Harold Alexander

Harold Alexander



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Harold Alexander, die derde seun van die graaf van Caledon, is op 10 Desember 1891 in Londen gebore. Nadat hy Harrow School (1904-08) bygewoon het, het hy by Sandhurst Military Academy aangesluit. Hy studeer in 1911 en wen 'n kommissie in die Irish Guards.

Tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het Alexander aan die Westelike Front geveg. Twee keer gewond het hy die militêre kruis in 1915 gewen en teen die einde van die oorlog was hy brigadier van die 4de Garde Brigade.

In 1919 het Alexander vrywillig die Baltiese Landwehr, 'n brigade van etniese Duitsers, tydens die Burgeroorlog teen die Rooi Leër gelei. Nadat hy die kommuniste uit Letland suksesvol bestuur het, keer hy terug na Engeland waar hy tweede in bevel van die Ierse wagte word.

Alexander het in Turkye en Gibraltar gedien voordat hy die Staff College in Camberley en die Imperial Defense College bygewoon het. As personeeloffisier het hy na die War Office en die Northern Command gegaan voordat hy in 1934 na Indië gestuur is.

In 1937 word Alexander bevorder tot generaal -majoor. Op die ouderdom van 45 was hy die jongste generaal in die Britse leër. In 1938 kry hy bevel oor die Ist Division en die jaar daarna neem hy dit na Frankryk as deel van die Britse ekspedisiemag.

In Mei 1940 het generaal John Gort aan Alexander die taak gegee om die agterhoede -aksie te beplan waarmee die BEF uit Duinkerken ontruim kon word. Met die hulp van RAF Fighter Command het Alexander merkwaardige sukses behaal tydens hierdie terugtog.

By sy terugkeer in Brittanje het Alexander bevel gekry oor die kusverdediging in Yorkshire totdat hy Claude Auchinleck vervang het as hoof van die Suidelike Kommando.

Na die bombardement op Pearl Harbor en die toetrede van Japan tot die oorlog in Desember 1941, is Alexander na Birma gestuur. Alexander kon nie die vooruitgang van die Japannese weermag stop nie, maar besluit om terug te keer na Indië.

Alexander het kort onder generaal Dwight Eisenhower in Noord -Afrika gedien voordat hy die bevel oor die Britse magte in Egipte geneem het. In noue samewerking met generaal Bernard Montgomery, hoof van die 8ste leër, is generaal Erwin Rommel en die Deutsches Afrika Korps in November 1942 by El Alamein verslaan.

In Februarie 1943 kry Alexander bevel oor die nuwe 18de leërgroep en nadat die Noord -Afrikaanse veldtog in Tunisië geëindig het, het hy die 15de leërgroep op Sicilië gelei (Julie - Augustus 1943) en was hy die opperbevelhebber van die geallieerde in Italië (September 1943 - Mei, 1945).

In die winter van 1943 het generaal Albrecht Kesselring sy magte teruggetrek na wat bekend geword het as die Gustav -lyn op die Italiaanse skiereiland suid van Rome. Dit was langs die riviere Garigliano en Rapido georganiseer en bevat Monte Cassino, 'n heuwel van 'n sesde-eeuse Benediktynse klooster. Die lyn is verdedig deur 15 Duitse afdelings en is versterk met geweerputte, betonbunkers, masjiengeweerplase, doringdraad en mynvelde. In Desember 1943 het die Geallieerdes swaar verliese gely terwyl hulle Monte Cassino probeer vang.

In Januarie 1944 beveel Alexander 'n nuwe Cassino -offensief gekombineer met 'n amfibiese operasie by Anzio, 'n klein hawe aan die weskus van Italië. Die hoofdoel van die operasie was om die kommunikasielyne van die Duitse 10de leër af te sny en die onttrekking aan die Gustav -lyn te dwing.

Op 12 Februarie is die uitgeputte Amerikaanse leër in Cassino vervang deur die New Zealand Corps. Alexander het nou besluit om hierdie nuwe troepe te gebruik in 'n ander poging om Cassino te vang. Generaal Bernard Freyberg, wat in beheer was van die infanterie -aanval, het gevra dat die klooster gebombardeer word. Ondanks bewerings deur troepe in die voorste linie dat daar geen vuur uit die klooster gekom het nie, het Alexander ingestem en dit is op 15 Februarie 1944 deur die Amerikaanse Lugmag vernietig.

Nadat die klooster gebombardeer is, het die Duitse leër die ruïnes ingetrek. Soos Basil Liddell Hart later in sy boek uitgewys het Die ander kant van die heuwel die bombardement "het heeltemal tot die taktiese voordeel van die Duitsers gekom. Want daarna voel hulle vry om die ruïnes te beset, en die puin bied modder beter verdedigingsdekking as wat die klooster sou gewees het voordat dit vernietig is. Soos almal met ervaring van straat- die geveg weet, dit is eers wanneer geboue afgebreek word, dat dit van muistroppe omskep word in verdedigingsbastions. "

Na die bombardement kon die Duitsers verskeie pogings om Monte Cassino te vang, stop. Eers op troepe onder leiding van generaal Wladyslaw Anders (Poolse korps) en generaal Alphonse Juin (Franse korps) is die klooster op 18 Mei 1944 ingeneem.

Na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog is Alexander aangestel as goewerneur-generaal van Kanada (1946-1952). Gegewe die titel die graaf van Tunis, het Winston Churchill in 1952 Alexander as sy minister van verdediging aangestel. Hy geniet nie sy ervaring van politiek nie en bedank uit 1954. Hy publiseer 'n militêre outobiografie, Memoirs: 1940-1945 in 1961.

Harold Alexander is op 16 Junie 1969 oorlede.

Op Charleville, op 24 Mei, toe die B.E.F. was absoluut ryp vir die pluk, het Hitler sy verbaasde generaals meegedeel dat Brittanje 'onontbeerlik' vir die wêreld is en dat hy daarom besluit het om haar integriteit te respekteer en, indien moontlik, homself met haar te verbind. 'N Minder fantasievolle verklaring van Hitler se gesindheid word verskaf deur die verteenwoordiger van Ribbentrop by die hoofkantoor van die Fuhrer, wat die opmerking agtergelaat het:' Hitler het persoonlik ingegryp om die Britte te laat ontsnap. om te veg tot die bitter einde. ”

Aan die militêre kant is die feite duideliker. Op 23 Mei het veldmaarskalk von Rundstedt, bevelvoerder oor leërgroep A, die XIX Army Corps van generaal Guderian gestaak toe twee van sy panzerdivisies op pad was na Dunkirk, nie twintig myl ver nie en met min of geen opposisie wat voorlê. Die Britse teenaanval by Arras op 21 Mei, hoewel dit deur nie meer as twee gemengde kolomme uitgevoer is nie, wat elk uit 'n tenkbataljon, 'n infanteriebataljon, 'n veldbattery, 'n tenkbattery en 'n masjiengeweermaatskappy bestaan ​​het, het veroorsaak hom 'n mate van kommer. Hy het dus die halt geroep om 'die situasie in staat te stel om homself te verhelder en ons magte gekonsentreerd te hou'. Die panzers het pas die Kanaal bereik, en die sukses van hierdie Britse teenaanval het die vrees vir 'n groter operasie veroorsaak wat hulle van hul ondersteunende infanterie sou afsny. Die volgende oggend het hy besoek ontvang van die Fuhrer, wat die stopbevel bevestig het. Die pansers moenie in 'n moontlik oorstroomde gebied gevaar loop nie, maar word bewaar vir toekomstige operasies, vermoedelik teen die Franse leër. Aan die ander kant moes die 'aksieveld' van die Luftwaffe nie beperk word nie.

Oor die beskikbare bewyse kan daar eintlik geen twyfel bestaan ​​dat dit in die spesifieke geval van die opperbevelhebber van die Luftwaffe, veldmaarskalk Goering was, dat die B.E.F. Is "aan die Luftwaffe oorgelaat". Guderian sou bitter skryf oor die eerste dag van die ontruiming, 26 Mei: "Ons het die Luftwaffe -aanval dopgehou. Ons het ook die armada van groot en klein skepe gesien, waarmee die Britte hul magte ontruim het." Guderian se bitterheid is gedeel deur die hele Duitse leër se hoë kommando.

Dit was duidelik dat die behoud van Rangoon onmoontlik was met die magte tot my beskikking, versprei soos dit was en met die helfte daarvan al omsingel. Die dag na my aankoms het ek dus beveel dat die ontruiming die volgende oggend met daglig moet begin, en dat die hawe en sy installasies daarna so vinnig as moontlik gesloop moet word. Ek kon Rangoon nie red nie, maar ek kon die weermag met geluk red. Die verlies van ons basis sou 'n ernstige saak wees, want ons moet afhanklik wees van die verspreide winkels en stortingsterreine wat in Sentraal- en Noord -Birma versprei word. As dit opgebruik is, sou die leër lamgelê word, tensy voorrade oor die berge uit Indië gestuur kon word; maar, afgesien van 'n paar muilspore, was daar geen kommunikasie met Indië nie. Dit het gelyk asof ons die beste moet doen met wat ons het. Met Chinese hulp-hoe twyfelagtig ook al-moet ons ten minste die Japanse opmars in Birma stadig en duur kan maak. Dit was die gedagtes in my gedagtes toe ek die vernietiging en ontruiming van Rangoon beveel.

