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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Killing Rommel

After reading and enjoying Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire on the recommendation of a friend, I was looking forward to the arrival of Pressfield's latest novel. Killing Rommel follows the British Long Range Desert Group, which was tasked with tracking the German desert units and finding Rommel, the brilliant German tank commander. The British group had only limited support and had to act autonomously for hundreds of miles in the North African desert, trying to maintain contact with the Germans without being detected.

Pressfield tells the story of the British unit, focusing on the interaction of the men isolated in the desert, forced to rely entirely on each other for survival. The historical details of the group are impeccable, illustrating the perilous nature of operating a motor unit isolated for hundreds of miles in the desert. Less epic than some of his earlier novels, what Killing Rommel loses in grandeur it gains in immediacy. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or has an interest in WWII desert warfare.