The Rommel myth, or the Rommel legend, is a phrase used by a number of historians in reference to common depictions of German field marshal Erwin Rommel as an apolitical, brilliant commander and a victim of Nazi Germany due to his presumed participation in the 20 July plot against Adolf Hitler. According to these historians, who take a critical view of Rommel, such depictions are not accurate.

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  • The Rommel myth, or the Rommel legend, is a phrase used by a number of historians in reference to common depictions of German field marshal Erwin Rommel as an apolitical, brilliant commander and a victim of Nazi Germany due to his presumed participation in the 20 July plot against Adolf Hitler. According to these historians, who take a critical view of Rommel, such depictions are not accurate. The myth was created, with Rommel's participation, as a component of Nazi propaganda to praise the Wehrmacht and instil optimism in the German public. Starting in 1941, it was picked up and disseminated in the West by the British war-time press as the Allies sought to explain their continued inability to defeat the Axis forces in North Africa: The genius of Rommel was used by dissenters to protest against social inequality within the British army and by leaders like Churchill to reduce class tensions. Following the war, the Western Allies, and particularly the British, depicted Rommel as the "good German" and "our friend Rommel", adhering closely to the tenets of the myth of the clean Wehrmacht. His reputation for conducting a clean war was used in the interests of West German rearmament during the Cold War and the reconciliation between the former enemies—the United Kingdom and the United States on one side, and the new Federal Republic of Germany on the other. The 1950 biography Rommel: The Desert Fox and the 1953 publication of The Rommel Papers added to the myth, which has proven resilient to critical examination. The mythology surrounding Rommel has been the subject of analysis in recent decades. The reevaluation has produced new interpretations of Rommel, including his relationship with Nazism, his abilities as an operational and strategic level commander, and his role in the July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler. Historians and commentators conclude that Rommel remains an ambiguous figure, not easily definable either inside or outside the myth. (en)
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  • The Rommel myth, or the Rommel legend, is a phrase used by a number of historians in reference to common depictions of German field marshal Erwin Rommel as an apolitical, brilliant commander and a victim of Nazi Germany due to his presumed participation in the 20 July plot against Adolf Hitler. According to these historians, who take a critical view of Rommel, such depictions are not accurate. (en)
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  • Rommel myth (en)
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