Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Legendary Goggles

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Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was given his legendary goggles by a British prisoner of war in return for retrieving a stolen hat.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel gained respect from his foes for his tactical acumen and sense of fairness during the battles for North Africa. Rommel, nicknamed the Desert Fox, also became an iconic wartime figure, and the stylish goggles he famously wore across his peak cap became part of the myth.

Now the story of how the iconic German warlord came to be in possession of the goggles can be told for the first time. They were given to him by a British prisoner of war as a gift to thank him for retrieving a stolen hat.

Major General Michael Gambier-Parry, of the 2nd Armoured Division, was captured and taken prisoner with 2,000 of his men by Rommel in Mechili, Libya, in 1941.


The German field marshal invited the British officer to dine with him in a gesture of military camaraderie. The pair shared good wine and smoked ‘excellent cigars’, according to Gambier-Parry’s granddaughter, Liza Donoghue, 67. During the meal, Gambier-Parry complained that a German soldier had taken his hat. A furious Rommel then took it upon himself to get the garment back to his prisoner.

Pictured: Erwin Rommel sporting his famous goggles which were in fact a five from British Major General Michael Gambier-Parry.

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