he was called. Chap¿s father had been a mentor and surrogate father to the author of this book who would never consider publishing his ¿account¿ of his minor, as he called it, service to England during the war in the very unfriendly desert areas in Africa and Tunisia. Chap¿s story had me ducking, driving, avoiding bullets and other ammunition, airplanes as they raided the area, and helping repair the vehicles that so often broke down in the desert heat of the days and the cold nights. The Long Range Desert Group is made up of very highly trained Special Forces that are trained to work in the harshest of climates and terrain. The desert is generally thought of as sand and hot with unrelenting sun beating down on any living or dead creature. This is true but at night it can get extremely cold causing such temperature extremes that humans and equipment have a hard time just enduring. Chap is eventually assigned to one of these groups and learns fast that his training did not give him the sufficient knowledge that he would need to endure, not just the climate, but the enemy consisting of German desert fighters led by General Edwin Rommel, also known as The Desert Fox. The LDRG is hunting for Rommel through most of the desert warfare in this story. The purpose of finding him was to kill him. Rommel did not hide behind his forces but rather led them usually out front of them making him exposed to the enemy. Chap was only one small part of the desert action but what he saw and had to do to exist, along with his own men, makes for a great read. The temperature extremes caused trucks, jeeps, guns, and all other heavy-duty equipment to break down frequently, forcing stops in many an inconvenient and unsafe area. They had to make do with the cover they could find such as peaks and valleys of the desert. They could only travel certain hours of the day because navigation in the desert is impossible unless you can find your way by the sun and/or star positions. If it was too bright or nasty weather closed in, they had to sit, wait, and hope they would not be found by the enemy or another group of their own, thinking they were meeting the enemy. These stops gave them little rest, little sleep, while repairing what they could, sometimes by cannibalizing wrecks to get the parts they needed for the equipment that was in fair condition. If they left a vehicle behind, the German¿s would take it, repair it, paint their swastikas on it, and put it in battle against the original owners. One must read this book to appreciate what these men went through while trying to find and kill General Rommel. Steven Pressfield has taken the manuscript of Chap¿s and turned it into a great story, most of which is factual with only a few names and groups changed. It is almost unbelievable but we know from history that such brutal tours of duty did exist and this book only touches a brief part of how severe conditions made men live and die while fighting for their lives practically every minute of every day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Strange Read

    I leave factual reviews to more able reviewers than I. My reviews are of feelings, my feelings that are a result of reading this book. I laughed often during the read. A lot of military jargon normally confuses and aggravates me. Not so with this book. It was a strange read because I should not have liked it, but I did. Very much. Thank you, Mr. Pressfield.

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Desert warfare, well-captured

    This book falls far short of Pressfield's Gates of Fire, but that's gentle criticism since most books do. It's a novel of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), an early version of the Special Forces, in its war against the Germans in North Africa. The strength of the book is, as in Gates of Fire, how Pressfield captures the period. One feels transported to WWII England complete with all the trepidations and hopes that would accompany such a move. Similarly, though I believed prior to reading the book that I had an idea of what desert warfare was like, I realized midway through the book that I did not. Pressfield grants fascinating revelations about the combat that occurred in North Africa. For example, it was largely a civilized war, if one can imagine such a thing, fought without malice, with both sides viewing the other as an adversary rather than an enemy. For example, it was customary when a tank under fire burst into flames to hold one's fire and permit the men to escape. Follow the LRDG as it ultimately is tasked with hunting down and killing Rommel, the Desert Fox. It is an entertaining read, deserving of 3.5 stars, though I was not permitted to be so precise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2011

    Shocking

    Could not put this down

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Good read

    This book is very well written although it could have given a little more detail about the Desert Fox himself. It did do a nice job keeping you interested though!

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Amazing Desert War (and I don't mean Iraq)

    This is exciting action in a theater of World War II little discussed and most likely unknown to most of the public. Author Pressfield now shows himself to be a master of elucidating modern warfare and its actual effects on people much as he showed, in his earlier Greek works, how Classical Era warfare effected those practicing it. The flow of this story is smooth and keeps the reader interested with each chapter providing some inducement at the end to prompt a turning of the page. You just keep reading and you feel a part of the team doing their duty in the desert. The meeting with Rommel leaves you breathless. I still do not know whether it is real or not. And I don't really care. Pick up this book and take a journey into excitement and feel again the greatness of the "Greatest Generation".

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    An Excellent Account of the British Endeavor to Track Rommel in the Deserts of North Africa and End His Leadership of the Afrika Korps

    Well written account of a small, speciallly trained unit of British Commandos who track Field Marshall Edwin Rommel, aka "The Desert Fox," leader of the Wermacht's Afrika Korps, in the deserts of Libya and Egypt during WWII. The intent was either to capture or kill Rommel, one of the most successful military leaders of WWII. Although the commandos failed in their mission, the descriptions of life in the desert for both the British and the German soldiers, the effect of the desert on military equipment, the camaraderie experienced amongst all ranks of the commandos and the respect for the enemy that each side had for the other, is riveting.

