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Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre

Date of birth:
June 21st, 1884 (Aldershot/Hampshire, Great Britain)
Date of death:
March 23rd, 1981 (Marrakech/Marrakech Province, Morocco)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Graves Casablanca - Ben M’Sik
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Auchinleck was educated at Wellington College and graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He joined the Indian Army in 1904 aged 20. He served in Egypt and Palestine during World War One and he progressed through the commissioned ranks gaining a reputation for efficiency. In World War Two, he commanded the British forces at Narvik in Norway. This was a failure and the British had to pull out.
Early in 1941, Auchinleck was sent out to India to command forces out there. In July 1941, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Allied forces in the Middle East, taking over from Wavell
Throughout the rest of 1941, ‘the Auk’ was reasonably successful taking all of Cyrenaica by the end of 1941.

However, he was up against the ‘Desert Fox’ – Rommel
By June 1942, Rommel had regained all the land captured by Auchinleck and the Allies created a formidable defensive barrier around the small town of El Alamein. Though the Allies won the first battle of El Alamein, Churchill was not convinced that Auchinleck had the necessary qualities to lead men towards final victory in North Africa. He was dismissed and replaced by Montgomery
In 1943, Auchinleck was made commander-in-chief of the forces in India and was promoted to field marshall. After World War Two, he served as supreme commander in India and Pakistan during the lead up to independence for both countries. However, he was accused of being too much in favour of the Pakistanis and destabilising the region. Auchinleck resigned and retired to Marrakech in Morocco.

Promotions:
- 2nd Lieutenant: 21st January, 1903
- Lieutenant: 15th December, 1905
- Captain 21st January, 1912
- Major: 21st January, 1918
- Lieutenant-Colonel: 21st January, 1929
- Colonel: 1st February, 1930
- Major-General: 30th November, 1935
- Lieutenant-General: 16th March,1940
- General: 26th December, 1940
- Field Marshal: 1st June, 1946

Retired: 1st December, 1947

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Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Captain
Awarded on:
June 3rd, 1917
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Acting Major
Awarded on:
1918

With palm
Croix de Guerre (1914-1918)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Acting Major
Awarded on:
1918
Chevalier de l' Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur
Rank:
Colonel
Awarded on:
July 3rd, 1934
Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
Rank:
Colonel
Awarded on:
July 3rd, 1934
Mentioned in Despatches
Rank:
Major-General
Awarded on:
May 8th, 1936
Companion of the Star of India (CSI)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant-General
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief India, British Indian Army
Awarded on:
December 20th, 1940
Grand Commander of the Indian Empire (GCIE)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief, Middle East Command, British Army
Awarded on:
May 15th, 1942
Order Wojenny Virtuti Militari - Krzyz Srebrny
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Awarded on:
July 23rd, 1943
Ceskoslovenský válecný kríž 1939
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief India, British Indian Army
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1945
Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief India, British Indian Army
Awarded on:
October 1945
Nepal Tara 1st Class
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief India, British Indian Army
Awarded on:
1947
Order of the Cloud and Banner with Special Grand Cordon (1st Class)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief India, British Indian Army
Awarded on:
March 1st, 1948
Sanct Olavs Orden Grand Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Commander-in-Chief India, British Indian Army
Awarded on:
July 23rd, 1948
Legion of Merit - Chief Commander (LoM - CC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Awarded on:
1949
Grand Officier de l' Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur
Mentioned in Despatches

Sources