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Political and Military Leaders

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Apr 2008 17:43    Onderwerp: Political and Military Leaders Reageer met quote

Political and Military Leaders

BIRDWOOD, WILLIAM RIDDELL, 1st Baron (1865-1951) Commissioned 18813, served in Royal Scots Fusiliers then 12th Lancers before transferring to 11th Bengal Lancers (Indian Army). Lt general 1915 ( General 1917, Field Marshal 1925) Active service, NW Frontier, South Africa, and various key staff appointments in India: MA to Lord Kitchener, Quartermaster-general India, member of Governor-General’s Legislative Council. Appointed GOC Anzac corps 1914 and of Australian Imperial Force (AIF) 1915 –20. Commanded 5th Army in France after Gough’s dismissal, and then GOC northern Army (India). Master, Peterhouse College Cambridge 1931-38. he was an ideal choice as commander of the Anzacs, who accepted him as one of them despite his Indian Army background.

BRAITHWAITE, GENERAL SIR WALTER, GCB (1865-1945) educated at Bedford School and RMC Sandhurst, commission Somerset Light Infantry 1886, (Maj General 1915, Lt general 1919, General 19260 He saw active service in Burma 1886-7, and South Africa 1899 before becoming an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley, a tour of duty at the War Office and as Commandant of the Indian Staff College Quetta, 1911-14. Following a year as Director, Staff duties at the War office he was appointed Chief of Staff to Hamilton for the Gallipoli expedition. His technique was closely based on that of Helmuth von Moltke, the creator of the Prussian staff system much admired by Braithwaite.. In the event he prevailed on Hamilton to allow the field commanders to go ahead in accordance with their own plans rather than insist they listened to him. Consequently, defeat was often reinforced at Gallipoli when Hamilton’s wide knowledge, had it been applied when given could have saved the day. After Gallipoli Braithwaite’s reputation remained intact and he commanded a division until 1918 followed by command of Western Command India , Scottish Command, and Eastern command his final appointment was as Adjutant-General and he retired in 1931 to be Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea until 1938. He died in 1945.

BRIDGES, MAJ-GENERAL W.T. (1861-1915)

Bridges was the commander of the 1st Australian Division when it landed at Anzac on 25 April 1915. the son of a Captain in the Royal Navy and a Scottish mother he was educated at the old RN School Greenwich but when his father retired the family moved to Canada where his education continued in Toronto and at the Canadian Military College < Kingston. The family then emigrated to Australia. Bridges took a job in the New South Wales Roads and Bridges Dept, then obtained a commission in 1885 in the NSW permanent artillery and was put in charge of the Sydney Harbour coast defences. He was a hard worker, dedicated to his profession, highly principled but, it seems, with no visible sense of humour; an austere character, often withdrawn and unsociable. He served in South Africa 1900-02 as an artillery major in a cavalry division and saw action during the relief of Kimberley before contracting typhoid. Invalided back to Australia he returned to work as head of Military Intelligence in Army HQ, visiting London in 1909 as Commonwealth representative for Imperial Defence talks. He became Commandant of the new military college, Duntroon on return to Australia and can claim to have been its founding father . before this he had visited several military colleges elsewhere including Woolwich, Sandhurst, St Cyr, West Point and his alma mater Kingston. Although he could relax in the intimate company of close associates he made few friends and was generally feared by those under him. Intolerant of opposition he sacked those who dared to stand up to him. He expected, and got, good results from his subordinates. He fell to a sniper in Shrapnel Gully at Gallipoli and died a few days later on a hospital ship. H e was buried at Duntroon, overlooking the drill square – the only Australian to be taken home after the campaign for burial.