    My only objection to the book is the title - "Killing Rommel." My opinion, "Chasing Rommel" would have been more appropriate.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    WOW

    Pressfield does it again. Steven Pressfield is one of the top historical fiction writers of our time. Killing Rommel is a fantastic vision of the African Campaign in WWII. Highly recommended.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    A great World War story

    This is an excellent book. A great beginning, it gets a little slow in the middle but the last fifty pages are really amazing. One of Steven's best and a really fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    READING THIS BOOK WAS LIKE BEING THERE!!!!!!

    This was the best WW2 historical novel that I have read since DUST ON THE SEA by Edward L. Beach. I have read extensively on the desert war in North Africa particularly regarding the LRDG and the SAS. Every word rings true!!! In my mind's eye, I can see it, hear it, smell it, taste it!!! I couldn't put it down!!! This book is a real page turner!!! If this type of book is your thing, get it NOW!!! Your time will be well spent!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    Wow , don't pass this up.

    This book, no matter what type of reading you prefer has it all. Love during a time of world war. The The desert fox Rommel and his standards while men slaughtered each other as a matter of everyday survival. The lost art of tank warfare and the unbelieveable hardships on both sides while enduring 122 degrees desert heat and freezing nighttime temperatures. Don't pass up a chance to get a feeling of what some were asked to endure for the sake of freedom in the face of an enemy tank commander that one could not help but be awed by. Pressfield brings it all together so that no matter age or profession its all very easy to learn from.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Britain's Legendary Long Range Desert Group

    We¿ve come to expect ¿ripping good yarns¿ from best-selling novelist, Steven Pressfield, but usually his historical novels are set in the ancient world and feature the likes of Alexander the Great or Leonidas the Spartan. This time out, however, Pressfield moves the target of his unmatched skills as storyteller 2000 years forward to World War II¿s desert war in North Africa where the Desert Fox, Germany¿s Erwin Rommel, reigned as Britain¿s nemesis in 1942. But, chiefly, this is a compelling, thoroughly-researched story based upon the exploits of Britain¿s Long Range Desert Group 'LRDG', the daring, often eccentric commandos who roamed the vast stretches of North African desert in jeeps and light trucks conducting reconnaissance missions and raids on Axis units far behind the front lines. Rommel himself declared that ¿man for man, the LRDG had done more damage to the Axis cause than any other outfit in the North African campaign.¿ Pressfield shows you how they did it. The story is presented as a first-person account memoir written by a fictional citizen-soldier, Lt. R. Lawrence ¿Chap¿ Chapman, a British Eighth Army armor officer ¿seconded¿ to the LRDG in the summer and fall of 1942. Ostensibly only temporarily joining the LRDG for a single patrol to assess the trafficability of remote routes that large armored formations might take through the forbidding desert, Chap quickly bonds with his new ¿band of brothers¿ mates and defies orders to return to his regular Eighth Army unit ¿ even going AWOL from a field hospital while sick with pneumonia to rejoin the LRDG. Historical personalities, however, are part of the story, too, and legendary desert commandos like Jake Easonsmith, Paddy Mayne, Nick Wilder, Ron Tinker, and Vladimir Peniakoff, aka ¿Popski,¿ appear to help propel the ¿can¿t put it down¿ narrative. These historical personalities and their authentically detailed missions -- and Pressfield¿s extraordinary attention to the historically accurate details and experiences of the desert war -- make the book read more like an exciting unit battle history of the commandos than a work of fiction. As Pressfield explains, ¿Practically no incident depicted in these pages as happening to the men of T3 patrol did not occur in fact to others at other times during the desert war. In other words, if an event didn¿t happen to these soldiers literally, it either did happen to men just like them or it could have.¿ Yet, Pressfield doesn't just tell us a fascinating story about the Long Range Desert Group, he takes us along for the ride! Reading Killing Rommel is the closest thing to actually participating in one of these daring WWII raids in the trackless desert of North Africa that any of us today will ever get. As the title suggests, ¿killing Rommel¿ is the intended purpose of the first mission that initiates Chap into the LRDG brotherhood yet the unique nature of the desert war ¿ in Pressfield¿s 'and Rommel¿s' words, a ¿war without hate¿ ¿ meant that the commandos set about their job with a calculating, businesslike efficiency, not overwhelmed by some intense desire to rid the world of a brutal, Nazi monster. Rommel was targeted because he was the driving force and battlefield genius behind the Afrika Korps¿ and Axis forces¿ success in the theater, and at the time the mission was planned, he had British and Commonwealth forces reeling on the ropes ¿ his panzers were only a short drive from Cairo and the strategically important Suez Canal. ¿Killing Rommel¿ was devised as a bold stroke to reverse Britain¿s North African battlefield fortunes, and the only military unit that offered any hope such a daring, risky mission might succeed was the LRDG. While British and Axis forces faced each other across the battlefield of El Alamein, an LRDG patrol 'with Chap along' strikes out across the desert to find the Desert Fox and kill him ¿ if they can. Pressfield¿s thrilling story of how that raid and Chap¿s subsequent adventures with the LRDG play

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    Posted January 16, 2011

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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    Posted September 16, 2009

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