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The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron

The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron


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The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron

The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron

O General Sir Miles Dempsey é talvez o menos conhecido comandante britânico sênior da Segunda Guerra Mundial, conhecido por muitos pelo nome, mas fora isso uma figura desconhecida, ofuscada por sua estreita associação com o marechal de campo Montgomery. Isso apesar de um histórico impressionante durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, que viu Dempsey participar da retirada para Dunquerque e dos preparativos anti-invasão que se seguiram, antes de se mudar para o Norte da África para assumir o comando de um corpo durante a invasão da Sicília e do sul da Itália .

Ele então passou a comandar o Segundo Exército britânico, metade da força aliada que desembarcou na França no Dia D. Ele então se envolveu na maioria das famosas batalhas britânicas na Normandia, incluindo Epsom e Goodwood, antes de liderar seu exército durante a fuga da Normandia, o avanço pela França, a parte terrestre da batalha de Arnhem e a travessia do Reno em 1945 Antes disso, ele lutou na Frente Ocidental de 1916 até o final da guerra, participando da segunda parte da batalha do Somme.

Dempsey é obscuro de uma forma bastante incomum, pois qualquer um que estiver pronto sobre a campanha no norte-oeste da Europa em 1944-45 estará muito familiarizado com seu nome e as realizações de seu exército, mas muitos (eu inclusive) saberão muito pouco sobre o próprio homem. Essa obscuridade pode ser atribuída a uma variedade de causas. Sua própria modéstia, aversão à publicidade e recusa em escrever memórias, sem dúvida, desempenham um papel importante nisso. Sua decisão de se aposentar logo após o fim da guerra, perdendo assim a chance de se tornar Chefe do Estado-Maior, o chefe profissional do Exército Britânico, provavelmente não ajudou. A natureza de sua carreira também desempenhou um papel, pois ele não deteve nenhum comando independente importante durante a guerra, passando a maior parte do tempo servindo sob o comando de Monty.

Grande parte da história militar concentra-se no alto comando (Montgomery e Eisenhower) ou em unidades de menor escala - divisões e regimentos no caso britânico. De certa forma, isso reflete a realidade da luta durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, com o alto comando estabelecendo a estratégia e as unidades menores tentando implementá-la de fato. Nessa visão, o Corpo de Exército e os comandantes do Exército são 'administração intermediária', transmitindo ordens dos homens que as emitiram para os homens que deveriam cumpri-las.

O trabalho de Rostron prova que ter essa visão de Dempsey seria um erro. Seu papel no Dia D foi de vital importância, enquanto suas habilidades diplomáticas ajudaram a manter a paz entre Montgomery e seus colegas americanos (para não mencionar a RAF, onde Monty conseguiu fazer inimigos em uma taxa impressionante!). As razões por trás de seu sucesso como comandante são analisadas juntamente com algumas das principais batalhas, com o papel de Dempsey e a opinião sobre o plano de Arnhem recebendo a maior cobertura.

Esta é uma biografia útil de uma figura importante, e que Dempsey provavelmente teria aprovado, evitando como faz a maioria das controvérsias exageradas que se desenvolveram entre os generais aliados no mundo do pós-guerra, e que Dempsey achou bastante desagradável.

Capítulos
1 - Escola
2 - Executar pedidos recebidos
3 - Sala de Ordem
4 - Oficiais
5 - Alarme (para tropas atacarem sob as armas)
6 - Retorno ou tropas sobre a roda
7 - Desenhe Espadas
8 - Cabeçalho da Coluna Mudança de Direção Meio Direita
9 - Frente
10 - Linha de Formulário
11 - Cobrar
12 - Perseguir
13 - Parar
14 - Stand Fast / Cessar Fogo
15 - Última postagem
16 - Pôr do Sol

Autor: Peter Rostron
Edição: capa dura
Páginas: 212
Editora: Pen & Sword Military
Ano: 2010



  • Éditeur & rlm: & lrm Pen & amp Sword Military (20 de fevereiro de 2011)
  • Langue & rlm: & lrm Anglais
  • Relié & rlm: & lrm 240 páginas
  • ISBN-10 & rlm: & lrm 184884252X
  • ISBN-13 & rlm: & lrm 978-1848842526
  • Poids de l'article & rlm: & lrm 535 g
  • Dimensões e rlm: & lrm 15,88 x 2,54 x 23,5 cm
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 2.879.379 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
    • 17.334 en Histoire de la Grande-Bretagne (Livres)
    • 21,679 em Histoire du Royaume-Uni
    • 49.775 en XXe siècle (Livres)

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    Horrocks: The General Who Led From The Front (Liderança - The Art Of War Book 2) Edição Kindle

    Em 1918, o Exército Britânico comandado por Sir Douglas Haig alcançou a perfeição na produção de armas, no treinamento de soldados e na organização. Era liderado por um general com instinto assassino. Quando a ofensiva de Ludendorf em 1918 acabou, Haig e o marechal francês Foch decidiram partir para a matança e terminar a guerra em 1918. Levaram exatamente 99 dias

    Em 1944, o Exército Britânico estava novamente no auge da perfeição, mas era liderado por um cauteloso General Montgomery que não tinha instinto assassino. Enquanto Haig nunca deu tempo aos alemães para se reagruparem, Montgomery sempre o fez, para desgosto dos americanos.

    Horrocks era um comandante de corpo de exército, o terceiro posto depois do comandante do exército (Dempsey) e comandante do grupo do exército (Montgomery). Seu dever, portanto, era cumprir as ordens recebidas de cima. Ele era um soldado totalmente profissional, não brilhante, mas altamente capaz. As deficiências do exército britânico vistas pelos americanos não devem ser atribuídas a ele.

    Quanto ao resto, o livro conta uma história interessante da vida no exército britânico de 1914 a 1945. Ele foi invalidado do exército em 1949 e começou uma nova carreira, um cavalheiro Usher da Haste Negra, o principal administrador do Câmara dos Lordes britânica.

    No total, um livro interessante sobre a vida de um soldado e cavalheiro britânico


    Prólogo

    A planície espalhou-se por 5.000 pés abaixo do Auster, que voou sozinho ao longo da frente. Havia pouco perigo das aeronaves inimigas, pois a superioridade aérea dos Aliados era quase completa e os caças aliados não estariam longe. Se escorregasse muito mais para o norte, por outro lado, o avião atrairia fogo antiaéreo pesado, de modo que o piloto estava voando em um curso o mais cauteloso possível.

    Sentado ao lado dele, o general olhou pela janela do ‘whizzer’. No claro sol de inverno, ele podia ver o problema com muita clareza. Havia uma estrada que conduzia diretamente ao grande rio que representava a última barreira para a vitória, mas corria no meio de uma estreita faixa de terra seca com pouco mais de três quilômetros de largura, com o enorme lago e uma área inundada à sua direita e outra grande área inundada à sua esquerda. Para o inimigo era uma posição altamente defensável e para ele um problema imenso.

    A chave era o lago e suas enchentes adjacentes. Não pela primeira vez, ele pensou nos estranhos veículos anfíbios que vira recentemente em treinamento. Se ele possuísse um trampolim para uma brigada de infantaria montada neles, ele seria capaz de atacar atrás da linha inimiga e virar seu flanco esquerdo. Falando pelo interfone acima do barulho do avião, ele pediu ao piloto que voasse em direção à costa. Em poucos minutos, ele conseguiu ver o que queria, uma pequena faixa de terra na margem sul do lago. Se ele pudesse colocar suas tropas através do rio intermediário e naquela faixa, ele teria seu trampolim.

