Harold Alexander

Harold Alexander


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Harold Alexander, o terceiro filho do Conde de Caledon, nasceu em Londres em 10 de dezembro de 1891. Depois de frequentar a Harrow School (1904-08), ingressou na Academia Militar de Sandhurst. Ele se formou em 1911 e ganhou uma comissão na Guarda Irlandesa.

Durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial, Alexandre lutou na Frente Ocidental. Ferido duas vezes, ele ganhou a Cruz Militar em 1915 e no final da guerra foi brigadeiro da 4ª Brigada de Guardas.

Em 1919, Alexander se ofereceu para liderar o Baltic Landwehr, uma brigada de alemães étnicos, contra o Exército Vermelho durante a Guerra Civil. Depois de expulsar com sucesso os comunistas da Letônia, ele retornou à Inglaterra, onde se tornou o segundo no comando da Guarda Irlandesa.

Alexander serviu na Turquia e em Gibraltar antes de frequentar o Staff College de Camberley e o Imperial Defense College. Como oficial de estado-maior, foi para o War Office e o Comando do Norte antes de ser enviado para a Índia em 1934.

Em 1937, Alexander foi promovido a major-general. Aos 45 anos, ele era o general mais jovem do exército britânico. Em 1938 ele recebeu o comando da 1ª Divisão e no ano seguinte ele os levou para a França como parte da Força Expedicionária Britânica.

Em maio de 1940, o general John Gort deu a Alexander a tarefa de planejar a ação da retaguarda que permitiu que o BEF fosse evacuado de Dunquerque. Com a ajuda do RAF Fighter Command, Alexander alcançou um sucesso notável durante este retiro.

Ao voltar à Grã-Bretanha, Alexandre recebeu o comando das defesas costeiras em Yorkshire até substituir Claude Auchinleck como chefe do Comando Sul.

Após o bombardeio de Pearl Harbor e a entrada do Japão na guerra em dezembro de 1941, Alexander foi enviado para a Birmânia. Incapaz de deter o avanço do exército japonês, Alexandre decidiu recuar para a Índia.

Alexandre serviu brevemente sob o general Dwight Eisenhower no Norte da África antes de assumir o comando das forças britânicas no Egito. Trabalhando em estreita colaboração com o general Bernard Montgomery, chefe do 8º Exército, o general Erwin Rommel e o Deutsches Afrika Korps foram derrotados em El Alamein em novembro de 1942.

Em fevereiro de 1943, Alexander recebeu o comando do novo 18º Grupo de Exércitos e depois que a campanha do Norte da África terminou na Tunísia liderou o 15º Grupo de Exércitos na Sicília (julho a agosto de 1943) e foi Comandante Supremo Aliado na Itália (setembro de 1943 a maio de 1945).

No inverno de 1943, o general Albrecht Kesselring retirou suas forças para o que ficou conhecido como a Linha Gustav, na península italiana ao sul de Roma. Organizado ao longo dos rios Garigliano e Rapido, incluía o Monte Cassino, um local no topo de uma colina de um mosteiro beneditino do século VI. Defendida por 15 divisões alemãs, a linha foi fortificada com poços de armas, bunkers de concreto, torres de metralhadoras, arame farpado e campos minados. Em dezembro de 1943, os Aliados sofreram pesadas perdas ao tentar capturar Monte Cassino.

Em janeiro de 1944, Alexandre ordenou uma nova ofensiva de Cassino combinada com uma operação anfíbia em Anzio, um pequeno porto na costa oeste da Itália. O principal objetivo da operação era cortar as linhas de comunicação do 10º Exército alemão e retirar a força da Linha Gustav.

Em 12 de fevereiro, o exausto Exército dos EUA em Cassino foi substituído pelo Corpo de exército da Nova Zelândia. Alexandre agora decidiu usar essas novas tropas em outra tentativa de capturar Cassino. O general Bernard Freyberg, responsável pelo ataque da infantaria, pediu que o mosteiro fosse bombardeado. Apesar das alegações das tropas na linha de frente de que nenhum fogo veio do mosteiro, Alexander concordou e ele foi destruído pela Força Aérea dos Estados Unidos em 15 de fevereiro de 1944.

Depois que o mosteiro foi bombardeado, o exército alemão mudou-se para as ruínas. Como Basil Liddell Hart apontou posteriormente em seu livro O Outro Lado da Colina o bombardeio "resultou inteiramente em benefício tático dos alemães. Depois disso, eles se sentiram livres para ocupar as ruínas, e os escombros proporcionaram uma cobertura defensiva melhor de lama do que o mosteiro teria sido antes de sua destruição. Como qualquer pessoa com experiência em ruas luta sabe, é apenas quando os edifícios são demolidos que eles são convertidos de ratoeiras em bastiões de defesa. "

Após o bombardeio, os alemães conseguiram impedir várias tentativas de captura de Monte Cassino. Foi somente com as tropas lideradas pelo General Wladyslaw Anders (Corpo Polonês) e General Alphonse Juin (Corpo Francês) que o mosteiro foi tomado em 18 de maio de 1944.

Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, Alexander foi nomeado governador geral do Canadá (1946-1952). Recebeu o título de Conde de Túnis, em 1952 Winston Churchill nomeou Alexander como seu Ministro da Defesa. Não gostou da experiência política e renunciou ao cargo em 1954. Publicou uma autobiografia militar, Memoirs: 1940-1945, em 1961.

Harold Alexander morreu em 16 de junho de 1969.

Em Charleville, em 24 de maio, quando o B.E.F. estava absolutamente maduro para o depenamento, Hitler informou a seus espantados generais que a Grã-Bretanha era "indispensável" para o mundo e que, portanto, ele havia resolvido respeitar sua integridade e, se possível, aliar-se a ela. Talvez uma explicação menos fantasiosa da atitude de Hitler seja fornecida pelo representante de Ribbentrop no quartel-general do Führer, que deixou registrado o comentário: "Hitler interveio pessoalmente para permitir que os britânicos escapassem. Ele estava convencido de que destruir seu exército seria forçá-los para lutar até o amargo fim. "

No lado militar, os fatos são mais claros. Em 23 de maio, o marechal de campo von Rundstedt, comandando o Grupo de Exércitos A, interrompeu o XIX Corpo de Exército do general Guderian quando duas de suas divisões panzer se dirigiam para Dunquerque, a menos de vinte milhas de distância e com pouca ou nenhuma oposição à frente. O contra-ataque britânico em Arras em 21 de maio, embora realizado por não mais que duas colunas mistas, cada uma compreendendo um batalhão de tanques, um batalhão de infantaria, uma bateria de campo, uma bateria antitanque e uma empresa de metralhadoras, havia causado ele alguma preocupação. Por isso, pediu a suspensão para "permitir que a situação se esclareça e mantenha as nossas forças concentradas". Os panzers tinham acabado de chegar ao Canal da Mancha, e o sucesso desse contra-ataque britânico gerou o medo de uma operação maior que os isolaria de sua infantaria de apoio. Na manhã seguinte, ele recebeu a visita do Fuhrer, que confirmou a ordem de parada. Os panzers não deveriam ser arriscados em uma área possivelmente inundada, mas preservados para futuras operações - presumivelmente contra o exército francês. Por outro lado, o "campo de ação" da Luftwaffe não deveria ser restringido.

Na verdade, com base nas evidências disponíveis, pode haver pouca dúvida de que foi na instância particular do comandante-em-chefe da Luftwaffe, Marechal de Campo Goering, que o resultado final do B.E.F. Foi "deixado para a Luftwaffe". Guderian deveria escrever, amargamente, sobre o primeiro dia da evacuação, 26 de maio: "Assistimos ao ataque da Luftwaffe. Vimos também a armada de grandes e pequenos navios, por meio dos quais os britânicos estavam evacuando suas forças." A amargura de Guderian foi compartilhada por todo o Alto Comando do Exército Alemão.

Estava claro que a retenção de Rangoon era impossível com as forças à minha disposição, dispersas como estavam e com metade delas já cercada. Por isso, no dia seguinte à minha chegada, ordenei que a evacuação começasse à luz do dia da manhã seguinte e que a demolição do porto e das suas instalações fosse realizada o mais rapidamente possível. Não pude salvar Rangoon, mas poderia salvar o Exército, com sorte. A perda de nossa base seria um assunto muito sério, pois teríamos que depender dos depósitos e lixões espalhados pelo centro e norte da Birmânia. Quando estes se esgotassem, o Exército ficaria paralisado, a menos que os suprimentos pudessem ser enviados pelas montanhas da Índia; mas, com exceção de alguns rastros de mulas, a comunicação com a Índia era inexistente. Parecia que devíamos fazer o melhor com o que tínhamos. Com a ajuda chinesa - embora duvidosa - deveríamos ser capazes pelo menos de fazer o avanço japonês na Birmânia ser lento e custoso. Tais eram os pensamentos em minha mente quando ordenei a destruição e evacuação de Rangoon.

