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The Desert Fox in Normandy : Rommel's defense of Fortress Europe

Author: Samuel W Mitcham
Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Covering the Battle of Normandy from the German point of view, this book examines the impact the "Desert Fox" had on the build-up of German defenses in Normandy and elsewhere, dubbed by the Propaganda Ministry as the "Atlantic Wall." Rommel realized how deceptive this term was upon his inspection of German defenses in 1943. Convinced that the Allies knew more about the actual state of German readiness than many of
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Named Person: Erwin Rommel; Erwin Rommel
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Samuel W Mitcham
ISBN: 0275954846 9780275954840
OCLC Number: 35969906
Description: xiv, 229 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
Contents: The Atlantic Wall --
D-Day --
Holding Fast --
Cherbourg --
The Crumbling Fortress --
"A Pitiless Destiny" --
Table of Equivalent Ranks --
German Staff Abbreviations --
Characteristics of Opposing Tanks --
Rommel's Schedule, March 23-June 4, 1944.
Responsibility: Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.

Abstract:

Covering the Battle of Normandy from the German point of view, this book examines the impact the "Desert Fox" had on the build-up of German defenses in Normandy and elsewhere, dubbed by the Propaganda Ministry as the "Atlantic Wall." Rommel realized how deceptive this term was upon his inspection of German defenses in 1943. Convinced that the Allies knew more about the actual state of German readiness than many of his officers did, the Desert Fox set out to fortify German positions.

In the weeks prior to D-Day, Rommel analyzed Allied bombing patterns and concluded that they were trying to make Normandy a strategic island in order to isolate the battlefield. Rommel also noticed that the Allies had mined the entire Channel coast, while the naval approaches to Normandy were clear. Realizing that Normandy would be the likely site of the invasion, he replaced the poorly-equipped 716th Infantry Division with the battle-hardened 352nd Infantry Division on the coastal sector, but his request for additional troops was denied by Hitler. Mitcham offers a remarkable theory of why Allied intelligence failed to learn of this critical troop movement, and why they were not prepared for the heavier resistance they met on Omaha Beach.

Mitcham uses a number of little-known primary sources which contradict previously published accounts of Rommel, his officers, and the last days of the Third Reich. These sources provide amazing insight into the invasion of Normandy from the German perspective. They include German personnel records, unpublished papers, and the manuscripts of top German officers like General of Panzer Troops Baron Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg, the commander of Panzer Group West. The Desert Fox in Normandy also contains a thorough examination of the virtually ignored battles of the Luftwaffe in France in 1944.

Rommel, a master of mobile warfare, developed a cunning defense strategy for Normandy and fought a brilliant campaign despite the tremendous odds against him - and the fact that he wasn't even there. Although his absence on D-Day significantly weakened the German reaction to the Allied landings, his preparations for the impending invasion temporarily halted, but could not repulse, the Allies and their ultimate victory.

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