By Michael Simpson
Cunningham used to be the best-known and such a lot celebrated British admiral of the second one international battle. He held one of many significant fleet instructions among 1939 and 1942, and in 1942-43, he was once Allied naval commander for the nice amphibious operations within the Mediterranean. From 1943 to 1946, he used to be the 1st Sea Lord and a player within the wartime meetings with Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt and the U.S. Chiefs of employees, considering the worldwide process for Allied victory.He additionally led a truly lively public lifestyles for nearly 20 years after his retirement in 1946. Cunningham's papers are ample for the interval 1939-63 and are supplemented right here by means of cupboard and Admiralty files, papers of his provider contemporaries and of Churchill, and through stories of his friends and family, in addition to huge US files and personal papers.
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Extra resources for A Life of Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham: A Twentieth-century Naval Leader (Naval Policy and History Series)
The RA (D), in the light cruiser Coventry, commanded three flotillas of modern destroyers, part of a substantial fleet—a battle squadron, a carrier, two cruiser squadrons, submarines and other light and auxiliary craft. Cunningham was a confirmed believer in the Mediterranean’s strategic importance but, in the event of a crisis in the Far East, the ‘main fleet’ would be despatched promptly to Singapore. 2 Fleet exercises embraced night engagements, massed destroyer attacks on the battle line, minesweeping practices, air strikes and anti-aircraft defence, though there was no convoy work, infrequent anti-submarine training and little participation by shore-based aircraft.
Etc. Cunningham, destroyers and the Mediterranean 17 It was not long before such signals were considerably reduced in number but ABC had an eagle eye and in Wallace as flotilla leader we of course had to set an example. Brewer recalled that Cunningham had ‘three favourite phrases, frequently repeated’. The first, unremarkable but stemming no doubt from his strict Calvinistic background, was ‘Duty is the first business of a sea officer’. The second, equally characteristic, was the gnomic ‘NDBGZ—No Difficulty Baffles Great Zeal’.
All ships were at two anchors and had steam for slow speed. Warwick, the destroyer astern of Wallace, dragged her anchors and went ashore. Brewer related, I was on the quarter-deck as was ABC. He turned to me and said ‘Get up on the foc’sle and start weighing’. In almost less time than it takes to tell we had weighed, steamed round, anchored close ahead of Warwick, got a wire out to her, hove in our cable and off she came. 28 Cunningham’s long experience in command, his familiarity with rough and narrow waters, and his almost unique flair for seizing up a situation, issuing prompt and clear orders and handling his ships with finesse and precision, were all evident in this cameo.
A Life of Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham: A Twentieth-century Naval Leader (Naval Policy and History Series) by Michael Simpson