CHURCHILL, WINSTON SPENCER (1874-1965)

Churchill’s political career began with his resignation from the army, in which he had seen active service in the 4th Hussars and as an independent news correspondent in the Sudan and South Africa. Having secured the parliamentary seat of Oldham in 1900 as a Conservative he changed parties in 1904 and his promotion as a Liberal was meteoric; Colonial Under-Secretary 1905, President of the Board of Trade 1908-10, Home Secretary 1910 and from 1911 , First Lord of the Admiralty. In that post, and seeing war with Germany as inevitable, he devoted his remarkable energies to preparing the Fleet for war. His insistence on opening a ‘second front’ in the eastern Mediterranean despite the opposition of his First Sea Lord, Jacky Fisher, might be attributed not so much as a gleam of strategic genius but as an effort to bring off a good coup for the Navy which had not enjoyed a very happy start to the war. Admiral Cradock’s squadron resoundingly beaten at Coronel, several capital ships lost to mines or internal explosions, German cruisers bombarding east coastal towns apparently with impunity, and three cruisers sunk in one morning by a U-boat off the Dutch coast. Churchill would have wished to see a number of new super-dreadnoughts in action at the Dardanelles but this was fiercely resisted by Fisher, although the brief appearance of the Queen Elixabeth owed much to Churchill’s backstage manoeuvering. When eventually Fisher had had enough and was feeling the physical strain of coping with his political master too much he resigned , and this was instrumental in procuring Churchill’s fall from grace. After a short tenure as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster he went to France for some months in command of a Kitchener battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Returning to Westminster as a private Member he was made Minister of munitions from 1917, applying himself to tank production under Lloyd George’s premiership. And in 1919 he became Secretary of State for War, being closely involved in the formative years of the RAF. His subsequent career as a Conservative is outside the remit of this section!.

DE LISLE, Major General (later General) Sir Beauvoir, KCB, KCMG, DSO. (1864 – 1955) commissioned into Durham Light Infantry1883 served in Egypt as mounted Infantry and again in South Africa. Having led his regiment’s polo team to victory in India (rare for infantry) was head-hunted into The Royal Dragoons, which he commanded 1906-10. from 1914 he commanded successively the 2nd Cavalry brigade, 1st cavalry Division, and – at Helles – 29 Division. His promotions to Major-, then Lieutenant-General were both made ‘in the field’.On retirement in 1926 he wrote two textbooks on polo. He contributed largely to the destruction of the 156th brigade, to the disgust of its Divisional commander Egerton, at Helles by ordering a final attack on a strongly defended Turkish position ‘…at all costs’, an expression of which he was seemingly fond.

EGERTON, Major General Granville (1859-1951) CB . Egerton commanded the 52nd Lowland Division , Territorial Force in 1914. He had been commissioned into the 72nd Highlanders in 1879 and subsequently saw active service in the Afghan War of 1879-80 in which he took part in Roberts’s march to Kandahar where he was wounded. He saw further action in Egypt 1882 as adjutant of the Seaforth Highlanders, at Tel-el-Kebir, in the Sudan (battles of Atbara and Omdurman) before returning to England where he took command of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards). He was commandant of the School of Musketry at Hythe 1907-09 where he introduced a number of innovative training methods to improve rifle shooting in the army. After commanding an infantry brigade in Malta he returnedto command the Lowland Territorial Division . On arrival at Helles his troops, totally unacclimatised and many still wearing their winter serge uniforms, were pitched piecemeal into a series of costly attacks. When he openly voiced his discontent at their handling by the acting corps commander (De Lisle) he was first reprimanded by Hamilton, then removed from his command; he was Inspector of Infantry1916-19 when he retired, to spend the rest of his life waging a campaign against Hamilton’s handling of the 52nd Division

ENVER PASHA (1881-1922)

