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Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield

Killing Rommel (2008)

by Steven Pressfield

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We sold our house! We are house hunting! We are moving! Soon! So, I'm releasing all BookCrossing books that I stumble upon so we don't have to pack/move/unpack them in whatever we find. We're downsizing, so the book collection gets thinned again.

Hopefully, I'll be able to find another copy of this book sometime.
  bookczuk | Jan 12, 2014 |
This was a fabulous book. It sucked me in after just a few pages and kept my attention, it taught me a fair bit about WWII in Africa, of which I really knew nothing previously, and the same goes for Rommel. I had no idea he was such an amazing man, and here I learned about him in an enthralling tale of men honorably fighting for their lives and their countries. The account as a whole is a bit fictionalized, but it all revolves around real situations. Easily recommended. ( )
  PolymathicMonkey | Nov 12, 2013 |
Written as a memoir this historical fiction novel is, well, odd. If it were non fiction the first third of the book would have been rather interesting. However, as it's fiction you find yourself reading about seemingly irrelevant childhood experiences of someone who doesn't exist and that don't particularly relate to the main thrust of the plot. The only thing that you really need to know is that he admires a bloke called Stein, has the hots for Rose whose brother is Jock - yet it takes over a hundred pages to learn this.

After passing this stage of the book the war starts and you think 'hey it's a book about killing Rommel, we'll finally be on his heels now'... and you're wrong. You then spend some time in the fictitious characters life as a tank commander. Then his redeployment to the Long Range Desert Group... which does some more rudimentary missions before finally heading off to kill Rommel. Finally the Rommel chasing begins? Not really, it's only a portion of the book as well, and afterwards we deviate back to the activities of the Long Range Desert Group again.

If the first part was dropped, it was just written as a fiction book and gave the impression it was about the Long Range Desert Group as opposed to specially a novel about killing Rommel it would be a great book. However, it's hard to rate it in it's format. The first half drags, it's only tangibly about Rommel, yet once it finally gets going you find yourself nearly having to brush the sand out of your hair & mouth but then it destroys the atmosphere by flicking back to the present under the guise of it's-a-published-non-fiction-memoir, which it isn't.

Could have been a compelling historical fiction novel - as is, it just passes. ( )
1 vote HenriMoreaux | May 30, 2013 |
Based on the real-life exploits of the Long Range Desert Group, the British elite forces, Pressfied combines a edge-of-your-seat story with the reality of the North African Theater and those who try to kill Rommel and wreck as much havoc as possible on his troops. Good read! ( )
  creighley | Jun 18, 2012 |
This historical fiction story takes place in the early 1940’s when General Erwin Rommel’s (The Dessert Fox) troops were intent on capturing the Mid East oil fields in order to support Germany’s war machine in its attempt of world conquest.
Stopping the Eight Army was an essential and significant part of the Allies’ counteroffensive plan.

The story in “Killing Rommel” is presented through the eyes of Lieutenant R. Lawrence Chapman (Chap) a fictional tank commander who was “loaned” to a famed commando unit called the Long Range Dessert Group (LDRG) to help asses the dessert for passable routes when the big invasion comes.

Chap quickly becomes friends with his the members of his new unit and meets some historical personalities which have since become legendary(Jake Easonsmith, Paddy Mayne, Ron Tinker, Nick Wilder, Vladimir “Popski “ Peniakoff and more). These personalities give historical authenticity to this fictional account of war. One of the group’s missions is to find out where Rommel is and call in an air-strike, hence the title of the book.

This book is not only a fascinating story about the LRDG, but it is also an accurate portrayal of how war is fought – months of boredom peppered with second and moments of sheer exhilaration, disorganization and horror.

“Killing Rommel” is rich in detail; the author describes the tanks, guns, trucks, tactics and more with a lot of passion and eye for the obvious and not-so obvious. The book introduces the legends of not only the LRDG, but also the contribution of the SAS as well as Popski’s Private Army – a group which I must read some more about.

Even though the details are sometimes exhausting, I forgot that I was reading a fictional account (even though the author maintained that the events were real, but experienced by several patrols) and felt as if I was reading an exciting history book about these daring raids. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Mar 18, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385519702, Hardcover)

To watch videos featuring the story behind Killing Rommel, visit www.KillingRommel.com

Steven Pressfield’s quintet of acclaimed, bestselling novels of ancient warfare— Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, and The Afghan Campaign— have earned him a reputation as a master chronicler of military history, a supremely literate and engaging storyteller, and an author with acute insight into the minds of men in battle. In Killing Rommel Pressfield extends his talents to the modern world with a WWII tale based on the real-life exploits of the Long Range Desert Group, an elite British special forces unit that took on the German Afrika Korps and its legendary commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, "the Desert Fox."

Autumn 1942. Hitler’s legions have swept across Europe; France has fallen; Churchill and the English are isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, Suez, and the oilfields of the Middle East. With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, the British hatch a desperate plan—send a small, highly mobile, and heavily armed force behind German lines to strike the blow that will stop the Afrika Korps in its tracks. Narrated from the point of view of a young lieutenant, Killing Rommel brings to life the flair, agility, and daring of this extraordinary secret unit, the Long Range Desert Group. Stealthy and lethal as the scorpion that serves as their insignia, they live by their motto: Non Vi Sed ArteNot by Strength, by Guile as they gather intelligence, set up ambushes, and execute raids. Killing Rommel chronicles the tactics, weaponry, and specialized skills needed for combat, under extreme desert conditions. And it captures the camaraderie of this “band of brothers” as they perform the acts of courage and cunning crucial to the Allies’ victory in North Africa.

As in all of his previous novels, Pressfield powerfully renders the drama and intensity of warfare, the bonds of men in close combat, and the surprising human emotions and frailties that come into play on the battlefield. A vivid and authoritative depiction of the desert war, Killing Rommel brilliantly dramatizes an aspect of World War II that hasn’t been in the limelight since Patton. Combining scrupulous historical detail and accuracy with remarkable narrative momentum, this galvanizing novel heralds Pressfield’s gift for bringing more recent history to life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Written as the memoir of a British lieutenant, and based on real-life events, this historically and psychologically rich thriller perfectly captures the tension as a team of soldiers in Egypt during World War II attempt to assassinate German Field Marshall Rommel, the infamous "Desert Fox."… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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