    Voltando-se para seu piloto, o general sinalizou para que ele voltasse à base. Sua mente agora estava absolutamente clara sobre o plano. O sucesso garantiria o controle do campo de batalha final e encerraria uma campanha muito longa e árdua. O fracasso não era uma opção.


    Shan Hackett: a busca da exatidão

    A impressão, que tendia a ser duradoura, deixada por Shan Hackett era que se estava na presença do cavalheiro inglês por excelência, nascido e criado nos Shires. Houve aqueles que passaram anos em sua companhia sem nunca se afastar dessa estimativa e que não acreditaram e não puderam acreditar quando contados que a verdadeira história poderia ser diferente. De pequena estatura, corado na tez, com um bigode militar bem cuidado e sempre impecavelmente vestido, seja de uniforme como o oficial de cavalaria e o general, no subfusc do diretor do colégio universitário ou no tweed do camponês em sua casa de moinho em Cotswold ( "ele nem descia para o café da manhã sem gravata", como conta sua viúva), ele irradiava uma persona que desafiava qualquer classificação diferente daquela que era óbvia para qualquer observador. As pessoas ficaram surpresas ao saber que alguém, incontestavelmente um cavalheiro em todos os sentidos adequados da palavra, era na verdade um australiano de ascendência irlandesa e ascendência normanda, cujo pai havia emigrado de seu país natal no final dos vinte anos e que ele mesmo havia criado pé na Inglaterra com a idade de dezenove anos para entrar na universidade. Pode-se supor que seu sotaque nativo, juntamente com quaisquer manifestações óbvias de uma educação antípoda, tenham submergido no New College, embora Lady Hackett, que encontraria seu futuro marido pela primeira vez alguns anos depois que ele tivesse deixado a universidade e tomou seu lugar em seu regimento, desde o início sentiu-se ciente de sua natureza australiana. Ela, no entanto, teve a vantagem de uma primeira observação através de olhos europeus, em vez de ingleses. Seja como for, nada disso diminuiu de forma alguma suas qualidades e personalidade subjacentes, das quais seu exercício durante uma longa e brilhante carreira de realizações em muitos campos foi estabelecer-se profundamente no respeito e na afeição, não apenas daqueles que serviu com ele, mas também de um grande número a quem ele veio apenas por fama e reputação.

    Foi talvez por suas qualidades como soldado e em particular por sua associação de seu nome com a Batalha de Arnhem que ele se tornou conhecido do público em geral. Os tempos em que ele cresceu foram favoráveis ​​a um desenvolvimento guerreiro e trouxeram nele o que havia sido tão bem estabelecido durante seus anos de formação em seu país natal: um instinto esportivo competitivo, uma mente rápida e pensativa com um profundo amor pela erudição e aprendizagem, um forte senso de história e das lições que podem ser extraídas dela e, sustentando o todo, um amor pela linguagem, suas raízes e origens e as influências que a moldaram no que para ele foi uma ferramenta requintada no quadro da humanidade, a língua inglesa. Ele poderia ser feroz com aqueles que o usavam descuidada e irrefletidamente e não hesitaria em repreender e corrigir, como faria com alguém que mostrasse falta de respeito e tratamento adequado para com o cavalo em que estava montado ou os mecanismos de qualquer tarefa ali estava à mão. Ele deveria anotar isso em seu Quem é quem entrada, onde a frase encapsulante diz "A busca da exatidão, que alguns chamam de pedantismo".

    Ele também tinha o dom de grande coragem, ampla e freqüentemente manifestada por sua bravura sob o fogo. Como exemplo, seu resgate em Arnhem da morte quase certa de um oficial que sobreviveria para se tornar um Chanceler do Tesouro do pós-guerra teve todas as características de uma avaliação rápida da situação e ação instantânea e eficaz que só alguém que não tinha consideração sua própria segurança poderia ter sido cumprida. Shan foi um daqueles raros seres para quem as palavras de conforto do general Wavell, que sustentou tantos mortais inferiores durante a guerra, que sempre deveriam lembrar que o inimigo estava tão assustado quanto você, teriam sido consideradas como uma observação interessante valor. Por estar ciente de como uma batalha poderia ser um assunto delicadamente equilibrado, ele sabia que aqueles que conseguissem resistir além do ponto em que o outro lado estava farto, iriam vencer. Ele fez muito uso de sua grande habilidade para inspirar aqueles ao seu redor pelos quais ele era responsável e para elevar e manter seu moral para que eles ainda estivessem lutando quando o inimigo atingisse seu ponto de ruptura. A afirmação de outro grande general, Napoleão, de que a moral está para o físico como três para um, é aquela com a qual Shan estaria em perfeito acordo.

    As circunstâncias da guerra freqüentemente levam a uma rápida promoção, especialmente no campo de batalha, onde o desaparecimento de oficiais superiores pode ser repentino, inesperado e brutal. O avanço de Shan foi incomum pelas circunstâncias da época em que ele recebeu o comando de uma brigada de combate sem nunca ter comandado seu regimento, dando o salto em termos de comando sobre o que normalmente é considerado como a nomeação chave, aspirada por todo oficial do regimento e para alguns o limite de suas ambições militares. Ele manteve, é verdade, o posto de tenente-coronel por um tempo antes de assumir a tarefa de levantar e treinar sua brigada de pára-quedas, mas era como oficial de estado-maior no GHQ Oriente Médio, supervisionando as forças de invasão.

    A nomeação de seu brigadeiro, sem dúvida, foi devida à reputação que ele construiu primeiro na campanha síria contra os franceses de Vichy e depois contra o Afrika Korps e os italianos no deserto ocidental. De certa forma, é curioso que alguém cuja reputação tenha sido conquistada nas condições de guerra móvel, tanto a cavalo quanto em veículos blindados, tenha recebido o comando de tropas cuja mobilidade era limitada às capacidades do homem em marcha. Suas qualidades de liderança, suas habilidades táticas e sua evidente qualidade como guerreiro teriam sido as considerações que o levaram ao comando das tropas de elite que deveriam ser amplamente provadas quando se encontrassem em ação.

    Não há dúvida de que a guerra no deserto se adaptou ao temperamento de Shan em uma extensão ainda maior do que o serviço em paz e guerra com seu esquadrão de cavalaria da Força de Fronteira da Transjordânia. Ele apreciava o conceito de uma guerra sem ódio, onde era possível apreciar as qualidades do inimigo sem de forma alguma diminuir a crença em seu próprio lado. A ausência em grande parte de uma população civil vitimada, a camaradagem do exército do deserto da commonwealth, a capacidade de lutar na batalha sem o abandono dos valores civilizados e da humanidade comum, foram os fatores que em sua mente elevaram as campanhas no deserto a níveis não encontrados em outros teatros de guerra e improvável que volte a existir em qualquer lugar da guerra moderna. Ele poderia muito bem ter ouvido e apreciado a verdadeira história do coronel Green Jacket que, agindo para repreender um atirador particular por jogar fora uma lata de bully-beef vazia, poderia dizer-lhe sem ironia que ele sempre deveria deixar um deserto limpo .

    O senso de decência comum e de valores cristãos compartilhados de Shan se manifestou novamente com mais força durante o período que se seguiu ao seu grave ferimento na batalha de Arnhem, a operação médica bem-sucedida seguida por ser levado embora do hospital e cativo alemão pela Resistência e, em seguida, pelo longo e difícil inverno escondido sob os cuidados de uma corajosa família holandesa. O despretensioso auto-sacrifício dessas pessoas comuns, mas excepcionais, em perigo das mais violentas represálias caso sua carga fosse descoberta, causou nele uma profunda impressão que duraria, junto com um esmagador senso de gratidão, inalterado até o fim de a vida dele.

