Dick McCreery was commissioned into the 12th Royal Lancers in 1915 and served on The Western Front, winning the MC and surviving wounds.In 1938 he joined the staff of 1st Division under Alexander before being given command of 2 Armoured Brigade. He won the DSO for his leadership during the retreat to Dunkirk Man/June 1940.In North Africa McCreery was sacked by Auchinleck, with whom he had major differences, but, while waiting for a plane home, he was spotted by Alexander who made him his Chief of Staff. He is credited by many (but not Montgomery - the two did not get on) for the solution to the El Alamein victory.He was promoted to command X Corps at Salerno which he commanded during the advance to the Gothic Line. He relieved Leese as Commander 8th Army in September 1944 and it was his brilliant plan that seized the Argenta Gap and drove the Germans back across the River Po into Austria.He became British High Commissioner in Austria, C in C British Army of the Rhine and British Military Representative at the UN, retiring in 1949.Although not a public figure, McCreery was key figure in the development of armoured warfare, a brilliant tactician and among the most important British fighting generals of the Second World War.
This is an overdue acknowledgement of his contribution to victory.
Educated at Cambridge University, Richard Mead is a chartered accountant with wide commercial experience. As a military historian he specialised in the Second World War. This is his third book - General Boy - The Life of General Sir Frederick Browning was published by Pen and Sword Military in 2010. He lives near Cirencester, Gloucestershire.