Rommel biography: Carell vs. Young

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Bene
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Rommel biography: Carell vs. Young

Post by Bene » 27 Apr 2002 21:21

Hi,

which Rommel biography, do you think, is better (I read both and I want to hear your opinion):

1.) Paul Carell's book "Die Wüstenfüchse - Mit Rommel in Afrika"
2.) Desmond Young's biography "Rommel".

My favourite is Carell's book but tell me if I am wrong! :-)

Cu and greetings

Bene

---edit ---
In Carell's book there is a chapter about the german bombing of Fort Lamy at the Tschad Lake in Africa. Does anybody of you know more about this (very spectacular) bombing raid? Is it true this attack was the most southern fight in WW2 in which german troops were involved?
--------

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 28 Apr 2002 02:16

I haven't read either, but I strongly recommend all those who are fascinated with Rommel to read the Rommel Papers, they are very interesting and provide an excellent perspective on the North African theatre.

Erwin Rommel
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As I think, I will go with Desmond Young's book.... ^^;;;

Post by Erwin Rommel » 28 Apr 2002 02:31

I haven't read the Carell's book yet, but I'm a big fan of Rommel...

So, I have been trying to read all the books about Rommel..

So far, I've read 'Knight's Cross' and 'Rommel(by Desmond Young), particularly famous ones... 8)

I've also had a great chance to read David Irving's 'The Trails of the Fox'.. :P

(What a great book~~!! If you are a Rommel fan, I certainly recommend you to read it!! It's fantastic and the greatest book on Rommel! I particularly loved the intro of the book where Rommel meets a captured British commando... It touched me greatly... ) :wink:

Anyway, I think that Desmond Young's book was greater...

I'm not saying that Carell is not a great writer or something, but I will choose for Young's book.

It's very well written book and I think Young did such a great job on that book..

PS: I strongly agree with Gwynn Compton, because 'Rommel Papers' is the GREAT book to read!!

Sure I loved it, all right.. :wink:

In the book, you could read the section that was provided from Fritz Bayerlien, who was under the command of Rommel...

Very interesting, and from this book, I have gained a great information about the North African theatre... :roll:

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MICHAELM82
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Post by MICHAELM82 » 28 Apr 2002 02:58

The only bio of Rommel I have read is Destert Fox by Young and its one of the best, even though its pretty old!
Mike

Dan
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Post by Dan » 28 Apr 2002 03:18

Have you read Irving's "Trail of the Fox"? He has probably got the most inside information of any of his biographers. You can get it used in paperback for just 2 or 3 dollars. At the end of the day, a persons own letters are worth lots more than speculation. Rommel's wife gave Irving about 1400 of their letters to each other. No other biographer comes close.

Regards
Dan

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 28 Apr 2002 12:48

Rommel tried very hard to keep up a regular chain of letters to his wife, it really amazes me that he actually managed to find the time not only to do that, but to have his typist take down the Rommel Papers.

Quite a talented writer though.

Bene
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Post by Bene » 28 Apr 2002 13:07

First, thank you all for your help!
I suggest you all read Carell's book, it's worth it definitely!!

About Irving: I have read one book of him, the title was "Und Deutschlands Städte starben nicht" (The bombing of the German cities 'til the end of the war).
But one thing makes me think a little bit about Irving: I read some very strange things about him, that he is a Neonazi or something, that he spoke for the DVU in Germany among other things. I wouldn't say that I don't want to read his books because of this, but shouldn't you be a little bit careful with his books?? Let's say - are they really written objective?
But I'll see to get his Rommel book.

Greetings

Bene

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Richard Murphy
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Another suggestion

Post by Richard Murphy » 28 Apr 2002 14:17

Irving's book is good (In terms of being very readable.), and emphasises Rommels bad points (Arrogant, unbending and totally incapable of taking critisism.) very well, but several people mentioned (Particularly Friedrich Ruge.) have taken exception to the accuracy of his analysis.

Other title's I would recommend; Heckmann's book (Sorry, can't remember exact title as I lost my copy several years ago and haven't got a replacement yet.) and Heinz Werner Schmidt's "With Rommel in the Desert". Schmidt was Rommels adjutant and paints a very good picture of both the "Fox" and many of his subordinates.

Sam Mitcham has written about him several times and I can particularly recommend "The Desert Fox in Normandy" (Which, unusually for him, conrains Ruge's rebuttals of the claims Irving made in "Trail".).

In the end (In my opinion), I think Rommel's reputation (Much of which was built up during the war years.) has not survived the test of time and his previously mentioned failings were completely overlooked in favour of his supposed opposition to Hitler (Though there is little evidence the ex-CO of the Führer's personal guards actually played any part at all in the bomb plot and most of his animosity towards him was due to what Rommel saw as his faliure to support him both in the Mediteranean and Normandy.).

Erecting the barricades in the Park!

Rich

walterkaschner
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Post by walterkaschner » 28 Apr 2002 23:49

I have Young's book but haven't opened it for years, although I recall being impressed when I first read it. I've been meaning to buy Carell's book but have never gotten around to it. As to Irving, on the basis of his Dresden book alone I would put no trust in him whatsoever.

A few years after WWII I picked up "The Rommel Papers", edited by B.H. Liddell Hart, Collins, London 1953, which is a compilation of papers which Rommel apparently prepared with the thought of publishing a book on his campaigns, as he did after WWI. It includes letters to his wife, Rommel's own hand drawn maps, good photos, and some commentaries by his son Manfred and by General Fritz Bayerlein, who was Chief of the General Staff of the Afrika Corps. I think its a terrific book and heartily recommend it if you can find a copy.

To get an idea of the opposition Rommel was up against you might also wish to get an idea of the various British Generals who were involved in the North African campaigns. There is a pretty good book (although about 40 years old and somewhat biased) by Corelli Barnett, "The Desert Generals", published in paperback by Ballantine Books, 1972, which I can highly recommend as an overview of O'Connor, Cunningham, Ritchie, Auchinleck and Montgomery.

Regards, Kaschner

walterkaschner
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Post by walterkaschner » 28 Apr 2002 23:54

Oh Gosh, apologies to all, I see that my recommendation of "The Rommel Papers" was rendered redundant by the previous posts of others. I'll have to read the threads more carefully!

Regards, Kaschner

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