Woah kids! By request, we’re going to talk about this fabulous motherfucker, Erwin Rommel, aka “The Desert Fox”, aka “A Pretty Cool Guy”. Now I’m not going to talk about everything this dude has done, because it’ll take a long time. So I’ll just go over the cool parts.
Dude fought in WWI and WWII for the Germans, and before you go “eww Nazi” I’m gonna tell you to calm yo’ tits and sit down.
So he was born in 1891 and joined the German army at 18. Then he went through WWI and kicked ass. He was awarded the Iron Cross, First & Second Class, as well as a butt load of other medals.
Yeah, it was kind of like this.
Anyways so between wars, he was an instructor and in 1933 was given his first unit to command. Hilariously, when Hitler came by to inspect his troops, a row of SS officers tried to place themselves in front of Rommel’s troops because they were, y’know, the SS and it was their job to protect Hitler and shit.
Well Rommel was all, “excuse me wtf r u doin” and snapped that him and his men were being insulted. To the SS.
The SS stood down, and legend has it that his balls grew three sizes that day.
So “Germany fucks shit up: The Sequel” began, and Rommel was sent just about everywhere, because people realized that he was pretty badass. He was stationed in Poland, France, Belgium, battle of Arras, English Channel, and spent two years in North Africa trying to keep shit from fucking up royally over there.
In Africa, Rommel had a tendency to actually be nice to POWs, which was a big deal. Hitler ordered him to kill any and all captured commandos and those were ignored.
Right so Rommel didn’t really believe in killing people for no reason because, in his words, “Germany will need men after the war, too,” so because of that he also didn’t obey orders to kill Jewish civilians or soldiers. He also believed that other countries would need their men after the war too, so he treated POWs very humanely!!
Because of that, after the war, his Afrika Korps were not accused of war crimes. Which, being Nazis, was a big deal.
SO we know now that he was popular, charismatic, amazing on the field, and an overall good guy. So in 1944, with shit hitting the fan, three of his best buds decided that they didn’t like Hitler and wanted him to die. And they needed somebody to help them.
So Rommel was chillin’, just doing his thing, being the most popular officer in the army, and they were like, “Hey man. Hey. Hey. We should…kill Hitler. Guess who has two legs and massive balls and should totally help us?!??”
Rommel meanwhile was like, ‘wait what-‘
See he didn’t believe in assassinating Hitler. Like, maybe they should just send him to the corner for being bad, or take away his toys, or something, but he believed that killing him would spark civil war within Germany. He wanted Hitler to be arrested and tried, but not killed.
But he supported the conspiracy regardless, knowing that the greater good was at hand.
So the 20 July Plot happened.
Hitler didn’t die.
HOWEVER, since he was in on the plot, he was charged with treason. Now, here’s the tricky part; Hitler knew that people liked Rommel. Hitler knew that most people liked Rommel a lot more than they liked him. So he had to kill this dude in a way that wasn’t, “Oh yeah I totally offed this guy who was much more popular than me!!”
So what did he do? Get Rommel to kill himself, of course! If he committed suicide, then his family would be spared the full-force of the Gestapo. If he didn’t, then it would be much, much messier for all of them.
So Rommel took the high ground and accepted the cyanide pills he was offered, dying quietly on 14 October 1944. His death was reported to have been a heart attack, and he was given a state funeral and buried with full military honours, even given an official day of mourning by Hitler, just so nobody would think it was suspicious.
The circumstances behind his death weren’t made known until 1945, when Allied intelligence officers interviewed his widow, who spilled everything, and when it was revealed during the Nuremberg Trials.