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Claude Auchinleck
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Military Personnel
    (June 21, 1884-March 23, 1981)
    Born in Aldershot, England, United Kingdom
    British Field Marshall
    Commander in Chief in the Middle East (1941-42) and India (1943-47)
    He was nicknamed 'The Auk.'
    Bernard Montgomery said, 'In the Fifth Corps, I first served under Auchinleck. I cannot recall that we ever agreed on anything.'
    A few days after he declared that German forces in North Africa were 'hard pressed,' the Afrika Korps launched an offensive that drove the British out of Libya.
    His chief of staff, Alan Brooke, wrote in his diary that the defeat was 'Nothing less than bad generalship on the part of Auchinleck.'
    When the Indian army was partitioned into separate Indian and Pakistani armies, he was accused of being partial to Pakistan and was forced to resign by Lord Mountbatten.
    He learned Punjabi and was popular with the soldiers of the Indian army.
    He received the Distinguished Service Order for his actions in Mesopotamia during World War I.
    He stopped the Afrika Korps' advance during the Battle of El Alamein (July, 1942).
    His wife ran off with the Air Force Commander, Sir Richard Peirse (1944).

Credit: C. Fishel


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