An exact contemporary of Mustafa Kemal he attended the same military schools and acquired a taste for radical and revolutionary politics, soon enrolling in the Young Turks movement. He acquired much skill during the Balkan campaigns, notably as a leader of Turkish irregulars in Macedonia. Appointed Military Attache in Berlin in 1909 he became a devout apostle of the Prussian military system before fighting against the Italians in Cyrenaica in 1911 before taking part in the Balkan war of 1912-13. His soldierly qualities made him a national figure and in 1914 he became Chief of Staff, then Minister of War, working with his Young Turk colleagues Talaat and Djemal Pasha. This trio were instrumental in bringing Turkey into the war in 1914 on the side of the Central Powers. His offensive into the Caucasus late that year was disastrous but he attempted it again later in the war, hoping to unite then Turkic races of central Asia with those of Anatolian Turkey. In this he was helpled by the collapse of Tsarist Russia in 1917 and his troops actually reached Baku on the Caspian Sea in 1918. With Germany’s collapse Enver was forced to seek exile in Berlin to escape his many enemies and for several years he plotted against Kemal’s regime, trying in vain to persuade Russia’s new rulers to help him. Whilst engaged on a mission to secure this help he was murdered in Turkestan.

FISHER, ADMIRAL SIR JOHN (JACKY) GCB, later 1ST Baron Fisher of Kilverstone (1841-1920) born in Ceylon, the son of an army officer, and admitted midshipman in 1854 by one of Nelson’s last surviving captains. His progress up the ranks was meteoric, due as much to his abrasive personality as an astounding professional talent in all fields. Gunnery officer on HMS Warrior in 1863 and already specialising in weaponry including mines and torpedoes (both considered un-British by the conservative admirals of the day). As Controller of the Navy in the 1800s was closely involved with technical weapons development. By 1889, recognised as the navy’s expert on construction and procurement of warships. After 14 years ashore was back at sea in the 1890s culminating in command of the Mediterranean Fleet in 1899. revised the entire training and gunnery practices of the fleet and inspired all ranks with a new professionalism. Promoted Admiral in 1900 he introduced new officer entry schemes, to give lower deck men the chance of commissioning. In 1903, he went as C in C Portsmouth where he was closer to the high political direction of the service. He now saw the inevitability of war with Germany and initiated new building programmes including the all-big- gun battleship or Dreadnought as well as battlecruisers for the destruction of hostile commerce raiders. Addicted to fighting perpetual vendettas with even his oldest friends he had to resign as 1st Sea Lord in 1910 as the result of his disagreements with Beresford. He continued, however, to correspond with Winston Churchill the new 1st Lord of the Admiralty, who recalled him in the autumn of 1914 after Prince Louis of Battenberg had been hounded from office. Meanwhile Fisher had chaired the Royal Commission on ships’ fuel which resulted in the conversion from coal to oil firing in all new ships. His espousal of unpopular causes such as submarine and mine warfare, wireless telegraphy, and naval aviation made many enemies but enabled the Royal Navy to go to war in good shape. His enthusiasm for the Gallipoli adventure was never more than lukewarm, as it had displaced, in Churchill’s eyes, the Fisher scheme for landings on the German islands and a sortie into the Baltic for amphibious landings less than 100 miles from Berlin – for all of which Fisher had quietly ordered a range of shallow-draught shipping including monitors and armoured ramped landing craft which, though available in time for the fruitless Suvla landings of August 1915, would have guaranteed success at Helles had they been available in April. His growing discontent led Fisher to resign in May 1915 despite the emotional and political pressures laid on him by Asquith and Churchill.

HAMILTON, GENERAL SIR IAN, (1853-1947) educated at Wellington College, commissioned 1872 into 72nd Highlanders (later the Gordon Highlanders). Served in 2nd Afghan war, then in 1st Boer War 1880 where he was wounded in the disaster at Majuba Hill. After this he experienced almost constant action – in the Nile Expedition of 1884, Burma 1886-7, and the relief of Chitral . after commanding a division in the 2nd Boer war he became Kitchener’s deputy for the closure of the war, then was the

British official observer with Japanese army in Manchuria for the Russo-Japanese war. Prior to the war of 1914-18 he filled several keym appointments at home including military secretary, adjutant-General and as GOC Southern Command. Popular, brave in action and extremely sociable he earned the respect of all ranks. Following his removal from command at Gallipoli he was not offered any more appointments.

