The Military Papers of Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Volume 1: 1940-42
T. Bowman (Author)
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DescriptionThe outbreak of war in 1939 saw the then Lieutenant General Claude Auchinleck recalled to England to take command of the newly formed 4 Corps. Between April and June 1940 he commanded British troops in the ill-fated Norway campaign. He then returned to the UK to take command of 5 Corps in Southern Command during the invasion threat of 1940. In January 1941 Auchinleck returned to India and started some much needed reforms of what was still, very much, a 'colonial army' before becoming C in C Middle East in June 1941. In the Middle East, Auchinleck faced many challenges in commanding a multi-national force, largely composed of 'citizen soldiers' and his problems were complicated by the demands of Winston Churchill, an anxious Prime Minister who desperately wanted to show his allies and the British public a major victory. Auchinleck is open to the charges that he did not fully understand armoured warfare and that he appointed a number of the wrong men to key posts. However, he did manage to fight Axis forces to a standstill at the First Battle of El Alamein in July 1942 before being replaced by the team of Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander and General Bernard Montgomery. This volume is based on the Auchinleck papers held in the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester and aims to bring these important records to a much wider audience.
Army Records Society
6 April 2021
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