Meu primeiro passo para restaurar o moral, portanto, foi estabelecer o princípio firme, a ser divulgado a todas as categorias, de que nenhuma retirada adicional seria contemplada e que lutaríamos na batalha vindoura no terreno em que estávamos. O General Montgomery concordou totalmente com esta política e comunicou-a ao Oitavo Exército H.Q. equipe em uma reunião realizada na segunda noite após sua chegada; e foi para ele como uma diretriz escrita quando assumi formalmente o comando do Oriente Médio.

Não há dúvida de que Montgomery, durante seu discurso, deu uma ênfase brilhante à política acordada. Ele informou a sua audiência que havia ordenado que todos os planos de retirada fossem queimados, que a defesa do Delta nada significava para ele, que todos os recursos destinados a esse fim deveriam ser usados ​​para fortalecer o Oitavo Exército.

Em Alamein, Rommel foi totalmente derrotado, mas não aniquilado: Alamein foi uma vitória decisiva, mas não completa. É fácil olhar para trás depois de dezoito anos e sugerir que o Afrika Korps poderia ter sido destruído por uma exploração mais vigorosa após o avanço, mas vamos lembrar a realidade da época.

Monty teve seu primeiro grande comando. Ele era novo no deserto. Ele estava lutando contra um grande estrategista no campo de batalha em Rommel, cujas tropas eram guerreiros experientes: ele e eles haviam conquistado algumas vitórias notáveis; considerando que o Oitavo Exército só recentemente fora reformado e recebera material para enfrentar o Eixo em melhores condições; muitos de nossos reforços novos eram novos para as condições do deserto; e embora nossa inteligência fosse boa, não podíamos saber com precisão que soco os alemães ainda estavam aplicando.

Montgomery é um treinador de primeira classe e líder de tropas no campo de batalha, com um excelente senso tático. Ele sabe como conquistar a lealdade de seus homens e tem um grande talento para elevar o moral. Ele justamente se gabou de que, após a batalha de Alamein, ele nunca sofreu uma derrota; e a verdade é que ele nunca teve a intenção de correr o risco de uma derrota; esse é um dos motivos pelos quais ele era cauteloso e relutante em arriscar. Há, no entanto, muito a dizer sobre sua atitude quando consideramos que, até outubro de 1942, não havíamos vencido uma única batalha importante desde o início da guerra - exceto as operações de Archie Wavell contra os italianos e algumas vitórias locais contra os Forças do Eixo no Deserto Ocidental.

No entanto, não posso disfarçar que ele não era um homem fácil de lidar; por exemplo, as ordens administrativas emitidas pelo meu estado-maior às vezes eram contestadas - em outras palavras, Monty queria ter total independência de comando e fazer o que quisesse. Ainda assim, nenhuma dificuldade séria surgiu com esses distúrbios mínimos, ele sempre foi razoável quando abordado.

Muitos dos soldados com quem conversei haviam participado de avanços vitoriosos que os levaram a Benghazi e além, e então foram empurrados para trás: por meses, é claro, a campanha no deserto tinha sido uma gangorra entre o Oitavo Exército e o Afrika Korps. E o resultado final dessa disputa de armas, quando cheguei ao Cairo, foi, como eu disse, que estávamos de volta ao fosso final da resistência.

Durante essas conversas, detectei, sem surpresa, a crença de que o marechal de campo Rommel, que comandara as forças alemãs na África desde sua primeira chegada em fevereiro de 1941, era um mago do campo de batalha: seu aumento de publicidade foi enorme. Não há dúvida de que o marechal de campo era um comandante de batalha muito hábil e um excelente estrategista para uma força independente como o Afrika Korps, mas nem era necessário atribuir a ele dons sobrenaturais para explicar seus sucessos.

Aliás, ele era um inimigo muito cavalheiresco. Disseram-me que, quando fazia prisioneiros feridos, ele percorria os hospitais e os elogiava por terem feito um bom espetáculo, sustentando e estendendo, sem dúvida, a lenda de Rommel.

A Sicília foi a primeira operação anfíbia em grande escala contra praias dominadas pelo inimigo na segunda guerra mundial. Foi, portanto, sem nenhuma experiência prática que os planejadores começaram sua tarefa. Além dos muitos problemas de assalto a serem resolvidos, como gradientes de praia, marés, posições defensivas hostis, força e localização das forças alemãs e italianas, era obviamente essencial para nós ter um porto ou portos para abastecer as tropas que lutavam no interior .

Havia quatro boas portas com a capacidade necessária; Messina, Catania, Syracuse e Palermo. Messina estava fortemente protegido por defesas fixas e fora do alcance de nossos lutadores. Catania estava apenas sob cobertura de caça, e também era fortemente defendido e sob o guarda-chuva de caça da Luftwaffe baseado no grupo de campos de aviação Catania, a uma curta distância de ataque do porto. Syracuse e Palermo estavam ambos dentro de nossa cobertura de caça e não tão fortemente defendidos.

Eles eram dois personagens militares completamente contrastantes; um impaciente com a inércia, o outro sem vontade de se comprometer com operações ativas, a menos que pudesse ver claramente seu propósito. Em uma de minhas visitas ao chefe americano

trimestres, fiquei fascinado ao ouvir esta troca característica:

Patton: Por que estamos sentados sem fazer nada? Nós devemos fazer algo!

Bradley: Espere um minuto, George! O que você propõe que façamos?

Patton: Qualquer coisa, em vez de ficar sentado no nosso lado traseiro!

Ambos eram bons soldados. Patton era um propulsor, preparado para correr qualquer risco; Bradley, como indiquei, foi mais cauteloso. Patton deveria ter vivido durante as guerras napoleônicas - ele teria sido um esplêndido marechal sob Napoleão.

Apesar de toda sua bravura, dureza e impulso incrível, o General George Patton era um homem muito emotivo. Ele amava seus homens e eles o amavam. Estive com ele no front quando foi saudado com demonstrações de afeto por seus soldados, e havia - como eu mesma vi - lágrimas escorrendo pelo seu rosto.

Um pós-escrito histórico pode agora ser adicionado à tão discutida questão da destruição do histórico Mosteiro Beneditino em Monte Cassino como uma etapa preliminar na ofensiva dos Aliados lá em fevereiro. A tarefa foi realizada por uma grande força de bombardeiros americanos e artilharia de apoio. De acordo com os anúncios do Comando Aliado na altura, esta destruição foi ordenada porque o Mosteiro, que dominava os acessos à vila, tinha sido "ocupado e fortificado" pelos alemães. Essas declarações foram repetidas no relatório do Marechal de Campo Sir H. Maitland Wilson publicado em 1946 - o que parecia estranho em vista do testemunho anterior do Vaticano e do próprio Abade de que os alemães haviam evitado invadir o Mosteiro, apesar da desvantagem tática que isso envolvia para eles.

A ironia do bombardeio foi, como Senger e Vietinghoff observaram, que resultou inteiramente em benefício tático dos alemães. Depois disso, eles se sentiram livres para ocupar as ruínas, e os escombros proporcionaram uma cobertura defensiva melhor com lama do que o Mosteiro teria sido antes de sua destruição. "Como qualquer pessoa com experiência em combates de rua sabe, é apenas quando os edifícios são demolidos que eles são convertidos de ratoeiras em bastiões de defesa." Baterias postadas e escondidas nas ruínas foram capazes de enfraquecer e interromper as subsequentes tentativas britânicas de dirigir até a cidade de Cassino.

A batalha por Cassino - ou melhor, a série de batalhas por Cassino - começou em 17 de janeiro de 1944, quando o X Corpo de exército atacou através do Garigliano. Em 20 de janeiro, o II Corpo de exército dos Estados Unidos atacou através do Rapido, mas esse golpe falhou e o X Corpo de exército, depois de se encontrar com algum sucesso inicial, foi detido por contra-ataques pesados. Mais um ataque começou em 16 de fevereiro, e foi este assalto que foi precedido pela destruição do mosteiro por bombardeios e fogo de artilharia. Mas a cidade de Cassino e o mosteiro não seriam capturados até 18 de maio, quando os poloneses ergueram o estandarte vermelho e branco com a águia branca sobre as ruínas do mosteiro.

