FM Alexander

The Allies 1939-1945, and those fighting against Germany.

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Rodger Herbst
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FM Alexander

Post by Rodger Herbst » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:49 am

We hear about Montgomery and others, but to me a name that is missed to often is FM Earl Alexander I think one of the better British Generals ,his Italian campaign was screwed up by Gen. Mark Clark and his dumb ass move to take Rome. Anybody give me a little history of Alex after the war, a great under rated general, in my opinion.

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Re: FM Alexander

Post by phylo_roadking » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:10 pm

Harold Alexander actually left the Army in 1945 - although he was top of the list for a new CIGS. He was subsequently Governor-General for Canada from 1946 to 192, and oversaw both a very progressive growth time for Canada - handling the confederation fo Newfoundland...as well as managing Canada's support for and fighting in the Korean War. He returned to London in 1952 to become Minister For Defence until 1954, and helped organise the Queen's Coronation in 1953 - he can be seem carrying the Royal Orb in the State Procession on Coronation Day. He retired from politics in 1954, but remained hale and hearty for many years, his time divided between his home here in Ulster and Canada...finally dying from heart/chest problems in 1969.
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John W. Howard
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Re: FM Alexander

Post by John W. Howard » Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:51 pm

Hi Rodger and Phylo:
Alexander has always been a favorite of mine, but he could have been, and needed to be, more assertive in command. Had he been so, Mark Clark would not have been able to screw-up the Italian Campaign. That being said, I place the blame totally on Clark's shoulders. Alexander's light-touch worked better when commanding Brits, but less well when commanding "wild colonial boys". Best wishes.
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Rodger Herbst
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Re: FM Alexander

Post by Rodger Herbst » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:15 pm

Hi John, i agree that he should have been more assertive, but i think he didn't want to rock the boat, with Monty on one side and some touchy Americans on the other he was in a somewhat of a bind to satisfy both sides, something like Ike was.

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Re: FM Alexander

Post by John W. Howard » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:05 pm

Hi Rodger:
That just about sums it up :wink:
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Re: FM Alexander

Post by Royal Navy » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:49 pm

Another thing about FM Alexander is the fact that had he not interfeared with Churchill on Montys behalf during the early days of Alexander-Montgomerys time in Egypt. Then Montgomery would without doubt been sacked for incompentence. Now Monty were able to work in peace and able to use Auchinleks plan and also managed to gather enough forces to overwhelm the germans. With those forces at disposal, my mother could have beaten Rommel.
Engage the Enemy more closely!

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Re: FM Alexander

Post by jerijerod » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:02 am

True, and the afrika corp were fighting at the end of a long supply chain. Probably best i don't air my views on Rommel on this thread :D :D

My granddad, who was in Italy in the 8th Army liked Alexander as a general, and i think the softly approach always worked well within the British army. As Pop used to say the NCO's ran the army. The officers would say what they wanted done and the Sergeants would plan how to do it properly. I think having two strong willed generals on a campaign under one nominal CO splits command which is never a good idea.
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Re: FM Alexander

Post by Liam » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:45 am

Alexander certainly had a glittering career - have recenty finished reading an account of the fighting in the battle of Cambrai in 1917 where Alexander's battallion of Irish Guards took part - he was battallion commander (Lieutenant Colonel) at age 25! By the time the war ended he was an acting Brigadier. A high flier to be sure.
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Re: FM Alexander

Post by redcoat » Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:54 pm

Rodger Herbst wrote:We hear about Montgomery and others, but to me a name that is missed to often is FM Earl Alexander I think one of the better British Generals ,his Italian campaign was screwed up by Gen. Mark Clark and his dumb ass move to take Rome. , a great under rated general, in my opinion.
He was alright in North Africa where he covered Monty's back from Churchill, but let him get on with the job. But in Sicily and Italy he proved a weak commander who failed to give his subordinates clear and strong leadership
if in doubt, PANIC !!!!

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