The 7th Panzer Division was a German armored formation which participated in the Battle of France. General Erwin Rommel commanded the division, which was nicknamed the "Ghost Division" because of its speed and independent movement, which even the German High Command had difficulty following.
After the successful completion of the invasion of Poland, Hitler allowed Erwin Rommel to choose whatever unit he would like to command. Although Rommel had no practical experience in tank warfare, he asked for a Panzer division and on 15 February 1940 he received command of the 7th Panzer Division. In preparation of the invasion of the low countries, the 7th Panzer Division became part of the 15th Panzer Corps under the command of General Hoth.
The 7th Panzer Division moved with great speed through France and covered vast distance. During the Battle of France, the 7th Panzer Division earned the name of the Gespensterdivision (German:"Ghost/Phantom Division") because of this speed and because nobody seemed to know where it was, not even the German High Command. Rommel had a "lead from the front" attitude and would sometimes cut communications with High Command if wished not to be disturbed. His behavior showed confidence in the blitzkrieg concept; his success and favor with Hitler would prevent repercussions from his insubordination to the High Command. Nevertheless, Rommel was criticized by staff for being difficult to contact and locate. Rommel described the French Campaign in his letters to his wife as "a lightning Tour de France".