Rommel, Erwin (1891–1944), a German army officer. An expert in tank warfare, he was called “The Desert Fox” for his genius in directing German troops in North Africa during World War II. Rommel served as a lieutenant in World War I. He was a war academy instructor when put in charge of Hitler's personal safety in 1938. In 1940 he commanded a tank division during the invasion of France.
Rommel was made a field marshal when, as commander of the Afrika Korps, he drove the British back in Egypt (1942). In October, 1942, he was defeated in the decisive Battle of El Alamein, and after other Allied successes in 1943 he was recalled. As an army group commander in Western Europe he was unable to stop the Allied invasion of Normandy (1944). Severely wounded in this campaign, he returned to Germany. Hitler suspected Rommel of having taken part in the unsuccessful plot of his life in July, and Rommel was forced to take poison.