Erwin Rommel  1891 – 1944

Born in Heidenheim 15th November 1891. His father was a headmaster at Aalen, his mother the daughter of a prominent local dignitary. As a young man he considered becoming an engineer and throughout his life he displayed extraordinary technical aptitude. However in 1910, at his father’s insistence, he joined the army as an officer cadet. Later, in World War 1, he served in France, Italy and Romania gaining a reputation for making quick tactical decisions. He was regarded as one of the most brilliant Generals of World War 2 commanding the Afrika Korps between 1941-1943 and gaining the appellation of ‘The Desert Fox’; his string of victories being finally broken by the British at El Alamein.

Back in Germany in 1944 he was implicated in a failed plot against the life of Adolf Hitler. The true extent of his knowledge or involvement is still unclear, though he was forced to take his own life by poison to save those of his wife and children.