None of these inmates held a rank lower than general and they included Hitler's favourite army officer, Gerd von Rundstedt
, the German tank Commander Erich von Manstein who had led the 1940 Blitzkrieg of 1940 in the Ardennes and the notorious SS officer, Hermann Behrends.
And after D-Day, as the Allies advanced through France and the Low Countries, it became a PoW camp, home to some 2,000 troops including top generals, even Gerd von Rundstedt
, regarded by Eisenhower as "the ablest of the German generals".
The massive German counteroffensive, code name Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine), is often called the Von Rundstedt
Offensive or the Ardennes Counteroffensive; however, it is most commonly referred to as the Battle of the Bulge by Americans and the British.
Peake suggested that they could include key German commanders responsible for the defence of France, such as Field Marshals Erwin Rommel and Gerd von Rundstedt
, as well as members of the Vichy puppet regime.
He reported to Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt
, which caused some animosities, since responsibilities were assigned by Adolf Hitler.
Characters in the book include: Stauffenberg, Hitler, Goering, Speer, Rommel, von Rundstedt
, Kesselring, Raeder, Doenitz, Neville Chamberlin, Winston Churchill, and other British and German soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians.
German Field-Marshal Model reported to his superior, Field-Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
, that the situation along the Lower Rhine was deteriorating dramatically and that, for the past week, he had been able to do no more than delay British actions.
Not since Pearl Harbor had the Americans received so rude a shock as when the dawn of December 16, 1944 was broken by the thunder of a thousand German guns, heralding the onslaught of what the Germans called "The von Rundstedt
Offensive," named after their commanding officer on the Western Front.
Manstein's plan, no matter how brilliant, would never have seen the light of day had it not been given a sympathetic hearing not only by Hitler--bold ideas were very much to his liking--but also by Manstein's rather conservative-minded commander, General Gerd von Rundstedt
General Thompson also shows that it was the German High Command, especially von Rundstedt
, and not Hitler, who made their fatal decision to weaken the pursuit of the defeated Allies to Dunkirk.