A book that shows the author has researched extensively with care and mastered his subject. The Auchinleck is usually remembered for his brief and controversial command during WWII in North Africa and his long and distinguished military career is largely unknown, making this excellent book especially welcome – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck FILE: R3358 AUTHOR: Evan McGilvray PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: British Empire, Indian Army, Middle East, North Africa, The Great War, WWI, World War I, World War I, First World War, WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, India, Burma, Partition, Indian Independence ISBN: 1-52671-610-0 PAGES: 257, illustration in the form of an 8 page B&W photo-plate section. IMAGE: B3358.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/anf66zfn LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A book that shows the author has researched extensively with care and mastered his subject. The Auchinleck is usually remembered for his brief and controversial command during WWII in North Africa and his long and distinguished military career is largely unknown, making this excellent book especially welcome – Most Highly Recommended
The military story of Auchinleck began in 1904 when he was commissioned into the Indian Army. He served with distinction, earning the DSO, during WWI in the Middle East against the Turks. Between WWI and WWII he served on the North West Frontier, which became Pakistan, in the pacification campaigns, bringing warring tribal groups into uneasy peace.
His experience of commanding Indian Army units, and service in the Middle East, made him a natural choice to command the 8th Army in North Africa, after a short spell commanding troops in the ill-fated Norwegian campaign. On taking command in North Africa, he was already used to having to fight a battle that the politicians had not planned for and were unable to equip adequately. However, in spite of political interference and lack of the necessary logistical support, he got the measure of Rommel and fought the Afrika Korps to a halt. He also laid the ground work for his successor, Montgomery, who was then able to drive Rommel back and force the capitulation of Axis Forces in North Africa. Montgomery deserved recognition for his victory, but he owed much to Auchinleck.
For Auchinleck, his return to commanding in India may have been very poor reward for all he had achieved, but it was to prove invaluable to the war effort. In India, with his long experience of the country, the people and the soldiers, he was able to create the logistics to consolidate and then move to offensive against the Japanese in Burma. Few could have done the job so well.
In the post-war move to abandoning the Empire, he was given the job of preparing the plans for Partition and then of overseeing the Partition and British withdrawal from India. His was a long and varied military career that has been neglected for far too long and the author has done an excellent job of recounting Auchinleck’s full career.