My eerste stap om die moraal te herstel, was dus om die vaste beginsel neer te lê, om aan alle geledere bekend te word, dat geen verdere onttrekking oorweeg word nie en dat ons die komende geveg op die grond waarop ons gestaan ​​het, sou veg. Generaal Montgomery was dit heeltemal eens in hierdie beleid en het dit aan die Agtste Leër H.Q. personeel op 'n vergadering wat op die tweede aand van sy aankoms gehou is; en dit het hom as 'n geskrewe opdrag uitgegee toe ek die bevel van die Midde -Ooste formeel oorgeneem het.

Daar bestaan ​​geen twyfel dat Montgomery tydens sy toespraak briljante klem gelê het op die ooreengekome beleid nie. Hy het sy gehoor meegedeel dat hy beveel het dat alle onttrekkingsplanne verbrand moet word, dat die verdediging van die Delta vir hom niks beteken nie, dat alle hulpbronne wat daarvoor bestem is, aangewend moet word om die Agtste Weermag te versterk.

By Alamein is Rommel heeltemal verslaan, maar nie vernietig nie: Alamein was 'n beslissende oorwinning, maar nie 'n volledige oorwinning nie. Dit is maklik om na agtien jaar terug te kyk en aan te dui dat die Afrika Korps na die deurbraak deur 'n kragtiger uitbuiting vernietig kon gewees het, maar laat ons die realiteite van die tyd onthou.

Monty het sy eerste groot bevel gehad. Hy was nuut in die woestyn. Hy veg teen 'n groot slagveldtaktikus in Rommel, wie se troepe ervare krygers was: hy en hulle het 'n paar merkwaardige oorwinnings behaal; terwyl die Agtste Leër eers onlangs hervorm is en die materiaal gegee is om die as teen 'n beter kans te neem; baie van ons vars versterkings was nuut in woestyntoestande; en hoewel ons intelligensie goed was, kon ons nie presies weet watter slag die Duitsers nog kry nie.

Montgomery is 'n eersteklas afrigter en leier van troepe op die slagveld, met 'n fyn taktiese sin. Hy weet hoe om die lojaliteit van sy manne te wen en het 'n goeie aanleg om moraal te verhoog. Hy het met reg gespog dat hy, na die slag van Alamein, nooit 'n nederlaag gely het nie; en die waarheid is dat hy nooit van plan was om die risiko van 'n nederlaag te loop nie; dit is een van die redes waarom hy versigtig was en huiwerig was om kanse te waag. Daar is egter veel te sê oor sy gesindheid as ons in ag neem dat ons tot Oktober 1942 nog nie 'n enkele groot stryd sedert die begin van die oorlog gewen het nie - behalwe Archie Wavell se operasies teen die Italianers en 'n paar plaaslike oorwinnings teen die Askragte in die Westelike Woestyn.

Tog kan ek my nie vermom dat hy nie 'n maklike man was nie; Byvoorbeeld, daar is soms beswaar gemaak teen administratiewe bevele wat deur my personeel uitgereik is - met ander woorde Monty wou volkome onafhanklikheid van bevel hê en doen wat hy wil. Tog het daar geen ernstige probleme ontstaan ​​oor hierdie baie geringe versteurings nie; hy was altyd redelik wanneer hy aangepak word.

Baie van die soldate met wie ek gepraat het, het deelgeneem aan seëvierende vooruitgang wat hulle na Benghazi en verder gelei het, en daarna teruggedruk: die woestynveldtog was natuurlik maande lank 'n wipplank tussen die agtste leër en die Afrika Korps. En die finale uitslag van hierdie wapenwedstryd, toe ek in Kaïro aankom, was, soos ek al gesê het, dat ons weer op die laaste sloot van weerstand was.

Tydens hierdie gesprekke het ek, nie onverwags nie, die oortuiging ontdek dat veldmaarskalk Rommel, wat die Duitse magte in Afrika beveel het sedert hul eerste aankoms in Februarie 1941, 'n towenaar van die slagveld was: sy opbou van publisiteit was enorm. Daar is geen twyfel dat die veldmaarskalk 'n bekwame strydbevelvoerder was en 'n goeie taktikus vir 'n onafhanklike mag soos die Afrika Korps nie, maar dit was skaars nodig om aan hom voornatuurlike gawes toe te ken om sy suksesse te verduidelik.

Terloops, hy was 'n baie ridderlike vyand. Ek word vertel dat hy, toe hy gewonde gevangenes sou neem, na die hospitale sou gaan en hulle sou prys dat hulle 'n goeie vertoning opgedoen het en sodoende die Rommel -legende ongetwyfeld ondersteun en uitgebrei het.

Sicilië was die eerste grootskaalse amfibiese operasie teen strande wat deur vyande in die tweede wêreldoorlog gehou is. Dit was dus sonder enige praktiese ervaring dat die beplanners hul taak begin het. Afgesien van die vele aanrandingsprobleme wat opgelos moet word, soos strandgradiente, getye, vyandige verdedigingsposisies, sterkte en ligging van Duitse en Italiaanse magte, was dit natuurlik noodsaaklik dat ons 'n hawe of hawens het om die troepe wat binnelands veg, te voorsien. .

Daar was vier goeie hawens met die nodige kapasiteit; Messina, Catania, Syracuse en Palermo. Messina is swaar bewaak deur vaste verdediging en buite die bereik van ons vegters. Catania was net binne die vegterdekking, en was ook sterk verdedig en onder die vegterparaplu van die Luftwaffe, gebaseer op die Catania -groep vliegvelde, op 'n kort afstand van die hawe. Syracuse en Palermo was albei binne ons vegterdekking en was nie so sterk verdedig nie.

Hulle was twee heeltemal teenoorgestelde militêre karakters; die een ongeduldig van traagheid, die ander onwillig om hom tot aktiewe bedrywighede te verbind, tensy hy die doel daarvan duidelik kon sien. Op een van my besoeke aan die Amerikaanse hoof-

Ek was gefassineer om hierdie kenmerkende uitruil te hoor:

Patton: Waarom sit ons en doen niks? Ons moet iets doen!

Bradley: Wag 'n bietjie, George! Wat stel jy voor doen ons?

Patton: Enigiets eerder as om net op ons agterkant te sit!

Albei was goeie soldate. Patton was 'n boerdery, bereid om enige risiko's te neem; Bradley, soos ek aangedui het, was versigtiger. Patton moes tydens die Napoleontiese oorloë geleef het - hy sou 'n wonderlike maarskalk onder Napoleon gewees het.

Ondanks al sy dapperheid en taaiheid en geweldige dryfkrag was generaal George Patton 'n baie emosionele man. Hy was lief vir sy manne en hulle vir hom. Ek was saam met hom aan die voorkant toe hy begroet is met betogings van liefde deur sy soldate, en daar was - soos ek self gesien het - trane oor sy wange.

'N Historiese naskrif kan nou bygevoeg word by die veelbesproke vraag oor die vernietiging van die historiese Benediktynse klooster op Monte Cassino as 'n voorlopige stap in die geallieerde offensief daar in Februarie. Die taak is uitgevoer deur 'n groot mag van Amerikaanse bomwerpers en ondersteunende artillerie. Volgens die aankondigings van die Geallieerde Kommando destyds is hierdie vernietiging beveel omdat die klooster, wat die benaderings na die stad oorheers het, deur die Duitsers 'beset en versterk' is. Hierdie stellings is herhaal in die veldmaarskalk sir H. Maitland Wilson se verslag wat in 1946 gepubliseer is - wat vreemd gelyk het in die lig van vroeëre getuienis van die Vatikaan en die Abt self dat die Duitsers oortreding van die klooster vermy het, ondanks die taktiese nadeel wat dit meebring. vir hulle.

Die ironie van die bombardement was, soos beide Senger en Vietinghoff opgemerk het, dat dit heeltemal tot die taktiese voordeel van die Duitsers geblyk het. Want daarna voel hulle vry om die ruïnes te beset, en die puin bied modder beter verdedigingsdekking as wat die klooster sou gewees het voordat dit vernietig is. "Soos almal met ervaring van straatgevegte weet, is dit eers wanneer geboue afgebreek word, dat dit van muisvalle omskep word in verdedigingsbastions." Batterye wat in die ruïnes aangebring en versteek is, kon die daaropvolgende Britse pogings om deur te ry na die stad Cassino, afbreek en verbreek.

