Rommel David Irving

ISBN:

Published: 1979

Hardcover

308 pages


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Rommel  by  David Irving

Rommel by David Irving
1979 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 308 pages | ISBN: | 4.40 Mb

It is over 25 years since I wrote The Trail of the Fox, my famous Rommel biography. Like several other books, I wrote it for Tom Congdons then publishing house Wm Morrow Inc. In London it was greedily snapped up & published by George Weidenfeld.MoreIt is over 25 years since I wrote The Trail of the Fox, my famous Rommel biography. Like several other books, I wrote it for Tom Congdons then publishing house Wm Morrow Inc.

In London it was greedily snapped up & published by George Weidenfeld.Congdon had previously edited the book Jaws for a writer called Peter Benchley who had never written a book in his life- after this Tom edited my book The War Between the Generals & then Göring after that. He became a good friend--his wife Connie was MUCH more difficult, a real southern belle, & very full of her ancestry--but he has now long retired to Nantucket & I have lost sight of him, at least he does not respond to letters or e-mails.In writing The Trail of the Fox I used some experimental literary devices: one was the use of the present tense (& italic type) to describe the hunt for the Rommel story, & the past tense to tell the story itself.

The devices seem to have worked.The book was really a spin-off from the Hitler biography, in the sense that Frazier spun-off from Cheers, tho rather less lucratively.There was a lot of hard research into the subject, but it was rewarding. I was always bemused, for instance, that German history doyen Professor Eberhard Jäckel, writing his much praised work Hitler und Frankreich, did not ever bother to read the original files of Army Group B (Rommel) or C-in-C West (Rundstedt, Kluge), but relied just on the published, & highly dubious, memoirs of generals like Hans Speidel.Jäckel had no excuse.

The records were in the archives in super-abundance, but the scholars have always preferred sitting in their book-lined caves to going out into the field where Real History is to be mined.Lucie Rommel gave me permission to use her husbands 2000 odd letters to her--far more valuable than diaries, I have always felt, as letters once posted cant be retrieved & altered. But I did also find found several sections of the original & unpublished Rommel diary, scattered between The Citadel in Charleston, SC, & Germany.In the Natl Archives, in Washington DC, I found several hundred pages of shorthand, which I (rightly) guessed were his N.

Africa diaries- for six months I struggled to find somebody who could read that shorthand--it was Deutsche Einheitskurzschrift--& then my own secretary, Jutta Padel, picked up a page on my desk & found she could read it straight off. Therefore luck played an equally large part.After transcribing the hundreds of pages of these unknown diaries, I placed them all on microfilm, & donated the originals to the German governments miitary archives.

Since 7/1993 I have been banned from those archives.Reliance on these original Rommel letters & diaries (& those of Vice-Admiral Gerd Rüge, who turned out to have sanitised his own secret shorthand diaries in transcribing them himself) provided the clue to the books main arguments: that Rommel was innocent of plotting against Hitler, & that a conspiratorial web was woven around him by his chief of staff Hans Speidel, who later successfully alleged to the Gestapo that Rommel was one of them (the traitors) in order to save his own skin.Speidel, by then top NATO commander in Europe, threatened to sue- the German newspapers were full of his laments, but then he withdrew his writ, for evident reasons.The family of the traitor Alexander von Roenne (he had been hanged in 1944) were equally displeased with the book, & pressed the German publisher to make modifications, more as a matter of good taste than for any other reason.

I greatly admired the way that Roennes sons had stuck up for their traitorous father in approaching me, which was the real reason why I allowed the minor changes.



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