    A carreira de Shan no pós-guerra foi de avanço, até mas sem alcançar o posto mais alto em sua profissão. A etiqueta de ser muito inteligente pela metade pode ser danosa na vida pública inglesa. Shan nunca se deu ao trabalho de esconder a profundidade e a amplitude de sua bolsa de estudos e o que um ministro mais tarde descreveria como "atos gratuitos de superioridade intelectual" poderia, e fez , irritar colegas superiores ou subordinados. O fato é que ele era um homem altamente educado e culto, um escritor fluente e prolífico, proficiente em várias línguas além da sua, com uma bela voz falada e capaz de falar extemporaneamente em parágrafos totalmente formados e totalmente consciente em seu própria mente de sua posse de todos esses dons. Na verdade, a grande maioria de seus relacionamentos pessoais e profissionais eram harmoniosos, produtivos e eram acolhidos com carinho por ambas as partes, embora ainda fosse uma fonte de desconforto ser objeto de seu desagrado.

    Seu serviço memorial em St Martin-in-the-Fields em novembro de 1997 deu provas sólidas do lugar que ele ocupou no coração daqueles que o conheceram. Entre a grande assembléia de luminares da igreja havia um número substancial de pessoas mais comuns que não necessariamente teriam sido próximas a ele, sargentos juniores e soldados particulares de unidades sob seu comando, ex-alunos do King's College London, que haviam viajado em seu despesas próprias, algumas distâncias consideráveis, para mostrar seus sentimentos por um comandante em quem se sentiram capazes de colocar sua confiança.

    O ritmo de Shan quase não diminuiu em seus últimos anos. Seja escrevendo, dando palestras, aconselhando e dando conselhos e ajuda, mantendo seus dezesseis acres de Cotswolds produtivos na companhia de sua amada família, ou pescando com Margaret, uma companheira dedicada e muito amada até o fim de seus dias, ele não o fez seja gentil naquela boa noite.

    Esta, então, é a história de Shan Hackett, um notável soldado, acadêmico e ser humano.

    Capítulo um

    ANTECEDENTES, AUSTRÁLIA E A CONEXÃO AMERICANA

    A história da família Hackett se confunde com a da Irlanda desde a invasão normanda do país em 1170, um certo William Haket fazendo parte da força expedicionária que navegou em agosto daquele ano sob o comando de Richard Strongbow de Clare, conde de Pembroke . Pode-se inferir que os Hakets eram normandos que, após o sucesso de Guilherme da Normandia, o primeiro rei Guilherme da Inglaterra, em Hastings em 1066, participaram da ocupação e colonização da parte sudoeste do País de Gales, sendo este o base a partir da qual a invasão da Irlanda foi lançada e que é conhecida até hoje como 'Pequena Inglaterra além do País de Gales'.

    Como na Inglaterra e no País de Gales após suas ocupações normandas, os vitoriosos na Irlanda foram recompensados ​​com maiores ou menores concessões de terras, com direitos feudais sobre os povos indígenas do território. Os Hakets [a falta de confiabilidade da grafia inicial e as incertezas do desenvolvimento do patronímico sendo o que é, o Hackett atual será usado a partir de agora para se referir a todos os descendentes do invasor original] receberam terras no lado oriental de o que agora é o condado de Tipperary, nas cidades de Fethard e Rathmacarthy e arredores.

    O primeiro ancestral diretamente rastreável é um Sir John Hackett, Knight, de Rathmacarthy, que se acredita ter vivido por volta do ano 1300. Ele teve dois filhos cujos nomes não foram registrados e dos quais o mais jovem herdou as propriedades Fethard, tornando-se o chefe da filial que levou ao nosso Sir John Hackett. O túmulo de Edmund Hackett, que registrou sua 'morte piedosa' junto com a de sua esposa Anne em 27 de julho de 1508, certamente ainda se encontrava na igreja de Fethard até o início da Primeira Guerra Mundial, mas não é certo que sobreviveu às mudanças que se seguiram durante o resto do século XX.

    A família, como nobreza rural irlandesa pré-cromwelliana, desempenhou seu papel nas reviravoltas da história de seu país. Havia bispos e arcebispos com seus nomes na Igreja Católica primitiva. Eles viveram e chegaram a um acordo com a Reforma e Sir Thomas Hackett foi Lord Mayor de Dublin em 1688, o ano da Revolução Gloriosa na Inglaterra e de considerável turbulência na Irlanda.

    Através do casamento ao longo dos séculos, eles estabeleceram conexões com os Pakenham-Walshes e os Winthrops, os ancestrais desta última família sendo proeminentes nas jovens colônias americanas, pai e filho tornando-se respectivamente governadores de Massachusetts e de Connecticut e cujos descendentes permanecem influentes no Estados Unidos e particularmente a Nova Inglaterra até hoje. A conexão Winthrop foi estabelecida pelo bisavô de Shan Hackett, um oficial em serviço do 8º Dragão Ligeiro, o regimento que, como o 8º King's Royal Irish Hussars, como se tornou, ele, Shan, por sua vez, se juntou e serviu no com grande distinção.

    John Winthrop Hackett, pai de Shan, nasceu em 1847, um dos oito filhos do reverendo John Winthrop Hackett, reitor da Igreja de St James em Bray, Condado de Wicklow, e sua esposa Jane, que vinha da ilustre família de Monck-Mason . Ele era o terceiro filho e o filho mais velho de três filhos e cinco filhas, uma das meninas, Jane, sendo gêmea de John. Todos os três meninos tiveram carreiras acadêmicas distintas e, além disso, John parece ter sido um bom atleta, tem uma bela voz e gosta de fazer discursos. Para a decepção de seu pai, ele decidiu não ir para a Igreja, embora seus dois irmãos fossem, Thomas, o mais jovem, sucedendo seu pai em St James e Henry se tornando Deão de Waterford.