Até o bombardeio de fevereiro, o grande mosteiro beneditino havia sido poupado deliberadamente, em nosso detrimento. Se os alemães se aproveitaram de seus porões profundos como abrigo e de suas janelas altas para observação, não sei; mas era óbvio que esse edifício enorme e maciço oferecia aos defensores uma proteção considerável contra o fogo hostil, meramente por se abrigarem sob suas paredes. Como Winston Churchill observou, as fortificações inimigas dificilmente estavam separadas do próprio edifício.

A destruição do mosteiro foi uma necessidade militar? Era moralmente errado destruí-lo?

A resposta à primeira pergunta é 'sim'. Era mais necessário pelo efeito que teria sobre o moral dos atacantes do que por razões puramente materiais.

A resposta à segunda pergunta é esta: quando os soldados lutam por uma causa justa e estão preparados para sofrer morte e mutilação no processo, tijolos e argamassa, por mais veneráveis ​​que sejam, não podem pesar contra vidas humanas. Todo bom comandante deve levar em consideração o moral e os sentimentos de seus guerreiros e, o que é igualmente importante, os guerreiros devem saber que toda a sua existência está nas mãos de um homem em quem têm total confiança. Assim, o general comandante deve deixar absolutamente claro para suas tropas que elas entram em ação nas condições mais favoráveis ​​que ele tem o poder de ordenar.

No contexto da batalha do Cassino, como uma estrutura que dominava o campo de luta poderia permanecer? O mosteiro teve que ser destruído. Mas tudo foi feito para salvar a vida dos monges e seus tesouros: ampla advertência foi dada sobre o bombardeio.

O grande mosteiro beneditino, de onde se pode ter uma vista magnífica da região circundante, foi totalmente reconstruído em pedra lapidada. Tanto no exterior como no interior, foi restaurado ao seu estado anterior, até ao trabalho em mármore e à decoração interior.

As bombas das forças aéreas aliadas não haviam deixado nada do prédio de pé, exceto parte de uma das paredes externas - tudo o mais era uma pilha de escombros. No entanto, em meio a essa destruição terrível, a tumba de São Bento, no centro do mosteiro, saiu totalmente ilesa.

Após a captura e libertação de Roma, pude contar ao falecido Papa sobre sua sobrevivência. Ele ficou profundamente comovido. Além disso, assegurou-me que compreendia bem a necessidade militar do bombardeio e da inevitável destruição do mosteiro.

O marechal de campo Kesselring dera ordens expressas para que nenhum soldado alemão entrasse no mosteiro, a fim de evitar dar aos Aliados qualquer pretexto para bombardeá-lo ou bombardeá-lo. Não posso testemunhar pessoalmente que esta decisão foi comunicada aos Aliados, mas estou certo de que o Vaticano encontrou meios para o fazer, uma vez que estava tão directamente interessado no destino de Monte Cassino. O marechal de campo Kesselring não apenas proibiu os soldados alemães de entrar no mosteiro, mas também colocou um guarda no portão de entrada para garantir que suas ordens fossem cumpridas.

O General Harold R. L. G. Alexander tem uma personalidade vencedora, ampla experiência na guerra, uma habilidade de se relacionar com as pessoas e conceitos táticos sólidos. Ele é modesto e enérgico. A única dúvida possível que poderia ser levantada com respeito às suas qualificações é uma suspeita de insegurança ao lidar com alguns de seus subordinados. Às vezes parece que ele altera seus próprios planos e idéias meramente para atender a uma objeção ou sugestão de um subordinado, de modo a evitar métodos de comando direto. Devo dizer que isso é apenas um sentimento. Não tenho nenhuma prova de que, nos casos em que ele aparentemente mudou de idéia radicalmente, foi influenciado por qualquer coisa, exceto por uma reflexão mais aprofundada sobre o problema.

Anzio desempenhou um papel vital na captura de Roma, dando-me os meios para empregar um soco de duas mãos - da cabeça de praia e de Cassino - que pegou os alemães em um movimento de pinça. Sem esse soco de duas mãos, não acredito que jamais teríamos sido capazes de romper as defesas alemãs em Cassino.

As encomendas para a operação foram emitidas a 2 de janeiro. O objetivo foi definido como cortar as comunicações inimigas e ameaçar a retaguarda alemã. O Quinto Exército recebeu a ordem de dar "um impulso o mais forte possível em direção a Cassino e Frosinone pouco antes do desembarque de assalto para atrair reservas inimigas que poderiam ser empregadas contra as forças de desembarque e, em seguida, criar uma brecha em sua frente através da qual todas as oportunidades serão tomadas para se ligarem rapidamente à operação marítima ". Apesar da mudança, ao todo, de cinco divisões do Oitavo Exército para o Quinto Exército, a resistência alemã na frente principal permaneceu teimosa; e durante os primeiros dias críticos, as divisões britânica e americana em Anzio tiveram que lutar sem ajuda por sua própria salvação. Enquanto isso, no setor do Adriático. O General Montgomery continuou com sua tentativa de romper o sistema defensivo do inimigo; mas com ainda menos sucesso à medida que o tempo piorava e a força do inimigo aumentava.

Contra um inimigo menos formidável, uma operação como a que havíamos planejado teria sido bem-sucedida; mas acho que podemos muito bem ter subestimado a notável resistência e dureza dos alemães, ao esperar que eles se assustassem com tal ameaça à retaguarda.

As ordens de Hitler a Kesselring eram de segurar Cassino a todo custo, por razões políticas, e eliminar o desembarque de Anzio. A retirada da divisão Hermann Gõring da Itália foi cancelada e Hitler disse a Kesselring que seria reforçado por duas divisões motorizadas, três regimentos independentes, dois batalhões de tanques pesados ​​e algumas unidades de artilharia pesada e média. Assim, o inimigo se recusou a enfraquecer sua frente de batalha em Cassino, recuando formações para lidar com os desembarques.

Cada vez que atacávamos Kesselring na Itália, o pegávamos completamente de surpresa; mas ele mostrou grande habilidade em se livrar das situações desesperadoras às quais sua inteligência falha o levara. Sinto agora que ele não teria, nessas circunstâncias, alterado em grande medida suas disposições na frente principal, até que tivesse tentado todos os meios para eliminar a ameaça à sua retaguarda. Nem precisa haver dúvida de sua determinação. As forças sob seu comando haviam se empenhado em uma retirada contínua por quase um ano desde novembro de 1942, uma retirada que os levara pouco antes de Alexandria para o norte de Nápoles - e era hora de acabar com isso.

Vinte e seis nações contribuíram com contingentes para meu comando na Itália. Eu sinto, portanto, será concordado que falo por experiência própria sobre as várias qualidades de luta das tropas em batalha quando afirmo que não há melhores soldados do que os da raça britânica, desde que tenham uma causa pela qual valha a pena lutar. - e morrendo de vontade, se necessário.

Eles se opõem a serem pressionados - são inteligentes o suficiente para querer saber do que se trata e ficarão infelizes e descontentes se sentirem que existe injustiça. No entanto, se seus líderes forem dignos deles, eles os seguirão em qualquer lugar. Eles são muito pacientes e duros na defesa. No entanto, embora os britânicos partam para o ataque com grande bravura e tenacidade, como um todo eles não são rápidos em explorar um sucesso ou reagir a uma emergência repentina.

Os líderes militares britânicos relutam em aceitar grandes perdas, a menos que a balança da vitória pese a seu favor. Esta atitude mental, sem dúvida, resulta de nossas experiências na Primeira Guerra Mundial, quando nossas enormes baixas em batalhas como o Somme e Passchendaele nos deram nada mais do que alguns quilômetros quadrados de território francês, e às vezes alcançaram um avanço de não mais do que alguns metros.

E o que dizer do inimigo que nossos soldados e os de nossos aliados venceram e dominaram? Tendo lutado contra os alemães em duas guerras mundiais, não posso esconder minha consideração por sua habilidade como guerreiros. Eles são muito corajosos e fortes, e têm um senso de dever e disciplina marcante. Além disso, eles se orgulham de dominar suas armas e aprender seu trabalho no campo de batalha.