Die stryd om Cassino - of liewer die reeks gevegte vir Cassino - het op 17 Januarie 1944 begin toe X Corps oor die Garigliano aangeval het. Op 20 Januarie val die Verenigde State II Korps oor die Rapido, maar hierdie slag misluk en X Corps, na 'n aanvanklike sukses, is deur swaar teenaanvalle nagegaan. Nog 'n aanval het op 16 Februarie begin, en dit was hierdie aanval wat voorafgegaan is deur die vernietiging van die klooster deur bombardemente en artillerievuur. Maar die stad Cassino en die klooster sou eers op 18 Mei gevange geneem word, toe die Pole die rooi en wit standaard met die wit arend oor die ruïnes van die klooster verhoog het.

Tot die bombardement in Februarie is die groot Benediktynse klooster doelbewus gespaar, tot ons nadeel. Of die Duitsers voordeel getrek het uit sy diep kelders vir skuiling en sy hoë vensters vir waarneming, weet ek nie; maar dit was duidelik dat hierdie groot en massiewe gebou die verdedigers aansienlike beskerming teen vyandige vuur bied, bloot deur hul skuiling onder die mure. Soos Winston Churchill opgemerk het, was die vyandelike versterkings skaars van die gebou self geskei.

Was die vernietiging van die klooster 'n militêre noodsaaklikheid? Was dit moreel verkeerd om dit te vernietig?

Die antwoord op die eerste vraag is 'ja'. Dit was meer nodig vir die uitwerking wat dit op die moreel van die aanvallers sou hê as op grond van materiële redes.

Die antwoord op die tweede vraag is die volgende: as soldate vir 'n regverdige saak veg en bereid is om dood en verminking te ly, kan bakstene en mortier, hoe eerbiedig dit ook al is, nie toegelaat word om menselewens te weeg nie. Elke goeie bevelvoerder moet die moraal en gevoelens van sy vegmense in ag neem, en wat net so belangrik is, die vegtende mans moet weet dat hulle hele bestaan ​​in die hande is van 'n man in wie hulle volkome vertroue het. Die bevelvoerende generaal moet sy troepe dus absoluut duidelik maak dat hulle in aksie tree onder die gunstigste omstandighede wat hy mag beveel.

In die konteks van die Cassino -geveg, hoe kan 'n struktuur wat die vegveld oorheers het, bly staan? Die klooster moes vernietig word. Alles is gedoen om die lewens van die monnike en hul skatte te red: daar is ruim waarskuwing gegee oor die bombardement.

Die groot Benediktynse klooster, waaruit 'n wonderlike uitsig op die omliggende land verkry kan word, is volledig in gesnyde klip herbou. Sowel buite as binne is dit in sy vorige toestand herstel, selfs tot by die marmerwerk en binneversiering.

Die bomme van die Geallieerde lugmag het niks van die gebou laat staan ​​nie, behalwe 'n deel van een van die buitemure - alles was 'n hoop puin. Tog, te midde van hierdie ontsettende vernietiging, het die graf van Sint Benedictus, in die middel van die klooster, heeltemal ongeskonde gegaan.

Na die verowering en bevryding van Rome kon ek wyle die pous vertel van sy voortbestaan. Hy was diep ontroer. Hy het my boonop verseker dat hy die militêre noodsaaklikheid vir die bombardement en die onvermydelike vernietiging van die klooster goed begryp.

Veldmaarskalk Kesselring het uitdruklike bevele gegee dat geen Duitse soldaat die klooster mag binnegaan nie, om te voorkom dat die Geallieerdes enige voorwendsel gee om dit te bombardeer of te beskiet. Ek kan nie persoonlik getuig dat hierdie besluit aan die Geallieerdes meegedeel is nie, maar ek is seker dat die Vatikaan die middele daarvoor gevind het, aangesien dit so direk geïnteresseerd was in die lot van Monte Cassino. Veldmaarskalk Kesselring het nie net Duitse soldate verbied om die klooster binne te gaan nie, maar ook 'n wag by die ingangshek geplaas om te verseker dat sy bevele uitgevoer word.

Generaal Harold R. L. G. Alexander het 'n wenpersoonlikheid, wye oorlogservaring, 'n vermoë om met mense oor die weg te kom en taktiese opvattings. Hy is selfvernietigend en energiek. Die enigste moontlike twyfel wat met betrekking tot sy kwalifikasies gemaak kan word, is 'n vermeende onsekerheid in die hantering van sekere van sy ondergeskiktes. Soms lyk dit asof hy sy eie planne en idees verander net om aan 'n beswaar of 'n voorstel van 'n ondergeskikte te voldoen, om direkte bevelmetodes te vermy. Ek moet sê dat dit net 'n gevoel is. Ek het geen bewyse dat in die gevalle waarin hy blykbaar van radikale gedagte verander het dat hy deur enigiets anders beïnvloed is nie, behalwe verdere besinning oor die probleem.

Anzio het 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die verowering van Rome deur my die middele te gee om 'n dubbele hand te gebruik - van die strandkop en van Cassino - wat die Duitsers in 'n knypbeweging gevang het. Sonder hierdie tweehandige pons glo ek nie dat ons ooit die Duitse verdediging by Cassino moes kon deurbreek nie.

Bestellings vir die operasie is op 2 Januarie uitgereik. Die doel was om die kommunikasie van die vyand te onderbreek en die Duitse agterkant te bedreig. Die vyfde weermag is beveel om 'so 'n sterk aanslag as moontlik na Cassino en Frosinone te maak kort voor die aanranding om vyandelike reserwes in te trek wat teen die landingsmagte aangewend kan word en dan 'n deurbraak aan sy voorkant te skep waardeur elke geleentheid sal plaasvind geneem om vinnig te skakel met die operasie op die see ". Ondanks die oorskakeling van altesaam vyf afdelings van die agtste weermag na die vyfde leër, was die Duitse weerstand op die hooffront koppig; en gedurende die vroeë kritieke dae moes die Britse en Amerikaanse afdelings in Anzio sonder hulp veg vir hul eie redding. Intussen oor die Adriatiese sektor. Generaal Montgomery het voortgegaan met sy poging om deur die vyand se verdedigingstelsel te breek; maar met nog minder sukses namate die weer vererger en die vyand se krag toeneem.

Teen 'n minder formidabele vyand sou 'n operasie soos ons bedink het geslaag; maar ek dink ons ​​het moontlik die merkwaardige veerkragtigheid en taaiheid van die Duitsers onderskat deur te verwag dat hulle bang sou wees vir so 'n bedreiging vir hul agterkant.

Hitler se bevele aan Kesselring moes om politieke redes ten alle koste aan Cassino vashou en die landing van Anzio uitskakel. Die onttrekking van die Hermann Goring -afdeling uit Italië is gekanselleer, en Hitler het aan Kesselring gesê dat hy versterk sal word deur twee gemotoriseerde afdelings, drie onafhanklike regimente, twee swaar tenkbataljons en 'n paar swaar en medium artillerie -eenhede. So het die vyand geweier om sy strydfront by Cassino te verswak deur formasies terug te trek om die landings te hanteer.

Elke keer as ons Kesselring in Italië aanval, het ons hom heeltemal verras; maar hy het baie groot vaardigheid getoon om homself te bevry uit die desperate situasies waarin sy gebrekkige intelligensie hom gelei het. Ek voel nou dat hy in hierdie omstandighede sy gesindheid op die hooffront nie in 'n groot mate sou verander het totdat hy alles moontlik probeer het om die bedreiging vir sy rug uit te skakel nie. Sy vasberadenheid hoef ook nie betwyfel te word nie. Die magte onder sy bevel was sedert November 1942 byna 'n jaar lank in 'n deurlopende terugtog, 'n terugtog wat hulle net so kort van Alexandrië net noord van Napels gebring het - en dit was tyd om dit te stop.

Ses en twintig nasies het kontingente bygedra tot my bevel in Italië. Ek voel daarom dat daar ooreengekom word dat ek uit eerstehandse ervaring praat oor die verskillende gevegskwaliteite van troepe in die geveg, as ek bevestig dat daar geen beter soldate is as dié van die Britse ras nie, mits hulle 'n rede het om te veg - en sterf, indien nodig.

Hulle maak beswaar daarteen dat hulle rondgestoot word - hulle is intelligent genoeg om te wil weet waaroor dit gaan, en hulle sal ongelukkig en ontevrede word as hulle voel dat daar onregverdigheid is. Maar as hulle leiers hulle waardig is, sal hulle hulle oral volg. Hulle is baie geduldig en sterk in die verdediging. Alhoewel die Britte met groot dapperheid en vasberadenheid die aanval sal aangaan, is hulle in die geheel nie vinnig om 'n sukses te benut of op 'n skielike noodtoestand te reageer nie.