HAMMERSLEY, Maj General F.,(1858-1924) CB, educated, Eton and RMC Sandhurst. Commissioned 1877 into 20th Foot (later Lancashire Fusiliers)He saw active service in egypt 1884, the Sudan 1898, south Africa,1899-1900,and thereafter staff appointments in Dublin and London. His entry in ‘Who’s Who’ post 1918 contains no reference to his service in the war, which is perhaps unsurprising, as he had suffered a nervous collapse shortly before the outbreak of war and was admitted to a private mental hospital for a time. Brought out of retirement to command the 11th Division he failed conspicuously to exercise operational control following the Suvla Landings, broke down again within days and was invalided home.

HUNTER-WESTON, SIR AYLMER, (1864-1940) KCB, dso,educated Wellington College and Royal Military Academy Woolwich. Commissioned 1884, royal Engineers.Colonel 1908, Brig General 1914, promoted Maj-General in the field ‘For distinguished service’, 1914. T/Lt General 1915, Lt general 1919. In 1890s saw much active service in Waziristan and NW frontier, in command of Bengal Sappers & Miners.. Dongola Expedition 1896, on Kitchener’s staff. Success in South Africa in various posts, notably in command of deep penetration cavalry column attacking Boer railway system. Commanded infantry brigade at Colchester in 1914 and in France. Commanded 29 Division for Helles landings, then, briefly, VIII Corps before evacuation with sunstroke. Retained VII Corps in France to 1918. Described by Hamilton as ‘…a slashing man of action; an acute theorist’

KEMAL, MUSTAFA
(later KEMAL ATATURK 1881-1938. EDUCATED IN ottoman military schools and colleges where he became acquainted with members of the Young Turk movement. Arrested in 1904 or sedition but then disassociated himself publicly from the movement. Fought against Italians in Libya and during Balkan War of 1912 served as a staff officer in the Gallipoli area, for which he drafted a defence scheme. In 1915, initially as commander of the Turkish 19th Division., acted decisively on his own initiative to repel the Anzac landings. His ability recognised by Marshal Otto Liman von Sanders, he was promoted in August to command the northern area of the gallipoli battlefields and inflicted further defeats on Hamilton’s army. Transferres to the Caucasus he achieved success against the Russians and when the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1918 he was determined to create a new Turkey from the wreck of the old. As a military commander he decisively defeated the Greeks in a series of battles, formed an alternative government based at Angora (Ankara) and engineered the deposition of the Sultan. Thereafter his life work was the creation of a new, secular Turkey.

KEYES, COMMODORE ROGER RN, (later Admiral of the Fleet and 1st Baron Keyes) GCB, KCVO, CMG. DSO. (1872- 1945) Entered Royal Navy in 1885; active service on China Station 1900, Naval Attache in Rome, Vienna and (1906-07) Constantinople. Commodore, Submarine service 1910-14. Chief of Staff Eastern Mediterranean Squadron 1914-15. Keyes was full of offensive spirit and later, after service with the Grand Fleet, commanded the Dover Patrol and was in charge of raiding operations against Zeebrugge and Ostend in 1918. Following a series of senior Fleet posts he retired in 1935 and became National Conservative MP for Portsmouth North until 1943. He had returned to the active list in 1940 and became the first Director, combined Operations until 1941. His son, Geoffrey was killed on a raid against Rommel’s HQ in North Africa, gaining a posthumous VC. Lord Keyes died in 1945 following a visit to the Far East

KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM
, 1st VISCOUNT, (1850-1916)