Se os alemães são uma raça guerreira, certamente também são militaristas. Acho que eles amam o desfile militar e a panóplia da guerra; e a sensação de força e poder que uma unidade bem organizada e disciplinada proporciona a cada um dos membros dessa unidade. Estou bastante disposto a admitir que compartilho dessa curiosa atração pela força e elegância de formações bem treinadas e equipadas, com toda a arte e sutileza de seus movimentos em ação contra um inimigo. Posso compreender muito bem o entusiasmo que os soldados - dos marechais ao soldado raso - mostraram por Napoleão; e por que eles seguiram seu líder sem dúvida ou questionamento em suas campanhas vitoriosas. Sentindo-se assim, eles compartilharam a glória de suas conquistas.

Também posso entender o alto moral do soldado alemão quando Hitler parecia invencível; mas acho muito notável que tenham travado suas últimas batalhas com a mesma força e bravura que quando venceram a primeira - embora devam ter percebido que tudo estava perdido. As últimas batalhas na Itália foram tão amargas quanto qualquer outra que experimentamos no Deserto Ocidental ou nos estágios iniciais da campanha italiana. Como o boxeador no ringue, o soldado alemão não desistiu até ser nocauteado: e não se engane, ele foi!


Nasce Harold Alexander, 1º Conde Alexander de Tunis

Hoje, na história maçônica, Harold Alexander, primeiro conde Alexander de Tunis, nasceu em 1891.

Harold Alexander, 1º Conde Alexander de Tunis era um oficial do exército britânico.

Harold Alexander, 1º Conde Alexander de Tunis nasceu em 10 de dezembro de 1891 em Londres, Inglaterra. Ele foi educado na Hawtreys Preparatory School e Harrow School. A certa altura, ele pensou em se tornar um artista, em vez de estudar no Royal Military College, em Sandhurst.

Em 1911, Alexander foi contratado como segundo-tenente do Exército Britânico. Antes do início da Primeira Guerra Mundial, ele foi promovido a tenente. Aos 22 anos, Alexandre foi colocado no comando de um pelotão na Frente Ocidental. Ele passou a maior parte de seu tempo na Frente Ocidental durante a guerra. Notavelmente, ele só saiu da Frente Ocidental quando foi ferido, retornando logo depois para reassumir seu comando. No final da guerra, Alexandre foi promovido a tenente-coronel interino.

Entre a Primeira Guerra Mundial e a Segunda Guerra Mundial, Alexander serviu em uma variedade de postos de serviço em todo o mundo. Ele também foi promovido ao posto de major-general. Ele serviu principalmente durante esse tempo na Índia. Ele também foi nomeado um dos ajudantes-de-campo do recém-coroado Rei George VI. Ele deixou seu comando na Índia para participar da coroação do rei.

Em 1939, após a eclosão da Segunda Guerra Mundial, Alexander assumiu o comando de uma divisão que servia na França. Ele liderou a retirada da divisão para Dunquerque e permaneceu na praia até ter certeza de que todos os soldados britânicos haviam partido. De volta à Inglaterra, ele foi colocado no comando de várias forças de defesa ao redor da Inglaterra. A certa altura, ele foi nomeado oficial comandante-em-chefe (GOCIC) do Comando Sul, que era responsável pela defesa do sudoeste da Inglaterra.

Em 1942, quando os alemães invadiram a Birmânia, Alexander foi enviado para ser o GOCIC das forças britânicas na Birmânia. Mais uma vez, Alexandre se destacou e foi chamado de volta à Inglaterra alguns meses depois.

Winston Churchill colocou-o na posição de Comandante-em-Chefe do Comando do Oriente Médio, colocando-o no comando da Operação Tocha, que era uma ofensiva Aliada contra as forças do Eixo no Norte da África. Em 1943, as forças do Eixo na Tunísia se renderam. As forças de Alexandre, que foram redesignadas como o 15º grupo de Exército, consistiam em dois exércitos, um comandado pelo general britânico Montgomery e o general dos Estados Unidos George Patton. Pelo resto da guerra, Alexandre supervisionou os esforços aliados na Itália e aceitou a rendição das forças alemãs na Itália. No final da guerra, ele foi promovido ao posto de Marechal de Campo.

Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, o Rei George VI, a pedido do Primeiro Ministro do Canadá, nomeou Alexandre o Governador Geral do Canadá. A posição de vice-rei. Alexandre representou o rei em assuntos relacionados com o Canadá. Posteriormente em sua nomeação, o Rei George concedeu-lhe mais controle dos assuntos relativos ao Canadá. Alexandre foi calorosamente aceito pelo povo canadense. Ele se tornou o primeiro chefe não aborígene da tribo Kwakiutl.

Em 1952, Alexander retornou à Inglaterra a pedido de Winston Churchill, que queria que ele servisse como ministro da defesa. Pouco depois de seu retorno, o rei George VI faleceu. Ele foi colocado no comitê de Coroação da Rainha e foi encarregado de carregar o Orbe do Soberano na procissão estadual.

Alexander se aposentou da política em 1954. Pelo resto de sua vida, ele passou muito tempo no Canadá visitando a família e amigos. Ele faleceu em 16 de junho de 1969 de uma aorta perfurada.

Alexandre era membro da Grande Loja da Inglaterra e servia como Grande Administrador e Grande Guardião.


Meu herói da história: Marechal de Campo Harold Alexander (1891–1969)

Nascido em uma família aristocrática, Harold Alexander estudou em Harrow e mais tarde em Sandhurst. Ele era um pintor e esportista talentoso, mas em 1914 a Primeira Guerra Mundial interveio e ele embarcou na carreira militar. Ele serviu com distinção nas forças, subindo na hierarquia até que em 1937 se tornou o general mais jovem do exército britânico. Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, Alexandre comandou forças na França, Birmânia, norte da África e Itália. Seu excelente histórico o levou a ser promovido a marechal de campo em 1944. Após a guerra, ele serviu como o último governador-geral britânico do Canadá de 1946 a 1952.

Quando você ouviu falar de Alexander pela primeira vez?

Foi quando eu era um menino. Havia um artigo em uma revista chamada Observa e aprende com fotos de Montgomery e Alexander. Eu não gostei da aparência de Monty, mas Alexander tinha um rosto gentil com linhas de riso estendendo-se de seus olhos, e ainda assim ele parecia um general decente também. Por algum motivo, essa imagem ficou comigo.

Que tipo de pessoa ele era?

Ele era um homem brilhante. Ele entendia as diferentes facetas da guerra - a tática, a operacional e a estratégica - mas também tinha a capacidade de se relacionar com todos. Ele comandou com sucesso uma coalizão Aliada de mais de 20 nacionalidades diferentes e foi extremamente respeitado e apreciado pelos americanos - em contraste com muitos dos comandantes britânicos. Ele também foi tão gentil e bem-humorado quanto a foto sugeria - as cartas que escreveu aos filhos, cheias de desenhos e rabiscos, são hilárias.

O que o tornou um herói?

Ele tinha um profundo senso de dever e honra e é, creio eu, quase o único entre os comandantes de sucesso por não ter ambição pessoal alguma. Ele simplesmente abordou cada tarefa com a mesma intenção: fazer o melhor por seus homens e seu país.

He served on the frontline throughout the First World War (apart from when recovering from wounds), commanded German troops against the Russians in 1919–20, was a brigade commander in the North-West Frontier in the 1930s, was the last man to leave Dunkirk in 1940, successfully led the British back across the Irrawaddy in Burma in 1942 and, from arriving in the Middle East later that year, never suffered a single defeat. The only time he was ever seen to lose his temper was during the battle of Passchendaele, when he saw one of his men refuse to give a wounded German soldier some water. And he played in Fowler’s Match at Lord’s – the most famous Eton- Harrow cricket clash of all.

What was his finest hour?

This is a tricky one, because he had many, but I’m going to go for the surrender of all Axis forces in north Africa in May 1943. The campaign had been floundering, but when he took over as army group commander, he very quickly turned things around and handled Patton and the still-green American troops brilliantly. The capture of 250,000 Axis soldiers was an even greater number than was taken at Stalingrad a few months earlier.

Is there anything you don’t particularly admire about him?

He has been accused of lacking intelligence and of being pushed about by people like Montgomery, but close evidence does not support this. He also spoke French, German, Italian, Russian and Urdu, was a highly accomplished artist, and was a bit of a dandy too. So, no: I think he was incredible.

Can you see any parallels between his life and your own?

Not really, sadly. I paint and I also love cricket, but I think it’s a lot easier to write about war than actually take part and command in it.


Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis

Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, KG , GCB , OM , GCMG , CSI , DSO , MC , CD , PC (Can) , PC (10 December 1891 – 16 June 1969), [2] was a senior British Army officer who served with distinction in both the First and the Second World War and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada and the first Lord Lieutenant of Greater London in 1965.

Alexander was born in London to aristocratic parents and was educated at Harrow before moving on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, for training as an army officer of the Irish Guards. He rose to prominence through his service in the First World War, receiving numerous honours and decorations, and continued his military career through various British campaigns across Europe and Asia. In the Second World War, Alexander oversaw the final stages of the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk and subsequently held high-ranking field commands in Burma, North Africa and Italy, including serving as Commander-in-Chief Middle East and commanding the 18th Army Group in Tunisia. He then commanded the 15th Army Group for the capture of Sicily and again in Italy before receiving his field marshal's baton and being made Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean.

In 1946 he was appointed as Governor General of Canada by King George VI, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King, to replace the Earl of Athlone as viceroy, and he occupied the post until he was succeeded by Vincent Massey in 1952. Alexander proved to be enthusiastic about the Canadian wilderness and popular with Canadians. He was the last Governor General before Adrienne Clarkson who was not born in Canada as well as the last Governor General to be a peer.

After the end of his viceregal tenure, Alexander was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and thereafter, [3] in order to serve as the British Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Winston Churchill, into the Imperial Privy Council. Alexander retired in 1954 and died in 1969.

Vida pregressa

Alexander was born in London into an aristocratic family from County Tyrone of Ulster-Scots descent. He was the third son of James Alexander, 4th Earl of Caledon, and the Countess of Caledon, a daughter of the 3rd Earl of Norbury. Alexander was educated at Hawtreys and Harrow School, there participating as the 11th batsman in the sensational Fowler's Match against Eton College in 1910. [4] Though Alexander toyed with the notion of becoming an artist, [5] he went instead on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. [6]

Casamento e filhos

Alexander married Lady Margaret Bingham, daughter of George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan, on 14 October 1931. They had three children together and adopted a fourth: [7]

  • Lady Rose Maureen Alexander (born 28 October 1932, died 21 August 2017) (born 30 June 1935) Brian James Alexander, CMG (born 31 July 1939)
  • Lady Susan Mary Alexander (born 26 February 1948) (adopted)

Military career

In September 1911, Alexander entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Irish Guards. [8] He was promoted to lieutenant in December 1912. [9]

Primeira Guerra Mundial

Alexander spent most of the First World War on the Western Front. As a 22-year-old platoon commander in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, he served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in 1914. He took part in the retreat from Mons and was wounded at First Ypres and invalided home. [10] He was promoted to temporary captain on 15 November 1914 and permanent captain in the newly raised 2nd Battalion on 7 February the following year. [11]

Alexander returned to the Western Front in August 1915, fought at the Battle of Loos and was, for ten days in October 1915, an acting major and acting Commanding Officer (CO) of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, as a "Battle Casualty Replacement". He then returned to the 2nd Battalion as a company officer [10] and, in January 1916, received the Military Cross for his bravery at Loos. [12] For service in the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916, he was, in October, appointed to the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), [13] the citation for which read: "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He was the life and soul of the attack, and throughout the day led forward not only his own men but men of all regiments. He held the trenches gained in spite of heavy machine gun fire." [13] In the same month, Alexander was further honoured with induction into the French Légion d'honneur. [14]

On 10 December 1916, his twenty-fifth birthday, Alexander became second-in-command (2-i-c) of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, as an acting major. [10] By May, he was briefly acting CO of the 1st Battalion, [10] as an acting lieutenant colonel, while still only a substantive captain. [15] [16] He became a permanent major on 1 August 1917, [17] and was again promoted acting lieutenant colonel, [10] this time confirmed as CO of the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards, on 15 October. [18] Alexander commanded his battalion at Third Ypres, where he was slightly wounded, then at Bourlon Wood (part of the battle of Cambrai), where his battalion suffered 320 casualties out of 400 men. [10] Alexander, between 23 and 30 March 1918, had to assume command of the 4th Guards Brigade, during the British retreat from the German Army's Spring Offensive. [10] [19] He once again commanded the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards, at Hazebrouck in April 1918, where it took such severe casualties that it saw no further action. [10] Still an acting lieutenant colonel, he then commanded a corps infantry school in October 1918, a month before the war ended on 11 November 1918. [20]

Rudyard Kipling, who wrote a history of the Irish Guards, in which his own son, Jack Kipling, fought and was killed in action, noted that, "it is undeniable that Colonel Alexander had the gift of handling the men on the lines to which they most readily responded. His subordinates loved him, even when he fell upon them blisteringly for their shortcomings and his men were all his own." [21]

Anos entre guerras

Alexander in 1919 served with the Allied Control Commission in Poland. As a temporary lieutenant-colonel, [22] he led the Baltic German Landeswehr in the Latvian War of Independence, commanding units loyal to Latvia in the successful drive to eject the Bolsheviks from Latgalia. During service there, he was accidentally wounded by one of his own sentries on 9 October 1919. [23]

Alexander returned to Britain in May 1920 as a major, second in command of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards [10] in May 1922, he was promoted substantive lieutenant-colonel and appointed commanding officer. [24] He commanded the battalion at Constantinople (a sensitive posting in the runup to the Chanak Crisis), then Gibraltar from October 1922, then in London from April 1923 until January 1926, when he was released from that role to attend Staff College, Camberley. [25] [26] Alexander was then in February 1928 promoted to colonel (backdated to 14 May 1926 [25] ) and was the next month appointed Officer Commanding the Irish Guards Regimental District and 140th (4th London) Infantry Brigade, part of 47th (1/2nd London) Division, in the Territorial Army, [25] [27] [28] a post he held until January 1930, when he again returned to study, attending the Imperial Defence College for one year. [29] [30] There, two of Alexander's instructors—the future field marshals Alan Brooke and Bernard Montgomery—were unimpressed by him. [31]

Alexander then held staff appointments as (from January 1931) GSO2 in the Directorate of Military Training at the War Office and (1932–1934) GSO1 at HQ Northern Command in York, [25] before being made in October 1934 a temporary brigadier and given command of the Nowshera Brigade, [32] [33] on the Northwest Frontier in India. [34] [35] For his service there, and in particular for his actions in the Loe-Agra operations against the Pathans in Malakand between February and April 1935, Alexander was that year made a Companion of the Order of the Star of India and was mentioned in dispatches. [36] [37] He was mentioned once more for his service during the Second Mohmand Campaign in Northwest Frontier Province from August to October of the same year, serving under Brigadier Claude Auchinleck. Alexander had a reputation for leading from the front and for reaching mountain crests with or even ahead of his troops. [25] [38]

In March 1937, Alexander was appointed as one of the aides-de-camp to the recently acceded King George VI and in May returned to the United Kingdom to take part in this capacity in the state procession through London during the King's coronation. [39] [40] Alexander would have been seen in this event by two of his Canadian viceregal successors: Vincent Massey, who was then the Canadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, and Massey's secretary, Georges Vanier, who watched the procession from the roof of Canada House on Trafalgar Square. [41] Following the coronation celebration, Alexander returned to India, where he was made the honorary colonel of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, [42] and then in October 1937 was promoted to the rank of major-general, [43] making Alexander the youngest general in the British Army. [14] He relinquished command of his brigade in January 1938, [44] and in February returned to the United Kingdom to take command of the 1st Infantry Division. [45] In June 1938 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath. [46]

Segunda Guerra Mundial

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, in September 1939, Alexander brought the 1st Division to France, where it became part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and served there for the next eight months. In May 1940, when the German Army invaded France, he successfully led the division's withdrawal to Dunkirk, where it was evacuated to England, along with the rest of the BEF. Shortly after Major General Bernard Montgomery had been appointed to command II Corps (and before that the 3rd Division), Alexander was, while still on the beachhead, placed in command of I Corps, and left the eastern mole on the destroyer Venomous late on 2 June after ensuring that all British troops had been evacuated. [25] [47] [48] [49] In recognition of his services in the field from March to June 1940, Alexander was again mentioned in despatches. [50]

After Dunkirk, Alexander returned to the United Kingdom and continued to command I Corps, now guarding the coasts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. [51] He was promoted acting lieutenant-general in July 1940, [52] and appointed the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Southern Command, which was responsible for the defence of south-west England. [53] [54] His rank of lieutenant-general was made permanent in December 1940. [51]