Britse militêre leiers is huiwerig om swaar verliese te aanvaar, tensy die skaal van oorwinning in hul guns weeg. Hierdie gesindheid kom ongetwyfeld voort uit ons ervarings in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, toe ons enorme slagoffers in die gevegte soos die Somme en Passchendaele ons niks meer as 'n paar vierkante kilometer van die Franse gebied gegee het nie, en soms 'n voorskot van hoogstens bereik het 'n paar meter.

En wat van die vyand wat ons soldate en die van ons bondgenote oorwin en baasgeraak het? Nadat ek in twee wêreldoorloë teen die Duitsers geveg het, kan ek nie my agting vir hul vermoë as vegmanne verberg nie. Hulle is baie dapper en taai, en het 'n duidelike pligsbesef en dissipline. Verder is hulle trots daarop om hul wapens te bemeester en hul werk op die slagveld te leer.

As die Duitsers 'n vegterras is, is hulle beslis ook militaristies. Ek dink hulle hou van die militêre toernooi en die paneel van oorlog; en die gevoel van krag en krag wat 'n goed georganiseerde en gedissiplineerde eenheid aan elke individuele lid van die eenheid gee. Ek is heeltemal bereid om toe te gee dat ek self hierdie nuuskierige aantrekkingskrag deel vir die sterkte en elegansie van pragtig opgeleide en toegeruste formasies, met al die kuns en subtiliteit van hul bewegings in aksie teen 'n vyand. Ek kan die entoesiasme wat die soldate - van marshalle tot die privaat soldaat - vir Napoleon getoon het, goed begryp; en waarom hulle hul leier sonder twyfel of twyfel in sy oorwinningsveldtogte gevolg het. So voel hulle dat hulle die heerlikheid van sy verowerings gedeel het.

Ek kan ook die hoë moraal van die Duitse soldaat verstaan ​​toe Hitler onoorwinlik gelyk het; maar ek dink dit is baie merkwaardig dat hulle hul laaste gevegte net so hard en dapper gevoer het as toe hulle hul eerste wen, alhoewel hulle moes besef het dat alles verlore was. Die laaste gevegte in Italië was net so bitter soos in die westelike woestyn of in die vroeë stadiums van die Italiaanse veldtog. Soos die bokser in die ring, het die Duitse soldaat nie opgegee totdat hy uitgeslaan is nie; en maak geen fout daarmee nie!


Harold Alexander, 1ste graaf Alexander van Tunis, word gebore

Vandag in die vrymesselaarsgeskiedenis Harold Alexander, 1ste graaf Alexander van Tunis, word in 1891 gebore.

Harold Alexander, 1ste graaf Alexander van Tunis, was 'n Britse weermagoffisier.

Harold Alexander, 1ste graaf Alexander van Tunis, is op 10 Desember 1891 in Londen, Engeland, gebore. Hy is opgevoed aan Hawtreys Preparatory School en Harrow School. Op 'n stadium het hy dit oorweeg om 'n kunstenaar te word, maar eerder die Royal Military College, Sandhurst, by te woon.

In 1911 word Alexander aangestel as 'n tweede luitenant in die Britse leër. Voor die begin van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog is hy bevorder tot luitenant. Op 22 -jarige ouderdom is Alexander onder bevel van 'n peloton aan die Westelike Front geplaas. Hy het gedurende die oorlog die meeste van sy tyd aan die Westelike Front deurgebring. Hy het veral eers van die Wesfront af weggekom toe hy gewond is, en kort daarna teruggekeer om sy bevel te hervat. Teen die einde van die oorlog is Alexander bevorder tot 'n waarnemende luitenant -kolonel.

Tussen die Eerste en Tweede Wêreldoorlog het Alexander in 'n verskeidenheid diensstasies regoor die wêreld diens gedoen. Hy is ook bevorder tot die rang van generaal-majoor. Hy dien grootliks gedurende hierdie tyd in Indië. Hy is ook aangestel as een van die hulpverleners van die kamp by die pas gekronde koning George VI. Hy verlaat sy bevel in Indië om deel te neem aan die kroning van die koning.

In 1939, na die uitbreek van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, neem Alexander die bevel oor 'n afdeling wat in Frankryk dien. Hy het die terugtrekking van die afdeling na Duinkerken gelei en op die strand gebly totdat hy seker was dat alle Britse soldate weg is. Terug in Engeland was hy in beheer van verskeie weermagte rondom Engeland. Op 'n stadium is hy aangestel as die hoofoffisier (GOCIC) van die Southern Command, wat verantwoordelik was vir die verdediging van Suidwes-Engeland.

In 1942, toe die Duitsers Birma binnegeval het, is Alexander gestuur om die GOCIC van die Britse magte in Birma te wees. Weer het Alexander hom onderskei en is hy net 'n paar maande later na Engeland teruggebring.

Winston Churchill plaas hom in die pos van opperbevelhebber van die Midde -Ooste -kommando, en plaas hom in beheer van Operasie Torch, 'n geallieerde offensief teen asmagte in Noord -Afrika. In 1943 het die asmagte in Tunisië oorgegee. Die magte van Alexander, wat weer as die 15de leërgroep aangewys is, bestaan ​​uit twee leërs, een onder bevel van die Britse generaal Montgomery en die generaal van die Verenigde State George Patton. Vir die res van die oorlog het Alexander toesig gehou oor die geallieerde pogings in Italië en die oorgawe van die Duitse magte in Italië aanvaar. Teen die einde van die oorlog is hy bevorder tot die rang van veldmaarskalk.

Na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het koning George VI, op versoek van die premier van Kanada, Alexander tot goewerneur -generaal van Kanada gemaak. Die posisie van onderkoning. Alexander verteenwoordig die koning in sake wat met Kanada te doen het. Later in sy aanstelling verleen koning George hom meer beheer oor aangeleenthede rakende Kanada. Alexander is hartlik deur die Kanadese mense aanvaar. Hy word die eerste nie-inheemse hoof van die Kwakiutl-stam.

In 1952 keer Alexander terug na Engeland op versoek van Winston Churchill wat wou hê dat hy as minister van verdediging moes dien. Kort na sy terugkeer is koning George VI oorlede. Hy is in die Coronation Committee van die Queen geplaas en is daarvan beskuldig dat hy die Sovereign's Orb in die staatsoptog gedra het.

Alexander tree uit die politiek in 1954. Vir die res van sy lewe het hy baie tyd in Kanada deurgebring om familie en vriende te besoek. Hy is op 16 Junie 1969 aan 'n geperforeerde aorta oorlede.

Alexander was lid van die Grand Lodge of England en het gedien as Grand Steward en 'n Grand Warden.


My geskiedenisheld: Veldmaarskalk Harold Alexander (1891–1969)

Gebore uit 'n aristokratiese familie, studeer Harold Alexander aan Harrow en later Sandhurst. Hy was 'n bekwame skilder en sportman, maar in 1914 het die Eerste Wêreldoorlog ingegryp en 'n militêre loopbaan begin. Hy dien met lof in die magte en styg deur die geledere totdat hy in 1937 die jongste generaal in die Britse leër word. Tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het Alexander bevel gegee in Frankryk, Birma, Noord -Afrika en Italië. Sy uitstekende rekord het hom in 1944 tot veldmaarskalk bevorder. Na die oorlog was hy van 1946–52 die laaste Britse goewerneur-generaal van Kanada.

Wanneer het jy die eerste keer van Alexander gehoor?

Dit was toe ek 'n jong seun was. Daar was 'n artikel in 'n tydskrif genaamd Kyk en leer met foto's van Montgomery en Alexander. Ek hou nie van Monty se voorkoms nie, maar Alexander het 'n sagte gesig met lagstrepe wat uit sy oë strek, en tog lyk hy nog steeds soos 'n behoorlike generaal. Om een ​​of ander rede het die prentjie my bygebly.

Watter soort persoon was hy?

Hy was 'n briljante man. Hy het die verskillende fasette van oorlog verstaan ​​- die taktiese, operasionele en strategiese - maar hy het ook die vermoë gehad om met almal oor die weg te kom. Hy was 'n suksesvolle bevelvoerder van 'n geallieerde koalisie van meer as 20 verskillende nasionaliteite, en was baie respekvol en geliefd deur die Amerikaners - in teenstelling met baie van die Britse bevelvoerders. Hy was ook so gaaf en humeurig soos die prentjie suggereer-die briewe wat hy aan sy kinders geskryf het, vol spotprente en krabbels, is skreeusnaaks.

Wat het hom 'n held gemaak?

Hy het 'n diepgaande gevoel van plig en eer, en is, dink ek, byna uniek onder suksesvolle bevelvoerders omdat hy glad nie persoonlike ambisie het nie. Hy het eenvoudig elke taak aangepak met dieselfde bedoeling: om sy bes te doen vir sy manne en sy land.

