Raid on Rommel

Raid on Rommel is an American B movie in Technicolor from 1971, directed by Henry Hathaway and set in North Africa during the Second World War. It stars Richard Burton as a British commando attempting to destroy German gun emplacements in Tobruk. Much of the action footage was reused from the 1967 film Tobruk, and the storyline is also largely the same.

Raid on Rommel
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Produced byHarry Tatelman
Written byRichard M. Bluel
StarringRichard Burton
John Colicos
Clinton Greyn
Wolfgang Preiss
Danielle De Metz
Music byHal Mooney
CinematographyEarl Rath
Edited byGene Palmer
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • February 12, 1971 (1971-02-12)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States


In Libya in 1942, Captain Alex Foster (Burton), an intelligence officer with the British Army, allows himself to be captured by a German Afrika Korps convoy transporting British prisoners, pretending to be injured. Once integrated with the prisoners, remnants of a commando force and a medical unit, Foster outlines his plans to take over the convoy, with the help of the prisoners, and redirect it towards the Libyan port town of Tobruk.

On the way, they find an unexpected concentration of German tanks, and they surmise that a fuel depot must be hidden nearby. Foster, in Afrika Corps uniform, and Major Tarkington (Clinton Greyn), the medical officer as his 'prisoner', gain access to the depot and meet Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Wolfgang Preiss). During a friendly dispute over philately between Rommel and Tarkington, Foster notices a map which indicates the location of the fuel depot.

They make excuses, leave, capture a tank, and blow up the fuel dump. They escape towards Tobruk, where they destroy a coastal battery. The prisoners are embarked in boats launched by attacking Royal Navy warships. However, Foster and Tarkington are captured by German soldiers. The film leaves their fates unexplained.



The film was poorly received by critics. It has a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[1]

In 2006, the BBC's Radio Times wrote: "It says a lot for Richard Burton that he was able to plumb the depths in dreary Second World War action movies such as this one, about a British officer releasing prisoners to attack Tobruk, without doing any apparent damage to his career. Even the usually dependable director Henry Hathaway falters in this flawed effort that was originally meant for TV".[2]

See also


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