On 1 January 1942 he was knighted and appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, [55] and in February, after the Japanese invasion of Burma, was sent to India to become GOC-in-C of British Forces in Burma as a full general. [54] [56] Alexander was unable to fulfil his orders to hold Rangoon, which was abandoned on 6–7 March. [57] He took personal charge of some small local engagements, [51] and was encircled by the Japanese troops in the Battle of Yenangyaung. Rescued by Chinese troops commanded by General Sun Li-jen, Alexander was able to escape. Following that, Alexander increasingly left much of the tactical conduct of the campaign to his corps commander, Lieutenant-General William Slim, while he himself handled the more political aspects of relations with Joseph Stilwell, the nominal commander of the Chinese forces. [58] Alexander was promoted to Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of Allied Land Forces in Burma, March 1942, and ordered Slim to abandon Mandalay and retreat to India. [51]

By July 1942, the British and Indian forces in Burma had completed their fighting retreat into India, and Alexander, having yet again been mentioned in despatches for his Burma service, [59] was recalled to the United Kingdom. He was at first selected to command the British First Army, which was to take part in Operation Torch, the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa. However, following a visit in early August to Egypt by the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS), General Sir Alan Brooke, Alexander flew to Cairo on 8 August to replace General Claude Auchinleck as C-in-C of Middle East Command, the post responsible for the overall conduct of the campaign in the desert of North Africa. At the same time, Lieutenant-General Montgomery replaced Auchinleck as GOC of the British Eighth Army. [58] Alexander presided over Montgomery's victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein and the advance of the Eighth Army to Tripoli, for which Alexander was elevated to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, [60] and, after the Anglo-American forces of the First Army (under Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson) from Operation Torch and the Eighth Army converged in Tunisia in February 1943, they were brought under the unified command of a newly formed 18th Army Group headquarters, commanded by Alexander and reporting to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) at Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ). [61] The American General Omar Bradley, who fought in the Tunisian Campaign, then commanding the U.S. II Corps, credited Alexander's patience and experience with helping an inexperienced United States "field command mature and eventually come of age." [62]

The Axis forces in Tunisia surrendered by May 1943, and Alexander's command became the 15th Army Group, which was, under General Eisenhower, responsible for mounting in July the Allied invasion of Sicily, again seeing Alexander controlling two field armies: General Montgomery's Eighth Army and Lieutenant General George S. Patton's U.S. Seventh Army. After Sicily, and in preparation for the Allied invasion of Italy, the Seventh Army headquarters were replaced by those of the U.S. Fifth Army, led by Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark. [61]

When Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander for the planned Normandy landings he suggested that Alexander become ground forces commander, as he was popular with both British and American officers. Bradley, who after Normandy commanded the U.S. 12th Army Group, remarked that he would have preferred to work with Alexander, rather than Montgomery, as he regarded the former as "a restrained, self-effacive and punctilious soldier". Of the problems that subsequently surfaced with Montgomery's command of the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group, Bradley suspected they would not have occurred with Alexander in command. [63] Brooke, however, applied pressure to keep Alexander in Italy, considering him unfit for the assignment in France. [64] Thus, Alexander remained in command of the 15th Army Group, and, with the support of numerous Allied commanders, controversially authorised the bombing of the historic abbey at Monte Cassino, which resulted in little advance on the German Winter Line defences. It was not until the fourth attempt that the Winter Line was breached by the Allies, and Alexander's forces moved on to capture Rome in June 1944, thereby achieving one of the strategic goals of the Italian Campaign. However, the U.S. VI Corps in the Anzio beachhead, under Clark's orders, failed to follow their original break-out plan that would have trapped the German 10th Army escaping northwards in the aftermath of the Battle of Monte Cassino, instead favouring an early and highly publicised entry into Rome two days before the Allied landings in Normandy. [65]

Alexander remained in command of the 15th Army Group, as well as its successor, the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI), for most of the Italian Campaign, until December 1944, when he relinquished his command to Clark and took over as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces Headquarters, responsible for all military operations in the Mediterranean Theatre. Alexander was concurrently promoted to the rank of field marshal, [65] though this was backdated to the fall of Rome on 4 June 1944, [66] so that Alexander would once again be senior to Montgomery, who had himself been made a field marshal on 1 September 1944, after the end of the Battle of Normandy. Alexander then received the German surrender in Italy, on 29 April 1945. Further, as a reward for his leadership in North Africa and Italy, Alexander, along with a number of other prominent British Second World War military leaders, was elevated to the peerage on 1 March 1946 by King George VI he was created Viscount Alexander of Tunis and Errigal in the County of Donegal. [67]

Brooke felt that Alexander needed an able chief of staff "to think for him", [68] while Montgomery (Alexander's subordinate in Africa and Italy) claimed to think of Alexander as "incompetent" and success was attained in Tunisia only because Montgomery lent Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks, the commander of IX Corps, to organise the coup de grace. [68] However, Harold Macmillan was impressed by Alexander's calm and style, conducting dinners in his mess like those at an Oxbridge high table, discussing architecture and the campaigns of Belisarius, rather than the current war. [68] Macmillan thought Alexander's urbane manner and willingness to discuss and compromise were a sensible way to maintain inter-Allied cooperation, but Alexander's reserve was such that some thought him empty of strategic ideas and unable to make decisions. [n 1] Graham and Bidwell, however, wrote that Alexander's impenetrable reserve made it hard to judge whether or not he had any military ideas, but that he was "unable or unwilling" to assert his will over his army commanders, and that Mark Clark, who often referred to him scornfully as a "peanut" and a "feather duster", exploited this weakness. [68]

Governor General of Canada

With the cessation of hostilities, Alexander was under serious consideration for appointment to the post of Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the British Army's most senior position beneath the sovereign. He was invited, though, by Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to be his recommendation to the King for the post of Governor General of Canada. Alexander thus chose to retire from the army and take up the new position, in anticipation of which he was on 26 January 1946 appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George [73] and created Viscount Alexander of Tunis, of Errigal in the County of Donegal, on 1 March. [74] On 21 March 1946, the commission under the royal sign-manual and signet appointing Alexander was issued. [75] Alexander was subsequently sworn-in during a ceremony in the Senate chamber on 12 April that year. [76]

Alexander took his duties as the viceroy quite seriously, feeling that as governor general, he acted as a connection between Canadians and their King, and spent considerable time traveling Canada during his term he eventually logged no less than 294,500 km (184,000 mi) during his five years as governor general. On these trips, he sought to engage with Canadians through various ceremonies and events he was keenly interested in his role as Chief Scout of Canada and, in preparation for his kicking of the opening ball in the 1946 Grey Cup final, practised frequently on the grounds of the royal and viceregal residence, Rideau Hall. Also, in commemoration of Alexander being named the first non-aboriginal chief of the Kwakiutl tribe, he was given a totem pole on 13 July 1946 crafted by Mungo Martin, it remains on the grounds of Rideau Hall today. [14] By the end of the year, Alexander was also distinguished with his induction as a Knight of the Order of the Garter. [77]

In 1947, the King issued letters patent granting his Canadian governor general permission to exercise all those powers belonging to the monarch in respect of Canada and, at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference of 1949, the decision was reached to use the term member of the Commonwealth ao invés de Domínio to refer to the non-British member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. That same year, Alexander oversaw the admission of the British crown colony of Newfoundland into Canadian Confederation and toured the new province that summer. Then, during a later visit to Alberta, the Governor General was admitted to the Blackfoot tribe as Chief Eagle Head. However, though the post-war period saw a boom in prosperity for Canada, the country was again at war by 1950, with Alexander, in his role as acting commander-in-chief, deploying to the Korean War soldiers, sailors, and airmen, whom he would visit prior to their departure for north-east Asia. [14]

The Viscount travelled abroad on official trips—in 1947 visiting US president Harry S. Truman and in June 1948 Brazilian president Eurico Gaspar Dutra—as well as hosting a number of dignitaries. The visit of the Irish Taoiseach, John A. Costello, in 1948 caused Alexander some embarrassment when Costello chose the occasion to announce that most of Ireland would leave the Commonwealth (Northern Ireland would remain a constituent part of the United Kingdom). Although the decision had been taken in principle earlier, the sudden announcement caused a diplomatic storm and Costello, to deflect criticism, claimed that he had been provoked into making the announcement by a series of diplomatic snubs by Lord Alexander. In his memoirs, Costello was to admit that Alexander's behaviour had in fact been perfectly civil and could have had no bearing on a decision which had already been made to declare the Republic of Ireland. [78]

