"Alanbrooke," wrote General MacArthur, "is undoubtedly the greatest soldier that England has produced since Wellington." He fought with the artillery in the First World War, had a brilliant career as a peacetime soldier, and conducted his Corps with exemplary calm and courage in the retreat to Dunkirk. In November 1941 Churchill selected him as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and from that moment he became indispensable in Whitehall, the one man who could never be spared for the more spectacular feats of war on the battlefield which he longed to undertake.
Alanbrooke was the master strategist of the British military effort. His partnership with Churchill - the statesman's imagination and inspired energy perfectly complementing the soldier's clarity of mind and unflinching realism - was often turbulent, yet endlessly fruitful. Under his chairmanship the Chiefs of Staff became the most efficient machine for the conduct of war which Britain, perhaps the world, had ever seen. His influence in the shaping of global strategy was immeasurable.
Born the son of Brigadier The Honourable William Fraser (1890-1964) DSO MC, who had been the military attache in Paris when the Second World War begun, David Fraser was educated at Eton College and Christ Church College, Oxford. He left school to enlist at earliest opportunity after the Second World War begun, and joined his father's regiment, the Grenadier Guards in 1940, serving for much of the War with the Guards Armoured Division, later in North West Europe, ending the war in the rank of Major. He was appointed General Officer Commanding 4th Division in 1969, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Policy) in 1971 and Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1973. He went on to be British Military Representative to NATO in 1975, and Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1977 before retiring in 1980.
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Excellent Piece of Work
Alan Brook was at the very centre of decisions made in every theatre in WWII. He was a thoughtful and educated man with an excellent strategic mind. The book paints very well the circumstance, the evidence and finally the decision. It’s a fascinating insight into the man who gave the nod to world changing events and the advice he gave on why he did. Its well researched, its well written and an excellent company. I would advise it to any history buff's looking for a demanding picture of the relationship between senior military men and senior politicians and the fine line they both much tread.