Wednesday, January 31, 2007

General Alan Cunningham

When General Alan Cunningham had recommended to General Auchinleck, in the face of Rommel's "Dash to the Wire", and with mounting tank casualties, the the 8th Army withdraw, he was relieved of his command. This was quite an abrupt move, but Auchinleck felt that the situation was not lost and would not allow a retreat. General Auchinleck seems to have problems with personnel decisions. Making General Cunningham his commander was based on the Cunningham's brilliant East African campaign, which had nothing to do with either armoured warfare or the desert. In any case, General Cunningham was sent home to England where he was made Commandant of Staff College Camberley. He served in that capacity from 1942 to 1943, when he was appointed as Commander in Chief Northern Ireland. He served in Northern Ireland until 1944, when he became General Officer Commander in Chief Eastern Command. After the war, he returned to the Middle East as High Commissioner and Commander in Chief Palestine. He oversaw the end of British occupation, when sparked the formation of the State of Israel and the war between the Arabs and the Israelis. General Cunningham retired from the service in 1948, when he was about 61 years old. He lived to a great age, as he only died in 1984 (he had been born in 1887).

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