Originally posted on WAR HISTORY ONLINE
Erwin Rommel was, for a time, Hitler’s favorite general. After the success in 1940, when as the commander of a Panzer division he crushed the French, Rommel was appointed to the command of the German forces in Africa – Afrika Korps – where his tactical genius, recognized even by the enemy, and the ability to inspire his soldiers and use limited resources at maximum levels, convinced Hitler to promote him to the rank of Field Marshall.
In 1943 Hitler charged Rommel to coordinate the fortification of the “Atlantic Wall” along the French coast, the defensive line that the Germans wanted to use to repel the inevitable Allied invasion in Europe (which will take place in June 1944).Rommel in North Africa (June 1942). Image Courtesy of Wikipedia
By the beginning of the war Rommel was confident in Germany’s power. But at the start of 1943 his trust in Germany’s ability to win the initiated conflict began to crumble as days went by, and so did his faith in Hitler. Travelling in Germany, Rommel was outraged by the devastation caused by Allied air raids and the eroded public morale was not a good sign for him.
He also found out about the concentration camps, the forced labor, the extermination of the Jews and other atrocities committed by the regime that he was serving. Gradually, he reached to the conclusion that the German victory was a lost cause and that the extension of this war…