The Alexanders' relatively informal lifestyle at Rideau Hall was demonstrated when during the Canadian tour of Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Viscount and Viscountess hosted a square dance in the palace's ballroom. Alexander painted (creating a personal studio in the former dairy at Rideau Hall and mounting classes in art at the National Gallery of Canada [14] ), partook in a number of sports (including golf, ice hockey, and rugby), and enjoyed the outdoors, particularly during Ontario and Quebec's maple syrup harvest, himself overseeing the process on Rideau Hall's grounds. [14] The Viscount was known to escape from official duties to partake in his most favourite pastime of fishing, once departing from the 1951 royal tour of Princess Elizabeth to take in a day's fishing at Griffin Island, in Georgian Bay, and granting a day off for students in the town of Drayton, Ontario, where his train briefly stopped. [79] He presented the Alexander Cup to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in November 1950 the cup became the championship trophy of the Major Series of senior ice hockey. [80]

Among Canadians, Alexander proved to be a popular viceroy, despite the calls for a Canadian-born governor general that had preceded his appointment. [64] He not only had a much praised military reputation (he was considered to be the best military strategist since the 1st Duke of Wellington [79] ) but also was a charismatic figure, with an easy ability to communicate with people. [14] Others, however, did not fully approve of Alexander editor Hugh Templin, from Fergus, Ontario, met with Alexander during Templin's time as a special correspondent with the Canadian Press during the Second World War, and he said of the encounter: "Lord Alexander impressed us considerably, if not too favourably. He was an aristocratic type, who didn't like newspaper men." [79]

British Minister of Defence

Lord Alexander departed the office of Governor General of Canada in early 1952 after Churchill asked him to return to London to take the post of Minister of Defence in the British government. [64] The aging Churchill had found it increasingly difficult to cope with holding that portfolio concurrently with that of prime minister, although he still took many major decisions himself, leaving Alexander with little real power. [81] Soon after, George VI died on the night of 5–6 February and Alexander, in respect of the King's mourning, departed quietly for the United Kingdom, leaving Chief Justice of Canada Thibaudeau Rinfret as administrator of the government in his place. After his return to the UK, Alexander was on 14 March 1952 elevated in the peerage by the new queen, becoming Earl Alexander of Tunis, Baron Rideau of Ottawa and Castle Derg. [82] He was also appointed to the organising committee for the Queen's coronation and was charged with carrying the Sovereign's Orb in the state procession on that occasion in 1953. [83] [84]

Aposentadoria

The Earl served as the British defence minister until 1954, when he retired from politics and, in 1959, the Queen appointed Alexander to the Order of Merit. [85] From 1960 to 1965, he served as Constable of the Tower of London. [86] Alexander was an active freemason. [87]

Canada remained a favourite second home for the Alexanders and they returned frequently to visit family and friends until Alexander died on 16 June 1969 of a perforated aorta. [1] His funeral was held on 24 June 1969, at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle, and his remains are buried in the churchyard of Ridge, near Tyttenhanger, his family's Hertfordshire home. [14]


Where the Alexander Surname is Found

Perhaps surprising, but the Alexander surname is found in the greatest frequency in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, where one in 52 people bears the surname. According to Forebears, it also ranks among the top 20 surnames in several other Caribbean countries, including St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Alexander is also popular in Scotland and the United States it ranks just out of the top 100 surnames in both countries. WorldNames PublicProfiler highlights Alexander as an especially popular surname in Australia and New Zealand, followed by the United States and Great Britain. Within Scotland, Alexander is found most frequently in South Ayrshire.


Contents

First World War and the interwar period

Harold Alexander was born the third son of James Alexander , the fourth Earl of Caledon and Lady Elizabeth Graham Toler. He attended Harrow School and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst . He was inducted into the Irish Guards as a Second Lieutenant on September 23, 1911 . At the beginning of the First World War he served as a platoon leader on the Western Front. For his services in the Battle of Loos he was awarded the Military Cross and in the Battle of the Somme with the Distinguished Service Order . At the Battle of Cambrai he commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards . Alexander was wounded twice and was accepted into the Legion of Honor as a knight . His highest rank was that of a Brevet - lieutenant colonel .

After the World War, Alexander took part in the Allied Aid Commission in newly established Poland. From May 1919 he took part in the Latvian War of Independence and after the armistice of Strasdenhof became commander of the Baltic National Army . He returned to Great Britain and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on May 14, 1922 and commander of the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards in the Aldershot Garrison . With this unit he took part in the occupation of Istanbul and served in Gibraltar . From 1926 he attended the Staff College in Camberley, after which he was regimental commander of the Irish Guards as Colonel . He held this post for two years and then attended Imperial Defense College for one year .

On October 14, 1931, he married Lady Margaret Diana Bingham, second daughter of the 5th Earl of Lucan . After some staff assignments, he took over in 1934 as a temporary brigadier general of the Nowshera Brigade no North West Frontier in British India . Between February and April 1935 an expedition led against the Pashtuns in Malakand . In September 1935 he fought under Claude Auchinleck in an operation against the Mohmand Pashtuns . For his service there he was Mentioned twice in Despatches and in 1936 as Companion in the Order of the Star of India . In 1937 he returned to Great Britain and was promoted to Major General on October 16, 1937, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Aldershot Command .

Segunda Guerra Mundial

At the beginning of the Second World War , Harold Alexander became commander of the 1st Division of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France. During the German campaign in the west , he led the division in retreat to Dunkirk . Alexander took command of the 1st Corps during the evacuation of British troops in Operation Dynamo . He returned to England on June 3, 1940 on the last destroyer to leave France. In recognition of his achievements, he was promoted to Lieutenant General on July 13, 1940 and appointed Commander in Chief of the Southern Command . This was due to the expected German invasion a prominent position.

On January 1, 1942, he was accepted as Knight Commander in the Order of the Bath and thereby elevated to the personal nobility. After the Japanese invasion of Burma , he was appointed commander in chief of this theater of war in February 1942 and at the same time promoted to general . He left the tactical leadership there largely to his subordinate William Slim , while he himself primarily dealt with political issues. After the withdrawal of British troops to India, Alexander was recalled to England in July 1942, originally to lead the British 1st Army in what would later become Operation Torch . Due to the simultaneous crisis in Egypt , where the Axis troops threatened Alexandria , he was appointed in August by Winston Churchill to succeed Claude Auchinlecks as Commander-in-Chief in the Middle East. At the same time, Bernard Montgomery became the new commander of the 8th Army .

After the capture of Tripoli , Alexander was raised to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath on November 11, 1942 . After the Anglo-American forces of Operation Torch met with the armed forces of the Western Desert in Tunisia in early 1943, he was appointed Commander in Chief of the 18th Army Group and Deputy Dwight D. Eisenhowers as Commander in Chief of the entire Allied Armed Forces in the Mediterranean. After the end of the Tunisian campaign , his staff was converted into the 15th Army Group , which was responsible for the subsequent Operation Husky (the invasion of Sicily in July 1943) and the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943.

After Eisenhower was appointed Commander in Chief of the SHAEF , the Allied Headquarters for Operation Overlord , the latter proposed Alexander as Commander in Chief of the Ground Forces for this operation. However, on Sir Alan Brooke's intervention , Alexander was left in his post in Italy under Eisenhower's successor Henry Maitland Wilson, and Montgomery was selected for the role. Alexander successfully overcame the German resistance at Monte Cassino . After Rome was declared an open city at the beginning of June 1944 , Allied troops marched there. On December 12, 1944, Alexander was appointed Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the Mediterranean, and thus successor to Wilson, who went to Washington, and on April 29, 1945, accepted the German partial surrender in Italy .


Alexander Stephens: Early Life and Political Career

Alexander Stephens was born in Crawfordville, Georgia, on February 11, 1812. He grew up destitute and was raised by relatives after both his parents died by the time he was 14. Stephens then attended Franklin College and graduated in 1832. After an unhappy stint as a schoolteacher, he studied law and then served as a successful defense lawyer in Crawfordville starting in 1834.

Você sabia? Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, suffered from numerous ailments during his lifetime and often weighed less than 100 pounds. His small size earned him the nickname “Little Aleck,” which followed him throughout his career.

Stephens first entered politics in 1836, when he won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. He served in this position until 1841 and was then elected to the Georgia Senate the following year. During this time Stephens fostered what would become a lifelong friendship with Robert Toombs, a fellow Georgia assemblyman. The two would remain political allies for the rest of their careers.

