Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Generals Lavarack and Blamey

For some reason, the reason for which is unclear, General Thomas Blamey had developed a dislike for General John Lavarack. General Lavarack had been commissioned as an officer in 1905, while Blamey had been commissioned in 1906. Blamey was eventually promoted to Field Marshal, but he had a checkered history. He had left the army and had become a police commissioner, where he had been involved with a scandal. He had apparently kept involved with the militia and eventually commanded the 2nd Australian Imperial Force and the I Australian Corps. General Blamey seems to have been politically astute, but had questionable judgment. He kept getting by, due to his political connections. General Lavarack had stayed in the regular army until he finally had tired of Blamey's campaign against him and retired. We are somewhat surprised that General Blamey had let General Lavarack be promoted to command the I Australian Corps during the Syria and Lebanon Campaign. By all accounts, General Lavarack was a very good officer and held senior staff positions, including as Chief of the General Staff in Australia, which made him commander of the Australian Army. Political interests in Australia wanted to not spend money on the army and would have relied on the Royal Navy based in singapore for protection. December 8, 1941 showed that General Lavarack was correct in his belief that the Australian army needed to be strong enough to repel and Japanese invasion. This is based on the account in the Wikipedia.

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