    John Winthrop ganhou seu BA no Trinity College, Dublin, em 1871 e foi chamado para os bares ingleses e irlandeses em 1874. Apesar de sua destreza atlética, ele parece não ter sido um homem totalmente em forma e era propenso a pegar resfriado facilmente. A morte da irmã gêmea de John por tuberculose aos quatorze anos também pode ter causado preocupação com sua saúde. Um grande amigo, Alexander Leeper, já havia feito uma visita à Austrália e ficara muito impressionado com o potencial do jovem país. Leeper decidiu voltar para a Austrália e propôs a John Hackett que eles fossem juntos para a nova terra, onde dois jovens inteligentes poderiam fazer carreiras de sucesso para si próprios, bem como, talvez, para sua fortuna. Havia um incentivo extra para Leeper, que estava em um estado de saúde delicado, na probabilidade de que o clima da Austrália fosse mais benéfico para ele do que a chuva, a névoa e a névoa baixas de seu país natal. Essa consideração foi feita também a John Winthrop e à persuasão entusiástica de Leeper e a imagem que ele desenhou de sua experiência recente e direta logo removeu quaisquer dúvidas que John Winthrop pudesse ter. A família foi persuadida da validade da proposta e, consequentemente, em 1875, com a idade de 28 anos, JWH partiu com Alexander Leeper no veleiro Hampshire para o outro lado do mundo. Eles foram primeiro para Sydney, onde John Winthrop foi chamado para o Australian Bar, mas aqui ele encontrou o clima, embora muito diferente do da Irlanda, ainda não totalmente favorável à sua saúde. No ano seguinte, mudou-se para o sul, para Melbourne, onde foi nomeado sub-diretor do Trinity College na Universidade e lecionou Direito, Economia Política e Inglês. A vida acadêmica não foi suficiente para satisfazer esse homem determinado e ambicioso, e ele começou a pensar seriamente que seu futuro poderia estar nos territórios em desenvolvimento a cerca de 3.000 quilômetros de distância, no outro lado da Austrália. Com a questão de sua saúde nunca longe de sua mente, ele bem poderia ter sido influenciado em suas deliberações pela conversa sobre a brisa refrescante, conhecida como o médico Fremantle, que soprava do mar com regularidade invariável todas as tardes. Qualquer que fosse o peso disso, em 1882, aos 35 anos, John Winthrop decidiu que seu futuro estava na Austrália Ocidental, para onde iria e onde construiria uma carreira notável e acumularia considerável riqueza como editor de jornal . Ele teve a grande sorte de ser amigo do reverendo Charles Harper logo depois de chegar lá, que ofereceu a John Winthrop uma posição como subeditor do jornal da Austrália Ocidental, do qual a família Harper era proprietária. A Austrália Ocidental estava, na época da chegada de John Winthrop em 1882, em um estágio de desenvolvimento acelerado. O governo britânico começou a se interessar seriamente pelo território em 1826, quando se preocupou com as ambições coloniais francesas na área. Um programa de colonização foi posto em marcha e, como em outras partes do subcontinente, soldados e condenados transportados formaram o núcleo das primeiras comunidades. O levantamento começou e foram feitas propostas para assentamentos a serem estabelecidos na região do Rio Swan. Esses esforços tiveram um início vacilante. A mão-de-obra era insuficiente para trabalhar nas vastas extensões de terra abertas ao desenvolvimento e, portanto, até 1868, a força de trabalho continuou a ser aumentada pelo transporte de condenados. Apesar das possibilidades minerais e agrícolas do território, a população de toda a Austrália Ocidental na época da chegada de John Winthrop não era muito superior a 40.000 e não foi até a imigração ser estimulada, em particular, pela descoberta de ouro que os números começaram para aumentar drasticamente de modo que em 1910, o ano do nascimento de Shan, eles alcançaram 275.000.

    O desenvolvimento econômico que sustentou esse crescimento populacional foi fornecer o cenário perfeito para o inteligente, astuto e ambicioso John Winthrop. Ele percebeu rapidamente, como muitos outros antes e depois, que uma maneira segura de ter poder e influência em um território jovem de enorme potencial era por meio da imprensa. Desde sua primeira nomeação em 1882 como subeditor do Australiano ocidental, seu progresso foi rápido, tornando-se sócio em 1883 e editor em 1887. Em 1912, ele era o único proprietário tanto daquele jornal quanto do Correio Ocidental e se tornou um homem extremamente rico. Este sucesso não foi alcançado sem sérias diferenças com seu benfeitor original. O primeiro surgiu quando o segundo filho do reverendo Harper, Prescott, um estudioso de Rhodes, voltou para Perth de Oxford e John Winthrop foi fundamental para negar ao jovem a parceria no jornal que sua família sentia ser seu direito natural.

    John Winthrop escolheu suas alianças com habilidade. Logo no início, em Perth, ele se tornou amigo íntimo de um homem de sua idade, John Forrest, o hábil e ambicioso filho de imigrantes sem um tostão, que havia explorado grande parte da Austrália Ocidental como seu inspetor-geral. Grande parte da crescente riqueza de Forrest derivou das descobertas de ouro que seu próprio trabalho de pesquisa ajudou a revelar e quando sua atenção se voltou para a política, ele encontrou um aliado poderoso e disposto no jornal. Entre eles, lideraram o esforço de autogoverno do território, alcançado em 1890, com Forrest como o primeiro primeiro-ministro da Austrália Ocidental. A partir daí, suas energias foram direcionadas para o objetivo maior do status da Commonwealth para a Austrália e ambos passaram a se tornar membros da convenção nacional que, nos anos de 1897 a 1898, redigiu a constituição da Commonwealth. Dizia-se dos dois que Hackett tinha o cérebro sutil e Forrest a vontade dominante. John Forrest foi mais tarde o primeiro australiano nativo a ser elevado ao título de nobreza, enquanto John Winthrop, após duas tentativas malsucedidas de entrar no Parlamento da Commonwealth no interesse liberal, se confinou mais à sua própria base de poder no extremo oeste do continente e permaneceu membro do Conselho Legislativo (câmara alta) da Austrália Ocidental por vinte e seis anos. Ele foi nomeado cavaleiro em 1911.

    Durante todo esse tempo ativo e produtivo, John Winthrop permaneceu solteiro e seu meio século veio e se foi. Ele parece ter sido um bom empregador e foi o primeiro na Austrália a introduzir a jornada de trabalho de oito horas. Ele usou o poder de seus jornais para promover as causas do desenvolvimento econômico, da federação da Austrália e, novamente à frente de seu tempo, o sufrágio feminino. O que faltava era uma esposa e uma família que pudesse herdar suas energias e habilidades e dar sua própria contribuição para seu país de adoção.

    Outra família proeminente da Austrália Ocidental era a de Drake-Brockman, cujo chefe, como John Forrest antes dele, fora o agrimensor-geral do território. Quando Frederick Drake-Brockman, nove anos mais novo que John Winthrop, se descobriu em 1905 como o pretendido sogro do homem mais velho, era uma situação que não era de forma alguma do seu agrado. Sua filha Deborah tinha apenas dezessete anos na época em que a proposta foi feita, sua resistência era feroz e determinada e foi apoiada pelos Harpistas, por muitos anos amigos íntimos dos Drake-Brockmans e igualmente desaprovadores. A oposição dos Harpistas foi o segundo exemplo de relações difíceis entre eles e John Winthrop. Embora a mãe de Deborah tivesse apenas 20 anos na época de seu casamento, a diferença de idade com seu marido era de apenas três anos e não os quase quarenta anos de antiguidade que John Winthrop se propunha trazer com ele. Aqui, novamente, sua escolha foi astuta. Deborah Drake-Brockman era uma filha notável de uma mãe notável, Grace (Bussell) Drake-Brockman, que nasceu em uma das famílias pioneiras mais antigas da Austrália Ocidental e que em 1829 criou o assentamento de Busselton. Quando ela tinha dezesseis anos, Grace estava cavalgando com um jovem servo nativo ao longo da praia perto de sua casa quando eles viram um barco a vela, o Georgette, em dificuldades e sendo levado para a praia em ondas fortes. Sem hesitar, os dois entraram na água e tiveram sucesso em conduzir toda a companhia do navio à segurança em terra firme. Essa ação corajosa rendeu-lhe a medalha de ouro da Royal Humane Society e o presente de um relógio e uma corrente do governo britânico, e ela ficou conhecida pelo resto de sua vida como a ‘Grace Darling da Austrália’. Sua filha Deborah não carecia da determinação de sua mãe. Para ela, John Winthrop se tornaria seu marido, qualquer que fosse a opinião de seus pais e por mais forte que fosse sua oposição. Casaram-se em 1905, na igreja Busselton construída por seu avô com as próprias mãos e onde ocorreram os casamentos de sua mãe e de sua avó.

    A cerimônia foi descrita na reportagem do jornal contemporâneo como silenciosa. Infere-se que os convites para a cerimônia e a recepção que se seguiu (realizada não na casa da noiva, mas no Hotel Esplanade) foram restritos a parentes e amigos íntimos. Certamente Sir John Forrest, o aliado político e comercial mais próximo do noivo, por qualquer motivo, não pôde comparecer e uma mensagem generosa de bons votos dele foi lida por John Winthrop durante sua resposta ao brinde da noiva e do noivo.

