History, Politics & Society
8 May 1945 was Victory in Europe Day
“I watched you getting into your car this morning… with a crowd looking at you and none of them realizing that beside them was the man who had probably done most to win the war against Germany.”
The man was Field Marshal Brooke. He played a crucial role in saving the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940. Appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff in late 1941 and then chairman of the British Chiefs of Staff Committee, he became principal military advisor to Churchill and his cabinet and one of the key architects of Anglo-American strategy. He was Montgomery’s immediate superior throughout the War. Yet few people have heard of him. The name Montgomery draws recognition, but the name Brooke – or Alanbrooke – tends to draw a blank.
Alanbrooke – The Reluctant Warrior gives him the recognition he deserves. It also offers a character portrait which presents him in a markedly different and more sympathetic light to the way he has been portrayed to date. According to his contemporaries, he was “a most impenetrable man”, “a consummate actor” and “not an easy personality to capture… there are so many different facets to him and sometimes when interviewing people I wonder if they are talking of the same man.” Alanbrooke – The Reluctant Warrior unmasks him.
The book sweeps over the subjects of military strategy, Churchill, the management and direction of the British war effort, wartime government, Churchill’s cabinet, dictatorship, politicians and politics, relationships between wartime allies, the difficulties of high command, leadership and, arguably, pacifism. It also identifies the lessons that could have been learnt from Alanbrooke’s experiences in the War and highlights the importance of those lessons by showing how some of the mistakes made in WW2 were repeated in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
You can read the Introduction to Alanbrooke The Reluctant Warrior at https://alanbrooke-thereluctantwarrior.co.uk
Here's what readers have to say about this book....