Who Got Irwin Rommel that day in 1944?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Sailor, May 26, 2009.

  1. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    This was in fact Squadron Leader Charlie Fox RCAF.

    That day in France when Rommel had been inspecting the Western defences they were, as usual, in his personal car, a large open Horch.

    Rommel sat in the front, as was his habit. He liked to keep a map on his knee, so he could do the navigating. At the wheel was his regular driver, Daniel. In the back were staff members Captain Lang, Major Neuhaus and Feldwebel Hoike (who was there specifically as an aircraft lookout).

    On highway N179, just out of Livarot, fate finally caught up with the Desert Fox.....

    As the lookout shouted an alarm, two Canadian Spitfires from 412 Squadron came diving down in a curving attack from behind and to the left. At about 300 yards, Charley Fox, in the lead aircraft, squeezed off a brief burst from his 20 mm cannon. That was enough.

    Daniel, seriously wounded, lost control of the speeding car. It hurtled on for several hundred yards before finally crashing into the ditch. Captain Lang escaped unhurt, Neuhaus with minor injuries. Daniel was to die shortly afterwards.

    Field Marshal Rommel was thrown against the windshield post, sustaining serious head injuries. His career was over.

    At first, his survival was in doubt but prompt first aid and a strong constitution prevailed. He slowly began to recover.

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    This photo of Irwin Rommel was taken just before his mishap with the Spitfires

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    The aircraft was a canon armed Spitfire Mk 9C of the RCAF [shown below]

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    The two photos below are of Charlie Fox in 1944 and today.

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    Charlie Fox specialized in ground attack and prided himself on accurate marksmanship. His success at this is neatly summed up in the official commendation for a bar to his DFC: “This officer has led his section against a variety of targets, often in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. He has personally destroyed or damaged twenty-two locomotives and thirty-four enemy vehicles, bringing his total to 153 vehicles destroyed or damaged. In addition, he has destroyed at least a further three enemy aircraft and damaged two others. In December 1944, Flight Lieutenant Fox led his squadron on an attack against enemy airfields in the Munster area and personally destroyed another enemy aircraft, bringing his total to 4. Through his quick and accurate reporting, a further 4 enemy aircraft were destroyed.
     
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  3. Tankie

    Tankie Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Good for him , but sad that a great F/M like Rommel was forced to commit suicide by a meglomaniac .
     
  4. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Not really, if you viewed it from the Allied side in 1944 and not the romantic notions of 2009.
    Irwin Rommel was fighting for the Nazi tyranny of Europe even though he might not have thought Hitler was his ideal.
    If I was the Spitfire pilot in 1944 and I knew that it was Irwin Rommel in the staff car below, my main thought would have been should I select 20mm cannon or .303 machine guns.
     
  5. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    303 ??? You mean the same bullets used in the Lee Enfield ??? Those were options on a Spitfire ??? I'm impressed....
     
  6. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Yes of course they were. They were standard to all British machine guns, army, naval and air force. The Spitfire and Hurricane we armed with eight browning .303 machine guns.
    Cannon firing aircraft also had to have machine guns in combination with cannon as they needed the .303 tracer ammunition to help in sighting.
     

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