    Quaisquer que sejam as dúvidas dos pais da noiva e por mais potencialmente prejudicial que possa ter sido a considerável diferença de idade entre os parceiros para a realização de um casamento bem-sucedido e frutífero, os augúrios para qualquer filho futuro eram bons. From the mother’s side would come qualities of proven ancestral courage, great determination and strength of will and a preparedness to flout convention and overturn received wisdom. This she had demonstrated not only in overcoming opposition to her marriage to an older man but earlier, in her formal education, which had been conducted in a boys’ school. From the father would come the benefits of a highly educated brain, a deductive mind, sound political and commercial judgment and an unbroken track record of success along his chosen path through life. As would have been usual in any newly-married couple at the time, children were not long in arriving. By the time Shan was born in 1910, three sisters had preceded him, Verna, Patricia and Joanna. The arrival of a boy after a sequence of three girls was greeted, according to family lore, ‘with such joy that the church bells were rung’. Whether this literally happened is not recorded. In 1913 another sister Debbie, the final member of the family and almost certainly conceived in the hope of producing a brother for Shan, was born when her father was sixty-six years of age.

    Shan was not yet six when his father died, acknowledged as having been a great contributor and benefactor to the State of Western Australia. He played principal parts in the foundation of the University of Western Australia, in the building of Perth Cathedral, in the setting up of Perth Zoo and even in the planting of cherry trees to beautify the city. The greater part of his large fortune was left not to his family but went to support those institutions he had helped to found and become established. His only son never expressed the slightest resentment at his father’s action but approved strongly of wealth accumulated in Western Australia being returned to it to help the advance and development of the State. Shan was later to say that he was happy not to have been left great sums as that might have encouraged him to lead an idle life.

    The Australian society into which Shan was born, while modelling itself to a large extent on the late-Victorian and Edwardian society of the United Kingdom and particularly on the dominant English part of it, nevertheless had very much its own conception of the ways in which the new country would develop. In a number of these John Winthrop played a leading role as a believer in universal suffrage, in strong State and Federal structures backed by sound constitutions and in the continued economic development of his own Western Australia. The way of life of the successful was on the opulent side of comfortable they built large mansions for what were invariably large families, continuing right up until 1914, as in England, to assume that a supply of servants to maintain and to run these great establishments would be as constant as the rising and setting of the sun. So, too, a family of a size able to carry on the development of the seemingly limitless potential of the country, while maintaining and increasing its own wealth and standing was the norm. In the expression of the time, parents were expected to produce ‘a quiver-full’. Shan had four sisters, but, as we know, no brothers, while his mother was one of seven Drake-Brockman children, of whom four were boys. As an expression of the responsibility they bore towards the privileged situation they had been born into, children were expected to excel, both academically and physically, and the circumstances to support these aims progressively came about. Schools with very high teaching standards were set up and flourished, while the climate and large family properties encouraged an active outdoor life.

    Australian society very much took its example from England as the mother-country and modelled its life styles as closely as possible upon English practices. The recent origins of Australian family fortunes, their almost invariably humble beginnings and the absence from society of previous generations of aristocracy and squirearchy whose manners had to be aped and aspired to, meant that children tended to grow up with the same high ambitions as their fathers and grandfathers and to bring equal levels of energy and drive in achieving them. An indolent class of sons of nouveau-riche parents, anxious to be seen as gentlemen rather than as hard-working sons of successful men, seems not to have taken root in the new land of Australia.

    If geography and circumstance helped protect Australian society from the risks of contagion from some aspects of English decadence, it did not diminish its admiration for the facts of imperial power and imperial achievement. Around the turn of the century, as the long Victorian age was replaced by the Edwardian, the British Empire was at its height, its dominion over a great part of the globe apparently unchallengeable, its rule, at least in its own eyes, enlightened and progressive, its industrial might only just beginning to be overtaken by others. The bright focus of this great power, the source from which it all appeared to spring, was the Imperial Court and it was on this Court that the wealthy and aspiring Australian family turned a fascinated attention. When knight-hoods, baronetcies and peerages began to be bestowed on prominent and important Australians, there were some individuals who staunchly refused to be considered for them on the principle that such things did not belong in a new country, in control of its own affairs and making brisk progress towards developing its own strong political structures. It was, however, rare to find a mother whose dearest wish was not to see her daughters presented at Court and taking part in a London season, whatever the expense of the enterprise and the tedium of the long sea voyage that had to be undertaken to achieve it. There was also, more often than not, the discomfort of being regarded as coarse colonials by certain of the English society in whose company they might find themselves during the adventure of their English season. A contemporary account speaks both of the welcoming smile on the lovely but lacquered face of Queen Alexandra and of the boredom on the face of King Edward the Seventh as the line of young ladies moved forward to their presentation, a boredom relieved only by the arrival before him of a particularly striking or beautiful example of womanhood.

    The effect of the snubs and boorish behaviour, of which many Australians were the victims, was to build in them a desire to compete and to show the Motherland of what the young country was capable. Lineage, long tradition and established social customs they might be without, but what they did have were great physical and material resources and the determination to exploit them, in sport as well as in commerce. The Hacketts were, perhaps, less susceptible than some others to the risk of slight. John Winthrop’s long Irish lineage was documented and unchallengeable, while his wife’s family, the Drake-Brockmans, could without question be described as belonging firmly in the upper classes of Australian society.

    Shan’s mother was presented at Court in 1910, the year of Shan’s birth, when she must already have been pregnant with her only son. There was a return to London during the following year, when John Winthrop was invested with his knighthood. Shan was born into a confident and successful family, certain of its place in the establishment, with the father exercising great and enlightened influence at the heart of the developing constitutional scene and the mother, dynamic, enquiring, entrepreneurial and still, as a mother of four children, only twenty-three years old and with a great deal left to achieve during what was to be a long lifetime. It must have been with justifiable optimism that the Hackett family in 1910 contemplated what seemed an expanding future in a settled and organized world, the outbreak of the Great War still four years away and not contemplated.

    With such parents and with such a background, the outlook for the young Shan was propitious in the extreme. An only son with three older sisters, endowed with qualities of great potential and surrounded with every incentive to succeed at whatever he took up, there must have been a feeling of predestination about the course of his life. When he was two, one of his father’s most cherished projects came to fruition with


    Bradley: A Soldier's Story Relié – Illustré, 1 septembre 1978

    American five star General Omar Bradley's (the G. I's General) personal perspective on the latter part of WW2 from the deserts of Africa, the mountains of Sicily, the boot of Italy and eventually on to the beaches of Normandy and the defeat of Nazism.

    Most history is written, as you would expect, by professional historians who in the main have no or very little direct personal knowledge of the subject in question. To tell the story they use official documents and reports, interviews with the participants, archives, diaries, journals, and in some cases hearsay and even “common knowledge”. The older the period the less primary sources are usually available and so secondary sources are often used which can often contain errors and mistakes. This distance and disconnect from the real events as they occurred does inevitably mean that the writer has to use his/her imagination (along with all the material already mentioned) to bring out the truth. This need to use imagination to fill in the gaps in the record does unfortunately lead to personal bias slipping into the narrative even amongst the most diligent of historians. Objectivity is of course subjective, especially when dealing with the past.

