What Robert E. Lee, Erwin Rommel Have in Common

What Robert E. Lee, Erwin Rommel Have in Common
Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP

The enemy. They come in all shapes, sizes and configurations. They take many forms. They can be social rivals, business competitors, opposing sports teams, even political antagonists. However, there is perhaps no category of enemy more universally reviled than the commander of an opposing military fighting force, the individual on the opposing side whose goal it is to destroy the people and things you’re trying to protect. 

Yet even in the midst of a life-or-death struggle, there are adversaries who not only gain the respect of the opposition, but actually come to be regarded by their supposed enemies with a surprising degree of admiration, if not outright affection. These are individuals who become ingratiated in the minds of their enemies because of their noteworthy personal style and flamboyance or because of their tactical brilliance and utter ferocity in battle or because of their perceived “humanity,” the notion that although they’re fighting on the “wrong side,” their basic elemental nature is good and kind, and they just happen to be on the other side because of circumstances beyond their control.

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