War-dated ALS in German, written in blue pencil just one day after D–Day, signed “Your Erwin,” one page both sides, 6 x 4, personal Generalfeldmarschall letterhead, June 7, 1944. Letter to his wife addressed, “Dear Lu!” In full (translated): “I need a few quiet minutes for a short greeting to you. Hopefully you have enjoyed your birthday to the fullest, it was very nice that I was able to be there at the beginning. In what state I arrived here, you can imagine. Situation not very encouraging, however I hope we will still ‘Get it there.’ It is of course only the beginning. Slowly I become more calm. The boys are doing their best. However, the superiority in airplanes, tanks and ships is very great. To you and Manfred hearty greetings and an intimate kiss.” In fine condition, with a small rectangular block of toning to signed side, not affecting overall legibility, and a couple of light red pencil lines.
As a powerful storm brought rough weather to the English Channel in the first week of June in 1944, Rommel, who had been overseeing preparations for an Allied attack, most likely at Calais, assumed that any invasion plans would be postponed; he took leave to visit his family at their home in southern Germany, most of his command staff headed inland to a military conference, and all German aerial and seaborne reconnaissance around the Channel was halted until the weather improved. So it was that on June 6, when the Allied troops arrived at Normandy, Field Marshal Rommel was completely out of touch, rushing back by car from his home 400 miles away. Written the day after the initial landing after assessing the “not very encouraging” situation—as half a million Allied men began their inward invasion with the security of a new unified front of five linked landing beaches—the typically steadfast leader gives his first hints that the war may be coming to a close: “The boys is doing its best. However, the superiority in airplanes, tanks and ships is very great.” Ten days later he would express the same sentiment to Hitler in an unsuccessful attempt to convince him of the impossibility of success. Written just one day after one of the most important events of the war, at which Rommel was unexpectedly not present, this is one of the most remarkable World War II letters we have ever offered. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
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