He served on the frontline throughout the First World War (apart from when recovering from wounds), commanded German troops against the Russians in 1919–20, was a brigade commander in the North-West Frontier in the 1930s, was the last man to leave Dunkirk in 1940, successfully led the British back across the Irrawaddy in Burma in 1942 and, from arriving in the Middle East later that year, never suffered a single defeat. The only time he was ever seen to lose his temper was during the battle of Passchendaele, when he saw one of his men refuse to give a wounded German soldier some water. And he played in Fowler’s Match at Lord’s – the most famous Eton- Harrow cricket clash of all.

What was his finest hour?

This is a tricky one, because he had many, but I’m going to go for the surrender of all Axis forces in north Africa in May 1943. The campaign had been floundering, but when he took over as army group commander, he very quickly turned things around and handled Patton and the still-green American troops brilliantly. The capture of 250,000 Axis soldiers was an even greater number than was taken at Stalingrad a few months earlier.

Is there anything you don’t particularly admire about him?

He has been accused of lacking intelligence and of being pushed about by people like Montgomery, but close evidence does not support this. He also spoke French, German, Italian, Russian and Urdu, was a highly accomplished artist, and was a bit of a dandy too. So, no: I think he was incredible.

Can you see any parallels between his life and your own?

Not really, sadly. I paint and I also love cricket, but I think it’s a lot easier to write about war than actually take part and command in it.


Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis

Veldmaarskalk Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, KG , GCB , OM , GCMG , CSI , DSO , MC , CD , PC (Can) , PC (10 December 1891 – 16 June 1969), [2] was a senior British Army officer who served with distinction in both the First and the Second World War and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada and the first Lord Lieutenant of Greater London in 1965.

Alexander was born in London to aristocratic parents and was educated at Harrow before moving on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, for training as an army officer of the Irish Guards. He rose to prominence through his service in the First World War, receiving numerous honours and decorations, and continued his military career through various British campaigns across Europe and Asia. In the Second World War, Alexander oversaw the final stages of the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk and subsequently held high-ranking field commands in Burma, North Africa and Italy, including serving as Commander-in-Chief Middle East and commanding the 18th Army Group in Tunisia. He then commanded the 15th Army Group for the capture of Sicily and again in Italy before receiving his field marshal's baton and being made Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean.

In 1946 he was appointed as Governor General of Canada by King George VI, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King, to replace the Earl of Athlone as viceroy, and he occupied the post until he was succeeded by Vincent Massey in 1952. Alexander proved to be enthusiastic about the Canadian wilderness and popular with Canadians. He was the last Governor General before Adrienne Clarkson who was not born in Canada as well as the last Governor General to be a peer.

After the end of his viceregal tenure, Alexander was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and thereafter, [3] in order to serve as the British Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Winston Churchill, into the Imperial Privy Council. Alexander retired in 1954 and died in 1969.

Vroeë lewe

Alexander was born in London into an aristocratic family from County Tyrone of Ulster-Scots descent. He was the third son of James Alexander, 4th Earl of Caledon, and the Countess of Caledon, a daughter of the 3rd Earl of Norbury. Alexander was educated at Hawtreys and Harrow School, there participating as the 11th batsman in the sensational Fowler's Match against Eton College in 1910. [4] Though Alexander toyed with the notion of becoming an artist, [5] he went instead on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. [6]

Marriage and children

Alexander married Lady Margaret Bingham, daughter of George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan, on 14 October 1931. They had three children together and adopted a fourth: [7]

  • Lady Rose Maureen Alexander (born 28 October 1932, died 21 August 2017) (born 30 June 1935) Brian James Alexander, CMG (born 31 July 1939)
  • Lady Susan Mary Alexander (born 26 February 1948) (adopted)

Militêre loopbaan

In September 1911, Alexander entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Irish Guards. [8] He was promoted to lieutenant in December 1912. [9]

Eerste Wêreldoorlog

Alexander spent most of the First World War on the Western Front. As a 22-year-old platoon commander in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, he served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in 1914. He took part in the retreat from Mons and was wounded at First Ypres and invalided home. [10] He was promoted to temporary captain on 15 November 1914 and permanent captain in the newly raised 2nd Battalion on 7 February the following year. [11]

Alexander returned to the Western Front in August 1915, fought at the Battle of Loos and was, for ten days in October 1915, an acting major and acting Commanding Officer (CO) of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, as a "Battle Casualty Replacement". He then returned to the 2nd Battalion as a company officer [10] and, in January 1916, received the Military Cross for his bravery at Loos. [12] For service in the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916, he was, in October, appointed to the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), [13] the citation for which read: "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He was the life and soul of the attack, and throughout the day led forward not only his own men but men of all regiments. He held the trenches gained in spite of heavy machine gun fire." [13] In the same month, Alexander was further honoured with induction into the French Légion d'honneur. [14]

On 10 December 1916, his twenty-fifth birthday, Alexander became second-in-command (2-i-c) of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, as an acting major. [10] By May, he was briefly acting CO of the 1st Battalion, [10] as an acting lieutenant colonel, while still only a substantive captain. [15] [16] He became a permanent major on 1 August 1917, [17] and was again promoted acting lieutenant colonel, [10] this time confirmed as CO of the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards, on 15 October. [18] Alexander commanded his battalion at Third Ypres, where he was slightly wounded, then at Bourlon Wood (part of the battle of Cambrai), where his battalion suffered 320 casualties out of 400 men. [10] Alexander, between 23 and 30 March 1918, had to assume command of the 4th Guards Brigade, during the British retreat from the German Army's Spring Offensive. [10] [19] He once again commanded the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards, at Hazebrouck in April 1918, where it took such severe casualties that it saw no further action. [10] Still an acting lieutenant colonel, he then commanded a corps infantry school in October 1918, a month before the war ended on 11 November 1918. [20]

Rudyard Kipling, who wrote a history of the Irish Guards, in which his own son, Jack Kipling, fought and was killed in action, noted that, "it is undeniable that Colonel Alexander had the gift of handling the men on the lines to which they most readily responded. His subordinates loved him, even when he fell upon them blisteringly for their shortcomings and his men were all his own." [21]

Tussenoorlogse jare

Alexander in 1919 served with the Allied Control Commission in Poland. As a temporary lieutenant-colonel, [22] he led the Baltic German Landeswehr in the Latvian War of Independence, commanding units loyal to Latvia in the successful drive to eject the Bolsheviks from Latgalia. During service there, he was accidentally wounded by one of his own sentries on 9 October 1919. [23]

Alexander returned to Britain in May 1920 as a major, second in command of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards [10] in May 1922, he was promoted substantive lieutenant-colonel and appointed commanding officer. [24] He commanded the battalion at Constantinople (a sensitive posting in the runup to the Chanak Crisis), then Gibraltar from October 1922, then in London from April 1923 until January 1926, when he was released from that role to attend Staff College, Camberley. [25] [26] Alexander was then in February 1928 promoted to colonel (backdated to 14 May 1926 [25] ) and was the next month appointed Officer Commanding the Irish Guards Regimental District and 140th (4th London) Infantry Brigade, part of 47th (1/2nd London) Division, in the Territorial Army, [25] [27] [28] a post he held until January 1930, when he again returned to study, attending the Imperial Defence College for one year. [29] [30] There, two of Alexander's instructors—the future field marshals Alan Brooke and Bernard Montgomery—were unimpressed by him. [31]

Alexander then held staff appointments as (from January 1931) GSO2 in the Directorate of Military Training at the War Office and (1932–1934) GSO1 at HQ Northern Command in York, [25] before being made in October 1934 a temporary brigadier and given command of the Nowshera Brigade, [32] [33] on the Northwest Frontier in India. [34] [35] For his service there, and in particular for his actions in the Loe-Agra operations against the Pathans in Malakand between February and April 1935, Alexander was that year made a Companion of the Order of the Star of India and was mentioned in dispatches. [36] [37] He was mentioned once more for his service during the Second Mohmand Campaign in Northwest Frontier Province from August to October of the same year, serving under Brigadier Claude Auchinleck. Alexander had a reputation for leading from the front and for reaching mountain crests with or even ahead of his troops. [25] [38]

In March 1937, Alexander was appointed as one of the aides-de-camp to the recently acceded King George VI and in May returned to the United Kingdom to take part in this capacity in the state procession through London during the King's coronation. [39] [40] Alexander would have been seen in this event by two of his Canadian viceregal successors: Vincent Massey, who was then the Canadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, and Massey's secretary, Georges Vanier, who watched the procession from the roof of Canada House on Trafalgar Square. [41] Following the coronation celebration, Alexander returned to India, where he was made the honorary colonel of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, [42] and then in October 1937 was promoted to the rank of major-general, [43] making Alexander the youngest general in the British Army. [14] He relinquished command of his brigade in January 1938, [44] and in February returned to the United Kingdom to take command of the 1st Infantry Division. [45] In June 1938 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath. [46]