    It is clear from Mr Bradley's supremely clear and easy to read personal history that he has no axe to grind and no battles to recreate for the reader. His agenda is clear from the first page when he says the book is “A Soldiers Story”, he being the soldier in question. Another aspect of the prose that comes over well is his obvious fairness to those he worked and fought with, the fact that he can criticize and then praise the same person on different pages at different times in different theatres is a good indicator that he does not remember situations and stressful times through rose tinted glasses when it suits him. It also acts as a guide to the complex emotions and stresses that he had to endure when trying to organise one of the most complex jobs ever held by anyone. Tempers sometimes flared and personal rivalries often made his job almost impossible, and it is clear that his clear head and calm nature did come to his aid on many occasions. He is obviously remembering things as they happened, and as he perceived them at the time. He does not, as some have, insulate and distance himself from criticism, he openly confesses that mistakes were made, opportunities missed, and misunderstandings in communications caused casualties that might have been avoided. He however makes it clear that he and other commanders made supreme efforts to minimise casualties at all times and that plans were always changed or amended if circumstances on the ground changed to any serious degree.

    Obviously making good use of his memory and the documentary evidence available to him, the story is told with a simple style and refreshing amount of candour and self deprecating humour. His regular runs ins with Patton, Montgomery, Eisenhower and Ike are well documented and feel real. The immense complexity and utter practicality of warfare is plainly stated from supply and deployment problems to the ever difficult task of anticipating your enemies intentions, strength and effectiveness in the field.

    One of the best books about the practicalities of warfare I have ever read and I have read quite a few. I'm sure many of the soldiers under his command may have read this quite outstanding book and now know why what happened happened the way it did.


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    Recollections Of A Military Life [Illustrated Edition] - General Sir John Adye GCB

    INTRODUÇÃO

    HAVING SERVED for many years in the Royal Artillery, and taken part in some of the campaigns in which the British army has been engaged during my period of service, I am in hopes that my recollections may be of some interest, and my views on military subjects worthy of record and I therefore publish them, dedicating my book to the Officers and Men of the Regiment amongst whom I have passed my career.

    CHAPTER I — DAYS OF PEACE

    ‘Wakening the echoes of joys long fled.’

    IN recording personal recollections of the varied scenes and events in which, during a long military service, it has been my lot to take part, it is scarcely necessary to enter into family details, and I will therefore merely state that my grandfather, Stephen Payne Adye, entered the Royal Artillery in 1762, and served in the war in Germany and in America and since that date various members of the family have served in uninterrupted succession in the regiment down to the present day.

    Of his four sons, three became officers of artillery. The eldest, Ralph Willett Adye, was the author of the ‘Pocket Gunner,’ which was a standard book of reference for many years. He died at Gibraltar in 1804, and his monument still exists there, in the so-called Trafalgar Cemetery.

    The second son, Stephen Gallwey Adye, saw much active service. He was with Sir Ralph Abercromby in Egypt in 1801, and was slightly wounded in action near Alexandria. He was also at Walcheren in 1809, at Cadiz in 1813, and at Quatre Bras and Waterloo. He died a Major General and Superintendent of the Laboratory, Woolwich Arsenal, in 1838.

    The third son, John Miller Adye, was an officer in the Royal Navy. He served as a Lieutenant in Lord Nelson’s flagship, the ‘Vanguard,’ at the battle of the Nile, and was wounded. In 1815 he was in command of the ‘Partridge ‘corvette cruising off the Island of Elba, and conveyed Sir Neil Campbell (who was British Commissioner there) to Leghorn in February. Sir Neil, having received information that Napoleon intended to escape, returned hastily to Elba, but owing to light winds was delayed, and only arrived on the morning of February 28th to find that Napoleon had left on the night of the 26th. The ‘Partridge ‘went in pursuit towards the Antibes, but, it being uncertain to what part of the coast he had sailed, failed to overtake him.

    The fourth son, James Pattison Adye (my father), was also in the Artillery, and was present at Copenhagen in 1806, and served for several years in the Mediterranean.

    In 1834 I received a nomination to a cadetship at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich from the Master General of the Ordnance, Sir James Kempt, and went up for examination in February, at the age of fourteen. There was no competition fortunately in those days, and the whole affair, including medical examination, only lasted an hour and a half, and I was reported as having passed very satisfactorily. My career at the Academy was a happy one. I was treated with much kindness, and experienced none of the bullying or ill-usage which was supposed to exist. An amusing incident occurred soon after I joined. Each room contained four cadets, the head of my room being the late General William Gardner, R.A. He was at that time about twenty-one years of age, and having quarrelled with another cadet, who was a good fighter with his fists, a meeting was arranged in the Racket Court. Gardner, however, said that a pugilistic encounter was very well for boys, but as a man he claimed to fight with pistols.

    This gave a more serious turn to the matter, and I, as junior of the room, was ordered to prepare the bullets for the duel, and well remember remaining up late at night, melting lead in the fire shovel, and pouring it into bullet moulds. These serious preparations led to some arrangement, and the affair never came off.

    Colonel Parker was at that time Captain of the Cadets, and Wilford one of the subalterns. Parker, a fine old soldier, had lost his leg at Waterloo and wore a wooden one. He was nicknamed Peg Parker.

    One Sunday afternoon the cadets were being marched to church across the ‘barrack field ‘at Woolwich, Parker as usual riding in front on a small white pony. All at once Wilford ran up to him and said, ‘Beg your pardon, sir, but you have lost your leg!’ and sure enough, on looking down, Parker saw that his wooden one was missing. It had tumbled off. Wilford, however, who had picked it up, screwed it on again, and the march was resumed.

    In December 1836, after nearly three years’ residence, I received my commission as a second lieutenant. I was head of the Academy, and just seventeen. The late Sir Frederic Campbell was second, and we both selected the Royal Artillery.

    In the spring of 1837 I attended a levee of William IV., and, to my surprise, on hearing my name he kindly spoke to me and asked what relation I was to General Adye. The current story was that the king asked me what relation I was to my uncle, and that in my confusion I replied grandson but this is apocryphal.

    Speaking of William IV. reminds me of a story about him which I believe is well founded. Soon after becoming king he one day visited Woolwich, and after inspecting the Artillery, &c., inquired who was Commanding Officer of the Marines, and was told it was Sir John McCleverty. The king said that Sir John was an old friend and comrade of his, and went off at once to call on him at the Barracks. He expressed great pleasure at seeing his old companion, and asked if he could do anything for him, adding, ‘You know I am a king now, and can do what I like.’ Old Sir John McCleverty replied: ‘Yes, your Majesty, you can do something for me. My son not long ago was a lieutenant on board a man-of-war, and in the Channel one night in a thick fog, when he was on watch, they came into collision with another ship, and the Admiralty have in consequence tried him by Court Martial, cancelled his commission, and have nearly broken my heart, for he is an excellent officer.’ The king promised that he should be restored, was as good as his word, and the son rose afterwards to some distinction, commanding the ‘Terrible ‘in the Black Sea during the Crimean war.

    As the earlier years of my service were passed during a period of peace, they call for little remark. Towards the end of 1840 I embarked at Woolwich with my company for Malta in an old sailing transport, the ‘Numa Pompilius,’ and, owing chiefly to bad weather in the bay, the voyage occupied no less than two months. We sailed into Malta on the same morning that the British fleet under Sir Robert Stop-ford arrived from the capture of Acre.

    In 1843, having returned home, I was appointed Adjutant of the Artillery in Dublin, and was present when Daniel O’Connell was put into prison in Richmond Bridewell, and made a sketch of the building, which was published in the ‘Illustrated London News.’ I also witnessed the great procession through the streets of Dublin when O’Connell and the other prisoners were released.