In 1843 Stephens was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He would go on to win reelection seven consecutive times, serving consistently until 1859. Stephens was a strong supporter of states’ rights and regularly switched political parties whenever he felt they drifted too far from his principles. While he began his career as a Whig, he would later serve as both a Democrat and a Constitutional Unionist.

A frail and sickly man who weighed less than 100 pounds, Stephens was nevertheless a political force, and by the mid-1840s he became a leading Southern statesman. In 1848 he was attacked and stabbed multiple times by Francis H. Cone, a Democratic judge who was enraged by Stephens’ opposition to the Clayton Compromise, a bill that addressed the legality of slavery in territories won in the Mexican-American War (1846-48). Stephens attended a political rally only days later, using the attack to disparage the Democratic Party and encourage voters to elect the Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor.

While Stephens vehemently supported the institution of slavery, he was also committed to preserving the Union. Among other moderate measures, he was a supporter of the Compromise of 1850, a package of bills that helped stave off Southern secession. At the same time, Stephens worked to maintain a balance between free and slave states as new territories were introduced into the Union. One of his greatest victories in this respect came in 1854, when Stephens helped pass Senator Stephen A. Douglas’s Kansas-Nebraska Act. This allowed settlers in these new territories to choose whether or not to permit slavery.


Alexander Becomes King of Persia

After conquering Egypt, Alexander faced Darius and his massive troops at Gaugamela in October 331 B.C. Following fierce fighting and heavy losses on both sides, Darius fled and was assassinated by his own troops. It’s said Alexander was sad when he found Darius’s body and he gave him a royal burial.

Finally rid of Darius, Alexander proclaimed himself King of Persia. But another Persian leader, Bessus (also thought to be Darius’s murderer), had also claimed the Persian throne. Alexander couldn’t let the claim stand.

After relentless pursuit by Alexander, Bessus’s troops handed Bessus over to Ptolemy, Alexander’s good friend, and he was mutilated and executed. With Bessus out of the way, Alexander had full control of Persia.


Fundo

Landing in Italy in September 1943, Allied forces under General Sir Harold Alexander began pushing up the peninsula. Due to the Apennine Mountains, which run the length of Italy, Alexander's forces advanced on two fronts with the Lieutenant General Mark Clark's US Fifth Army on the east and Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army on the west. Allied efforts were slowed by poor weather, rough terrain, and a tenacious German defense. Slowly falling back through the fall, the Germans sought to buy time to complete the Winter Line south of Rome. Though the British succeeded in penetrating the line and capturing Ortona in late December, heavy snows prevented them from pushing west along Route 5 to reach Rome. Around this time, Montgomery departed for Britain to aid in planning the invasion of Normandy and was replaced by Lieutenant General Oliver Leese.

To the west of the mountains, Clark's forces moved up Routes 6 and 7. The latter of these ceased to be usable as it ran along the coast and had been flooded at the Pontine Marshes. As a result, Clark was forced to use Route 6 which passed through the Liri Valley. The southern end of the valley was protected by large hills overlooking the town of Cassino and atop which sat the abbey of Monte Cassino. The area was further protected by the fast-flowing Rapido and Garigliano Rivers which ran west to east. Recognizing the defensive value of the terrain, the Germans built the Gustav Line section of the Winter Line through the area. Despite its military value, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring elected not to occupy the ancient abbey and informed the Allies and Vatican of this fact.


1 resposta 1

— My memory is all Greek to me too. -

But it seems that here we see mainly a slight slip-up in letters with a bit of retroactive reasoning, or perhaps a certain conflation of concepts?

The concept of fotos seems unfamiliar.

The concept of pothos não é.

Especially in connection with Alexander:

Pothos

Pothos is the Greek word for "longing", a divine power (daimon).

In Greek myth, Pothos ("longing") and his brothers Eros ("love") and Himeros ("desire") were the sons of Zephyr, the westerly wind. Alternatively, Himeros and Pothos were the sons of Eros. Whatever their precise family connections, Himeros represented the desire towards something that was within human reach, and Pothos was the longing towards an unattainable goal. Since the object of this longing could only be reached in a better, more perfect world, it comes as no surprise that Pothos was associated with death. For example, the word is also used to describe the Delphinium flowers that were placed on tombs.note

According to the Greek author Pausanias (second century CE), the sculptor Skopas made statues of Eros, Himeros, and Pothos. They were exhibited in the sanctuary of Aphrodite in Megara.

Aristobulus, one of the biographers of Alexander the Great, seems to have introduced the Pothos-motif in the histories of the Macedonian conqueror of the Achaemenid empire. He and all ancient historians after him believed that Alexander's inner drive was a kind of longing to see foreign countries. One of the attractions of the word was that an author who used it, could leave Alexander's reckless behavior during battles and sieges and his outrageous drinking habits unexplained. Like his legendary ancestor Achilles, the famous hero from Homer's Iliad, Alexander the Great had chosen to be famous and die young.

It is possible that the official portraits of Alexander were influenced by the Pothos of Skopas. If so, the idea to link the king with a longing for knowledge was contemporary with his conquests.

For the generalized question in the title of this post: we do not know much reliable specifics of his youth in terms of intellectual achievements. But we do know the name of his teacher. Making it perhaps a fair guess that Alexander was some kind of Aristotelian (notably, Alex's tutor was not yet naquela famous or accomplished when called to Pella)?

The often legendary and obviously 'just invented' information we get about Alexander's youth are one problem to consider, but a much too strong influence of Aristotle on the young man and his views must not be assumed either.

Especially interesting for this is a contemporary critique of this choice of education:

Unfortunately, I am told that you study the wrong type of philosophy. This pseudo-philosophy concentrates on eristics. Now, eristics may not be entirely useless it is even a good thing for men who will never be anything but private persons and will only meet others like themselves in order to refute each other. For you who are destined to be a monarch and ruler of peoples eristic is entirely unsuitable. Don't forget your future rank, don't forget that you should think of yourself as superior to your subjects. Are you to engage in eristic disputations with your inferiors? Yours is to command, not to persuade theirs is to obey, not to debate with you. I am afraid, however, the reports are true, and it is indeed eristics of which you are fond.

Here is my own program of education. We should learn to speak - viz. the kind of speeches which can be used in practical everyday affairs and those which will enable us to deliberate about public affairs. If you will pursue this kind of philosophy, you will be able to form a sound opinion about the future, you will be able to give proper orders to your subjects, you will be able to judge correctly what is good and just and what is not so, and you will know how to reward and punish.

Compare this program of education with what the sophists from the Academy have to offer. They will teach you to quibble and split hairs concerning problems of no practical value whatsoever. They will never enable you to cope with the actualities of daily life and politics. They will teach you to disdain opinion (common sense) in spite of the fact that common sense assumptions are the only basis for ordinary human affairs and they are sufficient to judge the course of future events. Instead of common sense opinions, they will make you chase after a phantom which they call true and precise knowledge, as distinct from mere opinion. Even if they could reach their ideal of precise and exact knowledge – it would be a knowledge of things entirely useless. Do not be deceived by their extravagant notions of goodness and justice or their opposites. These are just ordinary human notions not so very difficult to understand, and you need them only to help you to meet out rewards and punishments.

Sober up, therefore, give up your present studies under Aristotle and others of his ilk, and study the way I told you to. Only in this way can you hope to become another Philip in due time.

[Isocrates writing a letter to warn the Macedon court of the perils of their choices.] Quoted from
— Philip Merlan: "Isocrates, Aristotle and Alexander the Great", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol 3, No 1, 1954, pp60–81.

Note that only the Latin transcription lends itself to this letter switch from fotos para pothos so easily:

Given how "photos" was described in the question, my guess is that it is mixed up a bit with the Aristotelian concept of 'truth'?

Truth, in metaphysics and the philosophy […]

The correspondence theory

The classic suggestion comes from Aristotle (384–322 BCE): “To say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true.” In other words, the world provides “what is” or “what is not,” and the true saying or thought corresponds to the fact so provided. This idea appeals to common sense and is the germ of what is called the correspondence theory of truth. As it stands, however, it is little more than a platitude and far less than a theory. Indeed, it may amount to merely a wordy paraphrase, whereby, instead of saying “that’s true” of some assertion, one says “that corresponds with the facts.” Only if the notions of fact and correspondence can be further developed will it be possible to understand truth in these terms.


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