Tweede wereld oorlog

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, in September 1939, Alexander brought the 1st Division to France, where it became part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and served there for the next eight months. In May 1940, when the German Army invaded France, he successfully led the division's withdrawal to Dunkirk, where it was evacuated to England, along with the rest of the BEF. Shortly after Major General Bernard Montgomery had been appointed to command II Corps (and before that the 3rd Division), Alexander was, while still on the beachhead, placed in command of I Corps, and left the eastern mole on the destroyer Venomous late on 2 June after ensuring that all British troops had been evacuated. [25] [47] [48] [49] In recognition of his services in the field from March to June 1940, Alexander was again mentioned in despatches. [50]

After Dunkirk, Alexander returned to the United Kingdom and continued to command I Corps, now guarding the coasts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. [51] He was promoted acting lieutenant-general in July 1940, [52] and appointed the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Southern Command, which was responsible for the defence of south-west England. [53] [54] His rank of lieutenant-general was made permanent in December 1940. [51]

On 1 January 1942 he was knighted and appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, [55] and in February, after the Japanese invasion of Burma, was sent to India to become GOC-in-C of British Forces in Burma as a full general. [54] [56] Alexander was unable to fulfil his orders to hold Rangoon, which was abandoned on 6–7 March. [57] He took personal charge of some small local engagements, [51] and was encircled by the Japanese troops in the Battle of Yenangyaung. Rescued by Chinese troops commanded by General Sun Li-jen, Alexander was able to escape. Following that, Alexander increasingly left much of the tactical conduct of the campaign to his corps commander, Lieutenant-General William Slim, while he himself handled the more political aspects of relations with Joseph Stilwell, the nominal commander of the Chinese forces. [58] Alexander was promoted to Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of Allied Land Forces in Burma, March 1942, and ordered Slim to abandon Mandalay and retreat to India. [51]

By July 1942, the British and Indian forces in Burma had completed their fighting retreat into India, and Alexander, having yet again been mentioned in despatches for his Burma service, [59] was recalled to the United Kingdom. He was at first selected to command the British First Army, which was to take part in Operation Torch, the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa. However, following a visit in early August to Egypt by the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS), General Sir Alan Brooke, Alexander flew to Cairo on 8 August to replace General Claude Auchinleck as C-in-C of Middle East Command, the post responsible for the overall conduct of the campaign in the desert of North Africa. At the same time, Lieutenant-General Montgomery replaced Auchinleck as GOC of the British Eighth Army. [58] Alexander presided over Montgomery's victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein and the advance of the Eighth Army to Tripoli, for which Alexander was elevated to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, [60] and, after the Anglo-American forces of the First Army (under Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson) from Operation Torch and the Eighth Army converged in Tunisia in February 1943, they were brought under the unified command of a newly formed 18th Army Group headquarters, commanded by Alexander and reporting to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) at Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ). [61] The American General Omar Bradley, who fought in the Tunisian Campaign, then commanding the U.S. II Corps, credited Alexander's patience and experience with helping an inexperienced United States "field command mature and eventually come of age." [62]

The Axis forces in Tunisia surrendered by May 1943, and Alexander's command became the 15th Army Group, which was, under General Eisenhower, responsible for mounting in July the Allied invasion of Sicily, again seeing Alexander controlling two field armies: General Montgomery's Eighth Army and Lieutenant General George S. Patton's U.S. Seventh Army. After Sicily, and in preparation for the Allied invasion of Italy, the Seventh Army headquarters were replaced by those of the U.S. Fifth Army, led by Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark. [61]

When Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander for the planned Normandy landings he suggested that Alexander become ground forces commander, as he was popular with both British and American officers. Bradley, who after Normandy commanded the U.S. 12th Army Group, remarked that he would have preferred to work with Alexander, rather than Montgomery, as he regarded the former as "a restrained, self-effacive and punctilious soldier". Of the problems that subsequently surfaced with Montgomery's command of the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group, Bradley suspected they would not have occurred with Alexander in command. [63] Brooke, however, applied pressure to keep Alexander in Italy, considering him unfit for the assignment in France. [64] Thus, Alexander remained in command of the 15th Army Group, and, with the support of numerous Allied commanders, controversially authorised the bombing of the historic abbey at Monte Cassino, which resulted in little advance on the German Winter Line defences. It was not until the fourth attempt that the Winter Line was breached by the Allies, and Alexander's forces moved on to capture Rome in June 1944, thereby achieving one of the strategic goals of the Italian Campaign. However, the U.S. VI Corps in the Anzio beachhead, under Clark's orders, failed to follow their original break-out plan that would have trapped the German 10th Army escaping northwards in the aftermath of the Battle of Monte Cassino, instead favouring an early and highly publicised entry into Rome two days before the Allied landings in Normandy. [65]

Alexander remained in command of the 15th Army Group, as well as its successor, the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI), for most of the Italian Campaign, until December 1944, when he relinquished his command to Clark and took over as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces Headquarters, responsible for all military operations in the Mediterranean Theatre. Alexander was concurrently promoted to the rank of field marshal, [65] though this was backdated to the fall of Rome on 4 June 1944, [66] so that Alexander would once again be senior to Montgomery, who had himself been made a field marshal on 1 September 1944, after the end of the Battle of Normandy. Alexander then received the German surrender in Italy, on 29 April 1945. Further, as a reward for his leadership in North Africa and Italy, Alexander, along with a number of other prominent British Second World War military leaders, was elevated to the peerage on 1 March 1946 by King George VI he was created Viscount Alexander of Tunis and Errigal in the County of Donegal. [67]

Brooke felt that Alexander needed an able chief of staff "to think for him", [68] while Montgomery (Alexander's subordinate in Africa and Italy) claimed to think of Alexander as "incompetent" and success was attained in Tunisia only because Montgomery lent Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks, the commander of IX Corps, to organise the coup de grace. [68] However, Harold Macmillan was impressed by Alexander's calm and style, conducting dinners in his mess like those at an Oxbridge high table, discussing architecture and the campaigns of Belisarius, rather than the current war. [68] Macmillan thought Alexander's urbane manner and willingness to discuss and compromise were a sensible way to maintain inter-Allied cooperation, but Alexander's reserve was such that some thought him empty of strategic ideas and unable to make decisions. [n 1] Graham and Bidwell, however, wrote that Alexander's impenetrable reserve made it hard to judge whether or not he had any military ideas, but that he was "unable or unwilling" to assert his will over his army commanders, and that Mark Clark, who often referred to him scornfully as a "peanut" and a "feather duster", exploited this weakness. [68]

Governor General of Canada

With the cessation of hostilities, Alexander was under serious consideration for appointment to the post of Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the British Army's most senior position beneath the sovereign. He was invited, though, by Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to be his recommendation to the King for the post of Governor General of Canada. Alexander thus chose to retire from the army and take up the new position, in anticipation of which he was on 26 January 1946 appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George [73] and created Viscount Alexander of Tunis, of Errigal in the County of Donegal, on 1 March. [74] On 21 March 1946, the commission under the royal sign-manual and signet appointing Alexander was issued. [75] Alexander was subsequently sworn-in during a ceremony in the Senate chamber on 12 April that year. [76]

Alexander took his duties as the viceroy quite seriously, feeling that as governor general, he acted as a connection between Canadians and their King, and spent considerable time traveling Canada during his term he eventually logged no less than 294,500 km (184,000 mi) during his five years as governor general. On these trips, he sought to engage with Canadians through various ceremonies and events he was keenly interested in his role as Chief Scout of Canada and, in preparation for his kicking of the opening ball in the 1946 Grey Cup final, practised frequently on the grounds of the royal and viceregal residence, Rideau Hall. Also, in commemoration of Alexander being named the first non-aboriginal chief of the Kwakiutl tribe, he was given a totem pole on 13 July 1946 crafted by Mungo Martin, it remains on the grounds of Rideau Hall today. [14] By the end of the year, Alexander was also distinguished with his induction as a Knight of the Order of the Garter. [77]

In 1947, the King issued letters patent granting his Canadian governor general permission to exercise all those powers belonging to the monarch in respect of Canada and, at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference of 1949, the decision was reached to use the term member of the Commonwealth in plaas van Heerskappy to refer to the non-British member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. That same year, Alexander oversaw the admission of the British crown colony of Newfoundland into Canadian Confederation and toured the new province that summer. Then, during a later visit to Alberta, the Governor General was admitted to the Blackfoot tribe as Chief Eagle Head. However, though the post-war period saw a boom in prosperity for Canada, the country was again at war by 1950, with Alexander, in his role as acting commander-in-chief, deploying to the Korean War soldiers, sailors, and airmen, whom he would visit prior to their departure for north-east Asia. [14]

