Thursday, October 05, 2006
William Gott (nicknamed "Strafer") was another colourful figure who fought in North Africa, with British forces. General Gott was actually Churchill's choice to commande the 8th Army in August 1942. General Gott was killed in an air crash on 7 August 1942, so Churchill turned to Bernard Law Montgomery, launching him to fame. Wikipedia has a page on Strafer Gott. He apparently arrived in Egypt in 1939, as a Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the 1/KRRC (King's Royal Rifle Corps). As a brigadier, he commanded the 7th Armoured Division Support Group. He eventually commanded the division. He was promoted to Lieutenant-General and given command of 13th Corps by early 1942, which was a good match, given General Gott's infantry background. If he had actually commanded 8th Army in battle, we might be better prepared to judge whether General Gott was just a competent officer, or something more. I have trouble knowing how good he was, on the basis of what I have read.