Killing Rommel

Killing Rommel

by Steven Pressfield
4.2 28

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Killing Rommel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Genghis_Sean More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Steven Johnson More than 1 year ago
Could not put this down
lawmarine32 More than 1 year ago
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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Tennesseedog More than 1 year ago
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".
valenciaMS More than 1 year ago
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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barry58 More than 1 year ago
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.
Hawkeye6119 More than 1 year ago
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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