The Viscount travelled abroad on official trips—in 1947 visiting US president Harry S. Truman and in June 1948 Brazilian president Eurico Gaspar Dutra—as well as hosting a number of dignitaries. The visit of the Irish Taoiseach, John A. Costello, in 1948 caused Alexander some embarrassment when Costello chose the occasion to announce that most of Ireland would leave the Commonwealth (Northern Ireland would remain a constituent part of the United Kingdom). Although the decision had been taken in principle earlier, the sudden announcement caused a diplomatic storm and Costello, to deflect criticism, claimed that he had been provoked into making the announcement by a series of diplomatic snubs by Lord Alexander. In his memoirs, Costello was to admit that Alexander's behaviour had in fact been perfectly civil and could have had no bearing on a decision which had already been made to declare the Republic of Ireland. [78]

The Alexanders' relatively informal lifestyle at Rideau Hall was demonstrated when during the Canadian tour of Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Viscount and Viscountess hosted a square dance in the palace's ballroom. Alexander painted (creating a personal studio in the former dairy at Rideau Hall and mounting classes in art at the National Gallery of Canada [14] ), partook in a number of sports (including golf, ice hockey, and rugby), and enjoyed the outdoors, particularly during Ontario and Quebec's maple syrup harvest, himself overseeing the process on Rideau Hall's grounds. [14] The Viscount was known to escape from official duties to partake in his most favourite pastime of fishing, once departing from the 1951 royal tour of Princess Elizabeth to take in a day's fishing at Griffin Island, in Georgian Bay, and granting a day off for students in the town of Drayton, Ontario, where his train briefly stopped. [79] He presented the Alexander Cup to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in November 1950 the cup became the championship trophy of the Major Series of senior ice hockey. [80]

Among Canadians, Alexander proved to be a popular viceroy, despite the calls for a Canadian-born governor general that had preceded his appointment. [64] He not only had a much praised military reputation (he was considered to be the best military strategist since the 1st Duke of Wellington [79] ) but also was a charismatic figure, with an easy ability to communicate with people. [14] Others, however, did not fully approve of Alexander editor Hugh Templin, from Fergus, Ontario, met with Alexander during Templin's time as a special correspondent with the Canadian Press during the Second World War, and he said of the encounter: "Lord Alexander impressed us considerably, if not too favourably. He was an aristocratic type, who didn't like newspaper men." [79]

British Minister of Defence

Lord Alexander departed the office of Governor General of Canada in early 1952 after Churchill asked him to return to London to take the post of Minister of Defence in the British government. [64] The aging Churchill had found it increasingly difficult to cope with holding that portfolio concurrently with that of prime minister, although he still took many major decisions himself, leaving Alexander with little real power. [81] Soon after, George VI died on the night of 5–6 February and Alexander, in respect of the King's mourning, departed quietly for the United Kingdom, leaving Chief Justice of Canada Thibaudeau Rinfret as administrator of the government in his place. After his return to the UK, Alexander was on 14 March 1952 elevated in the peerage by the new queen, becoming Earl Alexander of Tunis, Baron Rideau of Ottawa and Castle Derg. [82] He was also appointed to the organising committee for the Queen's coronation and was charged with carrying the Sovereign's Orb in the state procession on that occasion in 1953. [83] [84]

Retirement

The Earl served as the British defence minister until 1954, when he retired from politics and, in 1959, the Queen appointed Alexander to the Order of Merit. [85] From 1960 to 1965, he served as Constable of the Tower of London. [86] Alexander was an active freemason. [87]

Canada remained a favourite second home for the Alexanders and they returned frequently to visit family and friends until Alexander died on 16 June 1969 of a perforated aorta. [1] His funeral was held on 24 June 1969, at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle, and his remains are buried in the churchyard of Ridge, near Tyttenhanger, his family's Hertfordshire home. [14]


Where the Alexander Surname is Found

Perhaps surprising, but the Alexander surname is found in the greatest frequency in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, where one in 52 people bears the surname. According to Forebears, it also ranks among the top 20 surnames in several other Caribbean countries, including St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Alexander is also popular in Scotland and the United States it ranks just out of the top 100 surnames in both countries. WorldNames PublicProfiler highlights Alexander as an especially popular surname in Australia and New Zealand, followed by the United States and Great Britain. Within Scotland, Alexander is found most frequently in South Ayrshire.


Inhoud

First World War and the interwar period

Harold Alexander was born the third son of James Alexander , the fourth Earl of Caledon and Lady Elizabeth Graham Toler. He attended Harrow School and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst . He was inducted into the Irish Guards as a Second Lieutenant on September 23, 1911 . At the beginning of the First World War he served as a platoon leader on the Western Front. For his services in the Battle of Loos he was awarded the Military Cross and in the Battle of the Somme with the Distinguished Service Order . At the Battle of Cambrai he commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards . Alexander was wounded twice and was accepted into the Legion of Honor as a knight . His highest rank was that of a Brevet - lieutenant colonel .

After the World War, Alexander took part in the Allied Aid Commission in newly established Poland. From May 1919 he took part in the Latvian War of Independence and after the armistice of Strasdenhof became commander of the Baltic National Army . He returned to Great Britain and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on May 14, 1922 and commander of the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards in the Aldershot Garrison . With this unit he took part in the occupation of Istanbul and served in Gibraltar . From 1926 he attended the Staff College in Camberley, after which he was regimental commander of the Irish Guards as Colonel . He held this post for two years and then attended Imperial Defense College for one year .

On October 14, 1931, he married Lady Margaret Diana Bingham, second daughter of the 5th Earl of Lucan . After some staff assignments, he took over in 1934 as a temporary brigadier general of the Nowshera Brigade op die North West Frontier in British India . Between February and April 1935 an expedition led against the Pashtuns in Malakand . In September 1935 he fought under Claude Auchinleck in an operation against the Mohmand Pashtuns . For his service there he was Mentioned twice in Despatches and in 1936 as Companion in the Order of the Star of India . In 1937 he returned to Great Britain and was promoted to Major General on October 16, 1937, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Aldershot Command .

Tweede wereld oorlog

At the beginning of the Second World War , Harold Alexander became commander of the 1st Division of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France. During the German campaign in the west , he led the division in retreat to Dunkirk . Alexander took command of the 1st Corps during the evacuation of British troops in Operation Dynamo . He returned to England on June 3, 1940 on the last destroyer to leave France. In recognition of his achievements, he was promoted to Lieutenant General on July 13, 1940 and appointed Commander in Chief of the Southern Command . This was due to the expected German invasion a prominent position.

On January 1, 1942, he was accepted as Knight Commander in the Order of the Bath and thereby elevated to the personal nobility. After the Japanese invasion of Burma , he was appointed commander in chief of this theater of war in February 1942 and at the same time promoted to general . He left the tactical leadership there largely to his subordinate William Slim , while he himself primarily dealt with political issues. After the withdrawal of British troops to India, Alexander was recalled to England in July 1942, originally to lead the British 1st Army in what would later become Operation Torch . Due to the simultaneous crisis in Egypt , where the Axis troops threatened Alexandria , he was appointed in August by Winston Churchill to succeed Claude Auchinlecks as Commander-in-Chief in the Middle East. At the same time, Bernard Montgomery became the new commander of the 8th Army .

After the capture of Tripoli , Alexander was raised to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath on November 11, 1942 . After the Anglo-American forces of Operation Torch met with the armed forces of the Western Desert in Tunisia in early 1943, he was appointed Commander in Chief of the 18th Army Group and Deputy Dwight D. Eisenhowers as Commander in Chief of the entire Allied Armed Forces in the Mediterranean. After the end of the Tunisian campaign , his staff was converted into the 15th Army Group , which was responsible for the subsequent Operation Husky (the invasion of Sicily in July 1943) and the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943.

After Eisenhower was appointed Commander in Chief of the SHAEF , the Allied Headquarters for Operation Overlord , the latter proposed Alexander as Commander in Chief of the Ground Forces for this operation. However, on Sir Alan Brooke's intervention , Alexander was left in his post in Italy under Eisenhower's successor Henry Maitland Wilson, and Montgomery was selected for the role. Alexander successfully overcame the German resistance at Monte Cassino . After Rome was declared an open city at the beginning of June 1944 , Allied troops marched there. On December 12, 1944, Alexander was appointed Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the Mediterranean, and thus successor to Wilson, who went to Washington, and on April 29, 1945, accepted the German partial surrender in Italy .


Alexander Stephens: Early Life and Political Career

Alexander Stephens was born in Crawfordville, Georgia, on February 11, 1812. He grew up destitute and was raised by relatives after both his parents died by the time he was 14. Stephens then attended Franklin College and graduated in 1832. After an unhappy stint as a schoolteacher, he studied law and then served as a successful defense lawyer in Crawfordville starting in 1834.