    In 1845 I was appointed to C Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, at Woolwich. There were three troops there, each consisting of two guns, a waggon, and forty horses. They were all commanded by officers who had been present at Waterloo thirty years before—Fox Strangways, Frank Warde, and Ingilby but only one of them (Strangways) was even a Brevet Major, and they were all between fifty and sixty years of age. Those were days of slow promotion.

    On one occasion Major Chalmers, R.A., had an interview with William IV., who incidentally asked him how long he had been a Captain of Artillery. ‘Twenty-three years, your Majesty,’ replied Chalmers. The king hastily said, ‘I didn’t ask you how long it was since you were born, but how long you had been a captain.’ ‘Well, your Majesty,’ says Chalmers, ‘I am very sorry, but I have been twenty-three years in that rank.’ The king, who apparently could hardly believe it, laughed and said, ‘And a very fine position, too.’ ‘Oh yes,’ said Chalmers, ‘undoubtedly so.’

    In the spring of 1848 I was in command of an artillery detachment in the Tower of London. There was at that time much anxiety about the Chartists, and as to the result of a meeting under Fergus O’Connor which took place on Kennington Common on April 10. The walls of the Tower and the top of the Bank and the Mansion House were to some extent prepared for defence, and sandbags were placed to form loopholes for musketry, an attack by the mob being apprehended. The Lord Mayor applied for some hand-grenades to be thrown from the Mansion House in case of need, and I sent him a boxful in a cab, at the same time giving a hint that in using them he should not hold them too long in his hand, as they might explode prematurely. This caused a little uneasiness, and subsequently a bombardier was ordered to give him instructions as to throwing them.

    The clerks in the Ordnance Department at the Tower were sworn in as special constables, and were served out with batons cut out of old mop-sticks. On the morning of April 10 Sir George Cathcart, then Lieutenant of the Tower, sent for me. He had three large canvas frames in his drawing-room, and on them was painted in great letters: ‘The Tower guns are loaded to the muzzle. If you attempt to enter, they will be fired!’ He said his intention was, when the expected mob came, to hang them (the frames, not the mob) over the walls, with a bit of string. I ventured to point out that, if loaded as stated, the guns, which were old cast-iron carronades, would infallibly burst, but he replied that it was only to frighten the people, who would probably run away. We waited all day, but no crowd ever came near the Tower, and the whole affair collapsed.

    It is often said that extravagance prevails amongst the officers in some regiments of the army, and there is probably a good deal of truth in the remark. But at all events in the earlier days of my service real economy prevailed in the Artillery, as is proved by the following facsimile copy of my mess-bill in Dublin in May 1850, now in my possession.

    Entertaining royalty for 6 ½ d. can hardly be considered extravagant.

    CHAPTER II — COMMENCEMENT OF CRIMEAN WAR—INTERVIEW WITH NAPOLEON III

    IT is time now to pass on from the early reminiscences of a period of peace to the more interesting and important events of active service, in which for some years it was my good fortune to share.

    In the spring of 1854, after a peace which in Europe had lasted nearly forty years, the British navy and army were again called upon to take part in a great war and the whole nation soon became deeply absorbed in the stirring events of the Crimean campaign. Lord Raglan at that time was Master General of the Ordnance and was also appointed to command the expedition, and I had the good fortune to be selected as Brigade Major to the artillery under General Cator.

    There is perhaps no operation of war more difficult than that which this country has to undertake in the embarkation of its army for a continental campaign. It is not merely as regards its pessoal but large reserves of ammunition and stores, and the armaments and equipments of the artillery, engineers, medical, commissariat, clothing, and other departments have to be embarked, and all so arranged as to be prepared for rapid landing after a long voyage, and possibly in the face of an enemy. In proceeding to the Crimea eight batteries of horse and field artillery, several siege train companies, and large reserves of munitions for the army were embarked in Woolwich dockyard during March and April. The combined naval and military arrangements were efficiently carried out and although the field artillery were conveyed in sailing vessels, and were several weeks at sea before arrival at Constantinople, the loss of horses was only 4 per cent out of about 1,600 embarked.

    Towards the end of April Colonels Strangways and Lake, Captains Patton, Gordon, and myself (all artillery officers) were directed to proceed via France to Marseilles for Malta. On arrival at Paris, Colonel Strangways, who was personally known to the Emperor Napoleon, received a message that his Majesty wished to receive him and his brother officers at the Tuileries. Strangways informed our ambassador, Lord Cowley, who, however, said it was not according to etiquette, and that we ought to attend a levee in the usual way, and declined to go with us so we put on our uniforms and drove to the Tuileries in a fiacre without him. The servant at the entrance seemed rather surprised when we said we had come to see the Emperor but after conference with a staff officer, we were conducted through the ‘Salle des Maréchaux ‘to an inner room, and were received very kindly by Napoleon, who was in the uniform of a general. He made inquiries about the amount of artillery we had embarked for the East spoke about the difficulty of conveying horses for a long voyage and expressed a hope that the French and English armies combined would be able to act decisively—and then, wishing us prosperity, he invited us to come and see him again on our return. Ai de mim! we were not destined to do so. Strangways was killed at Inkerman Lake, who had a horse shot under him at Alma, and another at Inkerman, was invalided and died soon after Captain Patton died of cholera at Balaclava and many years elapsed before I had another interview with Napoleon, under very altered conditions, shortly before his death at Chislehurst.

    We arrived at Malta about the middle of May. The streets were full of French soldiers on their way to the East and there was a great deal of cheering and enthusiasm. On the 15th we embarked in the ‘Medway ‘for Constantinople with the 55th regiment. As we approached the Dardanelles we passed a sailing transport, with part of a cavalry regiment on board, and as they had been some weeks at sea, and were making no progress owing to calm weather, we induced our captain to take her in tow. The officers in the transport made signs of their wish to communicate, so we lowered a bottle tied to a long string, which they picked up as it floated past, and we then pulled it back. We expected their inquiries might be as to the position of the Russians and the progress of the war, but their message was: ‘Can you tell us who won the Two Thousand Guineas? We have several bets, and are very anxious!’ As we entered the Dardanelles we were boarded by two French officers from a small transport, who begged assistance, as they were short of provisions, having only biscuits, and no water. We provided them with what was requisite, and also took them in tow. They belonged to the Chasseurs d’Afrique, and had been forty days on passage from Algiers. Passing Gallipoli, where there were several men-of-war at anchor and considerable French and English encampments on shore, we arrived at Constantinople on May 20.

    Our troops of the various arms were now arriving daily, and were accommodated either in the great barrack at Scutari, or encamped on the plain outside, in close proximity to large Turkish cemeteries. All was bustle and animation. The scene, however, soon changed, and at the end of May the Light Division under Sir George Brown re-embarked, entered the Black Sea, and landed at Varna, followed shortly after by the whole of the allied armies.

    Until my arrival at Constantinople, I had never seen Lord Raglan. Owing, however, to the failure of General Cator’s health almost immediately on his landing, and to the numerous artillery matters which required discussion and decision, it so happened that I had from that time almost daily interviews with the Commander-in-chief. In fact, during the succeeding twelve months, and until his death in June 1855, it was my good fortune to be closely associated with Lord Raglan in the great events which rapidly succeeded each other. General Cator’s advice to me was, never to trouble Lord Raglan more than absolutely necessary with details, to listen carefully to his remarks, to try and anticipate his wishes, and at all times to make as light as possible of difficulties. These excellent suggestions I did my best to carry out.