Kitchener was born in Co Kerry an eccentric father who insisted the boy slept between sheets of newspaper. With his brother he was privately educated in Switzerland before attending the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, from which he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1870, his strong religious leanings led to a posting to Palestine where he worked effectively on the surveying of the country. He quickly mastered several middle eastern languages including Arabic, and became fascinated with Egypt and its history. He took part in the failed attempt to rescue General Gordon in 1884, saw more active service in the Sudan and in 1889 became Adjutant general in Egypt.and in 1892 became Sirdar (C in C) of the Egyptian Army and this enabled him to plan for the re-taking of the Sudan and to avenge Gordon. This was achieved in 1896-98 culminating in the one-sided victory of Omdurman and the entry into Khartoum. He served in India as C in c following his triumphs in south Aafrica where he combined a ruthless efficiency, including the setting up of ‘concentration camps’ for the families of the Boer guerrillas, and a generous peace in 1902. In 1910 he made a world tour, mainly to inspect the empires defence forces and advise them on permanent military structures in the event of war. In 1911 he was appointed British agent in Egypt and it was from this post that he was snatched in August 1914 to be War Minister in Asquith’s cabinet. Here he was in strange waters and unhappy; in 1916 the government, at a loss over what to do with this national icon, sent him to Russia for talks with Imperial rulers and war leaders. Barely an hour into his voyage the cruiser on which he was a passenger hit a mine and sank with almost all hands. A poor swimmer, he was not one of the handful of survivors.

LIMAN VON SANDERS, Otto. (1855-1929) A cavalryman appointed to command the German military mission to the Ottoman army in 1913. He soon became inspector general and was given Field Marshal’s rank in the Turkish army. Under his tuition and that of his extremely able staff, he supervised the re-arrangement of the defences of the Dardanelles and the redeployment of the troops defending the Gallipoli peninsula whilst in command of the Turkish 5th Army. . Ruthlessly sacking hundreds of incompetent Ottoman officers he was a brilliant spotter of talent and one of his star pupils was Mustafa Kemal . Liman was posted later to Palestine where he only narrowly escaped capture during Allenby’s offensive of 1918.

LIMPUS, Vice Admiral Sir Arthur (1863-1931) KCMG, CB Joined Royal Navy in 1876 saw active service on China Station , the Sudan , and South Africa, where he received special promotion to Captain. Naval Adviser to Ottoman Navy 1912-14. on expulsion was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Ottoman Order of Medjidieh and the rank of Vice Admiral in the Turkish Navy. Admiral Superintendent, Malta, 1914-16.

LINDLEY , Maj-General the Hon. (1860-1925) Commissioned into the Royal Dragoons on graduation from Sandhurst he saw active service in South Africa 1899-1900 before serving in a number of staff and instructional appointments at Aldershot, Jersey, as Commandant of the Imperial Yeomanry School of Instruction, adjutant-General Northern Command 1903-04, commandant, Cavalry School 1905-07 and of the 3rd Cavalry brigade 19o7-10. after a short period of retirement he was appointed GOC 53rd (Welsh) division in 1915 but resigned his command at Suvla, after telling Hamilton that ‘ he felt he had lost all control ‘.

MAHON, LIEUT-GENERAL THE RT HON SIR BRYAN. KCB, KCVO , DSO, PC (Ireland) (1862-1930) born in Co Galway into an ancient Irish family, Mahon was commissioned into the 8th Hussars in 1883. His recreations, as listed in ‘Who’s Who’ are indicative of his character and cultural leanings:’ Shooting, Hunting, Polo, Pig-sticking and steeplechase riding’. He could have been a character out of ‘Experiences of an Irish RM’. Although a senior Lt General in 1914 he enthusiastically set about raising a Kitchener Division in southern Ireland. Given the prevalent political situation over the Home Rule issue this was not an easy task and large drafts of initially reluctant Yorkshire and Lancashire recruits, surplus to requirements, found themselves in Irish regiments to fill manning shortfalls. Mahon’s exuberant personality won them over and the division soon knitted together; it was potentially the best of those sent out to Suvla for the August landings but its handling by GHQ, split three ways , deprived Mahon of the chance to show what he could do; and when Hamilton (who felt he was not up to the task of commanding IX corps) asked him to serve under De lisle 9whom he loathed) even temporarily, Mahon resigned his command and left the peninsula. He returned only when courteously asked by Hamilton to do so and only after De Lisle had returned to Helles. The 10th Division was the first to be switched from Gallipoli to Salonika. Mahon later became C in C Ireland 1916-18 and retired in 1921 He married, in 1920, the widow of Sir John Milbanke VC, Churchill’s old friend, who had been killed at Scimitar Hill.

