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Greenhill Books- Infantry Attacks

ISBN Number:
Thursday, February 1, 2024
Greenhill Books
Retail Price:
Reviewed By:
Paul Roberts

Greenhill Books

Infantry Attacks

Erwin Rommel

ISBN 978-1-78438-985-7

US$18.99 304 pp

The name Erwin Rommel is one that is widely known even outside military history circles and it would come as no surprise that his writings would also be well known. This book is the latest reprint of a work Rommel first published in 1935 and have been reprinted and republished many times since, this, alone, is the 6th reprint of an edition republished in 1995, a testament to the classic nature of this work. To be clear, this is essentially a military technical treatise, useful for historical context, and not a modelling book at all.

At its core, this book is a combination personal memoir and theoretical treatise. Rommel uses his extensive WW1 service on the Italian front with German mountain troops to formulate and present his theories on how infantry should behave on the then-modern battlefield, especially as regards to the command of smaller infantry units in the attack. A number of these theories would be taken up and used by the Wehrmacht at least at the beginning of WW2, but while many would be overtaken by the rapid advances in combined arms combat that developed starting during the Spanish Civil War and the opening months of WW2, his insights into leadership remained valid and instructive throughout the war and up to today. In many ways it represents a distillation of his WW1 experience, and could very much be described as how best to fight that previous war.

Of approximately quarto size, this paperback edition consists of a short introduction to the newly typeset edition by historian Gary Sheffield and then a forward by Rommel’s son Manfred to the core 1995 edition. The 1995 section of the book has not been re-typeset to match the new introduction, but, rather, has been photo-reproduced and is, therefore, a little less crisp and, frankly, a little harder to read. The book also has a central section of 32 pages of glossy photos of Rommel, predominantly at various points in his WW2 career. The main body of the book also has numerous hand-drawn illustrations depicting various points in Rommel’s narrative. I do believe these were drawn by him for the first edition.

All in all, a very worthwhile edition to any serious student of military history or command. The photo-reproduction publication is not as crisp as a newly typeset edition would be, but this also allows the cost to be kept quite reasonable for this soft bound version.

Highly Recommended for those interested in the infantry.

Many Thanks to Greenhill Books for the review copy. 

Reviewed by Paul Roberts


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