Erwin Rommel (Case Study 25)

Charles Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord

This is the chart of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (2 February 1754 – 17 May 1838). Born into an aristocratic family he studied and became ordained as a Catholic Priest and eventually a Bishop. By changing sides as political power ebbed and flowed he was able to maintain positions of influence through the reign of Louis XVI, the French Revolution, the reign of Napoleon and the Bourbon restoration. He was a diplomat to Louis XVI for the Holy See. When the French Revolution began he became part of the First Estate, promoting (and helping to write) The Rights of Man. He worked for Napoleon as his Foreign Minister, a post he later resigned. He then went to work for the House of Bourbon after Napoleon was deposed. He is a historically polarizing character, to be called a “Talleyrand” is to be labelled a crafty politician and not to be trusted.

Ludwig II of Bavaria

This is the chart of Ludwig II of Bavaria (25 August 1845 – 13 June 1886) known as “The Swan King.” He became King of Bavaria in 1864 at the age of 18. Two years later his forces were defeated in a war against Austria. Later he allied with Prussia and his kingdom became part of the newly formed German Empire. He was known for his dedication to the arts and architecture. His lack of restraint in funding of such projects led to him being declared insane and removed from the throne. He spent his own fortune building castles (presently tourist attractions) in Bavaria. He was a patron of Wagner and other musicians, actors and artists. He died under suspicious circumstances.

Erwin Rommel

This is the chart of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel “The Desert Fox” (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944). Commissioned as an infantry officer of the German Empire he fought with distinction in World War I. He remained in the service of Germany during the Reichswehr and was promoted to the rank of General by Hitler in 1939. His first command as a flag officer was a guard detail to protect the headquarters and der Fuher during the invasion of Poland. He cultivated a close relationship with Hitler during this time. Rommel petitioned him for a Panzer division and was granted command of the 7th in 1940. After the battle for France the 7th Panzer was slated to go to the Eastern Front and Rommel gained command of the Afrika Korps, He was implicated in the 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler (historians argue over the accusations) and was offered the option to take his own life rather than disgrace his family name in line with Prussian tradition. He took the option.

Related Case Study #1 (Richard Wagner)