Het jy geweet? Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, suffered from numerous ailments during his lifetime and often weighed less than 100 pounds. His small size earned him the nickname “Little Aleck,” which followed him throughout his career.

Stephens first entered politics in 1836, when he won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. He served in this position until 1841 and was then elected to the Georgia Senate the following year. During this time Stephens fostered what would become a lifelong friendship with Robert Toombs, a fellow Georgia assemblyman. The two would remain political allies for the rest of their careers.

In 1843 Stephens was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He would go on to win reelection seven consecutive times, serving consistently until 1859. Stephens was a strong supporter of states’ rights and regularly switched political parties whenever he felt they drifted too far from his principles. While he began his career as a Whig, he would later serve as both a Democrat and a Constitutional Unionist.

A frail and sickly man who weighed less than 100 pounds, Stephens was nevertheless a political force, and by the mid-1840s he became a leading Southern statesman. In 1848 he was attacked and stabbed multiple times by Francis H. Cone, a Democratic judge who was enraged by Stephens’ opposition to the Clayton Compromise, a bill that addressed the legality of slavery in territories won in the Mexican-American War (1846-48). Stephens attended a political rally only days later, using the attack to disparage the Democratic Party and encourage voters to elect the Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor.

While Stephens vehemently supported the institution of slavery, he was also committed to preserving the Union. Among other moderate measures, he was a supporter of the Compromise of 1850, a package of bills that helped stave off Southern secession. At the same time, Stephens worked to maintain a balance between free and slave states as new territories were introduced into the Union. One of his greatest victories in this respect came in 1854, when Stephens helped pass Senator Stephen A. Douglas’s Kansas-Nebraska Act. This allowed settlers in these new territories to choose whether or not to permit slavery.


Alexander Becomes King of Persia

After conquering Egypt, Alexander faced Darius and his massive troops at Gaugamela in October 331 B.C. Following fierce fighting and heavy losses on both sides, Darius fled and was assassinated by his own troops. It’s said Alexander was sad when he found Darius’s body and he gave him a royal burial.

Finally rid of Darius, Alexander proclaimed himself King of Persia. But another Persian leader, Bessus (also thought to be Darius’s murderer), had also claimed the Persian throne. Alexander couldn’t let the claim stand.

After relentless pursuit by Alexander, Bessus’s troops handed Bessus over to Ptolemy, Alexander’s good friend, and he was mutilated and executed. With Bessus out of the way, Alexander had full control of Persia.


Agtergrond

Landing in Italy in September 1943, Allied forces under General Sir Harold Alexander began pushing up the peninsula. Due to the Apennine Mountains, which run the length of Italy, Alexander's forces advanced on two fronts with the Lieutenant General Mark Clark's US Fifth Army on the east and Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army on the west. Allied efforts were slowed by poor weather, rough terrain, and a tenacious German defense. Slowly falling back through the fall, the Germans sought to buy time to complete the Winter Line south of Rome. Though the British succeeded in penetrating the line and capturing Ortona in late December, heavy snows prevented them from pushing west along Route 5 to reach Rome. Around this time, Montgomery departed for Britain to aid in planning the invasion of Normandy and was replaced by Lieutenant General Oliver Leese.

To the west of the mountains, Clark's forces moved up Routes 6 and 7. The latter of these ceased to be usable as it ran along the coast and had been flooded at the Pontine Marshes. As a result, Clark was forced to use Route 6 which passed through the Liri Valley. The southern end of the valley was protected by large hills overlooking the town of Cassino and atop which sat the abbey of Monte Cassino. The area was further protected by the fast-flowing Rapido and Garigliano Rivers which ran west to east. Recognizing the defensive value of the terrain, the Germans built the Gustav Line section of the Winter Line through the area. Despite its military value, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring elected not to occupy the ancient abbey and informed the Allies and Vatican of this fact.


1 Antwoord 1

— My memory is all Greek to me too. -

But it seems that here we see mainly a slight slip-up in letters with a bit of retroactive reasoning, or perhaps a certain conflation of concepts?

The concept of foto's seems unfamiliar.

The concept of pothos is nie.

Especially in connection with Alexander:

Pothos

Pothos is the Greek word for "longing", a divine power (daimon).

In Greek myth, Pothos ("longing") and his brothers Eros ("love") and Himeros ("desire") were the sons of Zephyr, the westerly wind. Alternatively, Himeros and Pothos were the sons of Eros. Whatever their precise family connections, Himeros represented the desire towards something that was within human reach, and Pothos was the longing towards an unattainable goal. Since the object of this longing could only be reached in a better, more perfect world, it comes as no surprise that Pothos was associated with death. For example, the word is also used to describe the Delphinium flowers that were placed on tombs.note

According to the Greek author Pausanias (second century CE), the sculptor Skopas made statues of Eros, Himeros, and Pothos. They were exhibited in the sanctuary of Aphrodite in Megara.

Aristobulus, one of the biographers of Alexander the Great, seems to have introduced the Pothos-motif in the histories of the Macedonian conqueror of the Achaemenid empire. He and all ancient historians after him believed that Alexander's inner drive was a kind of longing to see foreign countries. One of the attractions of the word was that an author who used it, could leave Alexander's reckless behavior during battles and sieges and his outrageous drinking habits unexplained. Like his legendary ancestor Achilles, the famous hero from Homer's Iliad, Alexander the Great had chosen to be famous and die young.

It is possible that the official portraits of Alexander were influenced by the Pothos of Skopas. If so, the idea to link the king with a longing for knowledge was contemporary with his conquests.

For the generalized question in the title of this post: we do not know much reliable specifics of his youth in terms of intellectual achievements. But we do know the name of his teacher. Making it perhaps a fair guess that Alexander was some kind of Aristotelian (notably, Alex's tutor was not yet daardie famous or accomplished when called to Pella)?

The often legendary and obviously 'just invented' information we get about Alexander's youth are one problem to consider, but a much too strong influence of Aristotle on the young man and his views must not be assumed either.

Especially interesting for this is a contemporary critique of this choice of education:

Unfortunately, I am told that you study the wrong type of philosophy. This pseudo-philosophy concentrates on eristics. Now, eristics may not be entirely useless it is even a good thing for men who will never be anything but private persons and will only meet others like themselves in order to refute each other. For you who are destined to be a monarch and ruler of peoples eristic is entirely unsuitable. Don't forget your future rank, don't forget that you should think of yourself as superior to your subjects. Are you to engage in eristic disputations with your inferiors? Yours is to command, not to persuade theirs is to obey, not to debate with you. I am afraid, however, the reports are true, and it is indeed eristics of which you are fond.

Here is my own program of education. We should learn to speak - viz. the kind of speeches which can be used in practical everyday affairs and those which will enable us to deliberate about public affairs. If you will pursue this kind of philosophy, you will be able to form a sound opinion about the future, you will be able to give proper orders to your subjects, you will be able to judge correctly what is good and just and what is not so, and you will know how to reward and punish.

Compare this program of education with what the sophists from the Academy have to offer. They will teach you to quibble and split hairs concerning problems of no practical value whatsoever. They will never enable you to cope with the actualities of daily life and politics. They will teach you to disdain opinion (common sense) in spite of the fact that common sense assumptions are the only basis for ordinary human affairs and they are sufficient to judge the course of future events. Instead of common sense opinions, they will make you chase after a phantom which they call true and precise knowledge, as distinct from mere opinion. Even if they could reach their ideal of precise and exact knowledge – it would be a knowledge of things entirely useless. Do not be deceived by their extravagant notions of goodness and justice or their opposites. These are just ordinary human notions not so very difficult to understand, and you need them only to help you to meet out rewards and punishments.

Sober up, therefore, give up your present studies under Aristotle and others of his ilk, and study the way I told you to. Only in this way can you hope to become another Philip in due time.

[Isocrates writing a letter to warn the Macedon court of the perils of their choices.] Quoted from
— Philip Merlan: "Isocrates, Aristotle and Alexander the Great", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol 3, No 1, 1954, pp60–81.

Note that only the Latin transcription lends itself to this letter switch from foto's aan pothos so easily:

Given how "photos" was described in the question, my guess is that it is mixed up a bit with the Aristotelian concept of 'truth'?

Truth, in metaphysics and the philosophy […]

The correspondence theory

The classic suggestion comes from Aristotle (384–322 BCE): “To say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true.” In other words, the world provides “what is” or “what is not,” and the true saying or thought corresponds to the fact so provided. This idea appeals to common sense and is the germ of what is called the correspondence theory of truth. As it stands, however, it is little more than a platitude and far less than a theory. Indeed, it may amount to merely a wordy paraphrase, whereby, instead of saying “that’s true” of some assertion, one says “that corresponds with the facts.” Only if the notions of fact and correspondence can be further developed will it be possible to understand truth in these terms.


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