SCOTT-MONCRIEFF, Brig-General W, (1858-1915). He first saw active service in the Zulu War of 1879-80 having been commissioned from Sandhurst the year before into the 57th Foot (later Middlesex Regiment). Having transferred to the Cameronians he served in South Africa and was severely wounded at Spion Kop; thereafter he needed to use a stick when walking but having commanded the Territorial 156th Brigade in the 52nd Lowland Division he insisted on going to Gallipoli with them> His brigade was thrown into a badly prepared attack at Helles on 28 June 1915 and when the first two waves had been destroyed he reported as such to de Lisle the divisional Commander who ordered the attack to be resumed. Scott-Moncrieff led his old regiment , with its commanding officer, into a storm of fire and fell at their head, as did virtually every other officer and man.

SITWELL, Brig- General William (1860-19320 CB, DSO. Commissioned from Sandhurst into the 5th Fusiliers in 1880 he served in Aghanistan, Bechuanaland, Ashanti, the Nile Expedition of 1897-98 including Omdurman, and South Africa 1899-1902., where he commanded mobile columns. Thereafter he commanded an infantry brigade in India before arriving at Suvla in command of 34 Brigade. His previous form would have indicated an officer of great experience and promise but his dismal performance at Suvla was such that he was sacked by Generakl Hammersley (himself on the verge of nervous collapse) within 48 hours of the landing, having lost all control of his brigade.

STOPFORD, Lt General the Hon Sir Frederick KCB, KCMG, KCVO (1854-1929) Commissioned into Grenadier Guards 1871, he saw little active service prior to 1915 when he was brought out of retirement to command the IXth Corps, formed for the Suvla landings. He had been ADC to General Sir John Adye and to Major General Fremantle, both in the Sudan and served on the Ashanti expedition in west Africa in 1895 before going as personal staff officer to General Sir Redvers Buller in south Africa, 1899. he was Director Military Training in the War Office 1904-06, then GOC London District to 1909 when he retired. When a corps commander was sought for new corps he was one of several retuired senior officers considered and appeared to be the most agile but was suffering from a trouble knee when he left London and this seriously affected him as operations got under way.The inertia of his corps following its landings at Suvla must be attribute ultimately to his lask of drive asmuch as the incompetence of most of the senior subordinate commanders wished upon him by a system which placed uits faith on the Seniority List rather than on evident talent.

WILHELM II, KAISER. (1859-1941) Ascended to the Prussian throne in 1888 and reigned as Kaiser of Germany until 1918 when he was deposed and fled into exile in Holland . After sacking his Chancellor, Count Bismarck, in 1890 he embarked on a regime of personal rule, displaying at times a crass and warlike attitude to other European powers; his strong support for the Austro-Hungarian empire led him into a slippery path towards war in 1914 and although he made belated attempts to halt the downwards slide after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo he became a helpless pawn of the war parties in Vienna and Berlin. He had long courted then Ottomans and made two notable state visits to Constantinople in the latter years of the 19th century.

VENIZELOS, ELEUTHERIOS (1864-1936) Greek politician and member of the ‘Greater Greece’ clique which sought to regain territories in Asia Minor formerly part of the Byzantine Empire (and still, in 1914, populated in parts by Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians). As a confirmed republican he was at odds with Constantine I, King of the Hellenes, who was married to the Kaiser’s sister and favoured the Central Powers while Venizelos backed the western allies, from whom he would demand favours in return for his readiness to make Greek islands in the Aegean available as bases for operations against Turkey. His political career was erratic as evidenced by the fact that he served as Prime Minister no less than five times between 1910 and 1933. Having failed to force the abolition of the monarchy he retired to Paris where he died.
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