    The original intention in massing the allied armies at Varna was with a view of an advance to the Danube, although, in regard to land transport, the English force was but little prepared for rapid movement. However, the raising of the siege of Silistria towards the end of June and the retreat of the Russians led to an entire change of plan, and the expedition to the Crimea was decided on. The Duke of Newcastle was then Minister for War, and in his despatch to Lord Raglan, of June 29, <2>he gave instructions that ‘no campaign in the Principalities should be undertaken, but that measures should at once be concerted for the siege of Sebastopol.’ Lord Raglan’s reply on July 19 said, that ‘the descent on the Crimea is decided upon, more in deference to the views of the British Government than to any information in the possession of the naval and military authorities as to the extent of the enemy’s forces or to their state of preparation.’

    Owing to the continued and severe illness of General Cator he was invalided home in August, and had to be carried on board ship in a hammock, being succeeded in command of the artillery by General Strangways. Lord de Eos, Quartermaster General, went home ill at the same time. During the month of August incessant preparations were made for the embarkation of the great expedition. The fleets of the allied powers arrived, and the bay of Varna was crowded with hundreds of transports, steam-tugs, flat-bottomed boats, and rafts and the beach was strewn with thousands of gabions, fascines, and baggage of all kinds. Towards the end of the month the troops commenced embarking. One morning early, whilst superintending the departure of some batteries from the shore, Lord Raglan came up and spoke to me. He remarked that the artillery staff was insufficient, and that I had too much to do and added, ‘If you were a field officer I would appoint you Assistant Adjutant General, and give you help.’ Having heard a rumour that an officer of high rank was coming from England as chief of the artillery staff, I ventured to say that I hoped Lord Raglan would not supersede me. He replied at once: ‘Certainly not. I will take good care that you are not superseded.’ The next day he sent for me, and said, ‘I have got the Duke of Newcastle in a corner.’ This rather puzzled me for the moment, but he continued: ‘I have requested him at once to give you either brevet or local rank as a Major, and then the difficulty will be met.’ The result of this was that within a month I was gazetted as a Major.’

    After the expedition had been decided on, and even after it had embarked, great difference of opinion existed amongst the generals and admirals of both nations as to its expediency. The late season of the year, the want of accurate information as to the actual force of the Russians and of the condition of the defences of Sebastopol, all were matters of grave concern. The prevalence of cholera and fever— which had greatly weakened the allied armies and fleets, and which continued after leaving Yarna—also added to the difficulties. These considerations, however, were not allowed to prevail, and on August 25 Marshal Saint-Arnaud issued a proclamation to the French army, in which he said that Providence had called them to the Crimea, a country healthy as France, and that ere long the three united flags should float over the ramparts of Sebastopol. Lord Raglan also issued his instructions, which were as follows: ‘The invasion of the Crimea having been determined on, the troops will embark in such ships as shall be provided for their conveyance.’

    Notwithstanding his proclamation, Saint-Arnaud, even when approaching the shore of the Crimea, remained in a somewhat vacillating condition of mind. During the voyage across, he made a signal requesting Lord Raglan and Admiral Dundas to come and see him on board the ‘Ville de Paris.’ They proceeded alongside in the ‘Caradoc,’ but Lord Raglan, having only one arm, was unable to go on board. <3>Admiral Dundas, however, visited Saint-Arnaud, who at the time was very ill and in great pain, and unable to converse. He handed the Admiral a paper without signature, in which it was urged that it would be too hazardous to land in face of a powerful enemy having a numerous cavalry that the season was too late for a siege of Sebastopol, which, moreover, was known to be stronger than anticipated and that consequently it was necessary to reconsider the situation and the measures to be adopted.

    Admiral Dundas, accompanied by some French generals, then returned to the ‘Caradoc,’ and a long debate took place with Lord Raglan, who at length ended the discussion by declaring that he would not now consent to alter a decision which had been come to after careful consideration at the last council at Varna. Without doubt the enterprise was a bold and dangerous one, undertaken at a late period of the year, with troops that were physically weak from cholera and fever. The orders of the French and English Governments were, however, peremptory, and therefore the allied generals had in reality no option in the matter.

    On the morning of September 14 the allied fleets and transports arrived off the coast of the Crimea, and the troops at once commenced landing on the shore about twenty-five miles from Sebastopol. The French were very quick in their movements, and, on our part, the Light Division under Sir George Brown lost no time by the end of the day almost the whole of the British infantry, and twenty field guns horsed and equipped, were on shore. Just as the disembarkation commenced in the early morning a Russian officer with a Cossack orderly, rode up on some high ground between the French and English landing places, dismounted, and leisurely surveyed the scene and then as our men on landing approached, he re-mounted and quietly trotted away. With that solitary exception, no enemy came near us during the five days occupied in disembarkation.

    The first night on shore it rained heavily, our troops were without tents or shelter, and the operations on several subsequent days were considerably retarded by rough weather and a heavy surf, rendering our position somewhat precarious. It has always appeared inexplicable why Prince Menschikoff should have allowed so critical an operation on the part of the allies to be completed, without any attempt on his part to oppose or delay it for nothing can be more helpless than an army with men, horses, and material of all kinds huddled together in boats, and landing on an open beach. The probabilities are that he was occupied in concentrating his troops at the strong position on the Alma, and felt himself unable to disturb our operations. One morning after landing, I rode with General Strangways inland for a mile or two to get water for our horses, and found a battalion of the Rifle Brigade in possession of a large farm. The officers complained that some of the French soldiers were pillaging the neighbourhood, and driving off the cattle, &c. Sir George Brown had sent a remonstrance to the French on the subject. As we left the farm we saw a French staff officer, evidently very angry and in pursuit of some of his men, and General Strangways recognized Prince Jerome Napoleon, who was in command of the division close by.

    At length, on September 19, all being ready, the allied armies commenced their celebrated march on Sebastopol. The French were close to the shore, and the order of march is shown on the following plan.

    DIAGRAM OF FRENCH AND ENGLISH ARMIES

    The strength of the British Army was approximately as follows:

    Cavalry—1,200 Officers and men

    Artillery—60 guns 2,000 Officers and men

    Infantry—25,000 Officers and men

    Total 28,200 Officers and men

    The French were rather stronger in infantry, but had no cavalry. The division of Turks was about 6,000 strong.

    The troops were in excellent spirits at the prospect of immediate action. The country was open and undulating the distant smoke of burning villages, and the occasional appearance of a few Cossacks hovering about on the flank, were the only evidences that we were in an enemy’s country. The arrival in the afternoon at the small fresh stream of the Bulganac was most welcome


    The Military Life & Times of General Sir Miles Dempsey GBE KCB DSO MC: Monty's Army Commander (English Edition) Kindle Edition

    Dempsey was an excellent British General in the Second World War. But like many other officers his reputation was tainted by his close association with Field Marshal Montgomery. He was regarded was being merely a Monty yes man. The problem lay not with Dempsey but with Montgomery, who promoted himself as the greatest general on the Allied side, but whom the Germans and Americans deemed second rate.

    Dempsey if he had replaced Montgomery could probably have been better, especially with regard to Anglo-American co-operation. Whatever, Montgomery planned it was Dempsey’s duty to carry it out. It was not his duty as a soldier to question his superior’s strategy. Montgomery never really adapted to armoured warfare, and still planned as if it were still 1918. But that was not Dempsey’s fault. Nor was he entirely uncritical of Montgomery. If he was order to carry out a tactically unsound move, he explained to Montgomery, why it was wrong.

    Much of the book throws an interesting light on conditions in the British Army in pre-War days and during the War, and the non-political, non self-promoting soldiers who manned it. As has been pointed out, the Allies won WW II, less on the field but in the factories where production overwhelmed that of Germany.



Comentários:

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