Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Field Marshal Rommel

Now we were stranded on top of a hill in Tunisia, our planes destroyed and our morale low. We began to hear rumors that Field Marshal Rommel was going to attack us. Rommel, one of the top German generals, was in Libya with a mechanized force, tanks, trucks and troop carriers. It was not long before we saw dust rising in the East, and sure enough it was Rommel. I had a .30 calibre rifle to defend our base with, and I felt it was useless against the mechanized forces. I had two thoughts: (l) I was going to die, and (2) the Germans were winning the war. Rommel came closer and closer, and at the last minute he turned north, went into the harbor at Tunis and took boats to Italy. It was 20 years after the war before I learned what had happened. The British had cracked the German code and were monitoring the situation. Rommel send a code message to the German high command in Berlin as follows: "Have only enough fuel for five days." The high command responded that they were dispatching a tanker from Romania with enough fuel to last for six months. The British notified their Mediterranean base at Malta which dispatched a submarine. The sub had the name of the tanker and its route. They intercepted the tanker and sank it. Rommel then left for Italy.

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