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on Infantry Attacks by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel


photo of Rommel In the movie Patton, the General growls, “Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book!” Infantry Attacks, (Infanterie greift an) is the book he was talking about.

I wanted to read the book too, but given Rommel‘s prowess at tank warfare, I thought it would be titled Tank Tactics. But Rommel during World War I was not a tanker. He was a brilliant young Infantry officer of the Deutsches Reichsheer. He was a genius who quickly found and exploited his opponent's weaknesses. After the war, he served as an instructor at the Dresden Infantry School, where he taught from his own experiences. In Infantry Attacks, he sets his experiences and the lessons learned leading battle groups of company to regimental size down on paper. He shows that guile, cunning and common sense are as important as numerical or fire power superiority. Sometimes it’s more important. Had he been given the resources he needed in North Africa during WWII, the outcome of that war might have been very different. Infantry Attacks is of course invaluable to anyone interested in military history or military theory. This includes writers of military science fiction.