Libyan Pharaoh Shoshenq I (943–922 BCE)

The separation of the two lands into their constituent parts might have been the new political reality, but it was anathema to traditional Egyptian ideology, which emphasized the unifying role of the king and cast division as the triumph of chaos. As the Hyksos had shown five centuries earlier, the sheer weight and antiquity of pharaonic beliefs had a tendency to win in the end. And, as the Libyan elite became more entrenched, more secure in its exercise of power, a curious thing happened. In certain important aspects, it started to go native.

It was at Thebes, heartland of pharaonic orthodoxy, that the first signs of a return to the old ways manifested themselves. After the “reign” of Pinedjem I (1063–1033), subsequent high priests eschewed royal titles, dating their monuments instead to the reigns of the kings at Djanet. Not that men such as Menkheperra, Nesbanebdjedet II, and Pinedjem II were any less authoritarian or ruthless than their predecessors, but they were willing to recognize the supreme authority of a single monarch. This was an important, if subtle, change in the prevailing philosophy. It reopened the possibility of political reunification at some point in the future.

That moment came in the middle of the tenth century. Near the close of the reign of Pasebakhaenniut II (960–950), control of Thebes had been delegated to a charismatic and ambitious Libyan chieftain from Bast, a man named Shoshenq. As “great chief of chiefs,” he seems to have been the most forceful personality in court circles. Moreover, by marrying his son to Pasebakhaenniut’s eldest daughter, Shoshenq reinforced his connections with the royal family. His calculations paid off. After Pasebakhaenniut’s death, Shoshenq was ideally placed to take the throne. The chieftain’s accession marked not just the beginning of a new dynasty (reckoned as the Twenty-second), but the start of a new era.

From the outset, Shoshenq I (943–922) moved to centralize power, reestablish the king’s political authority, and return Egypt to a traditional (New Kingdom) form of government. In a break with recent practice, oracles were no longer used as a regular instrument of government policy. The king’s word had always been the law, and Shoshenq felt perfectly able to make up his own mind without Amun’s help. Only in far-off Nubia, in the great temple of Amun-Ra at Napata, did the institution of the divine oracle survive in its fullest form (with long-term consequences for the history of the Nile Valley).

Despite his overtly Libyan name and background, Shoshenq I was still the unchallenged ruler of all Egypt. Moreover, he had a practical method of imposing his will over the traditionally minded south, and reining in the recent tendency toward Theban independence. By appointing his own son as high priest of Amun and army commander, he ensured Upper Egypt’s absolute loyalty. Other members of the royal family and supporters of the dynasty were similarly appointed to important posts throughout the country, and local bigwigs were encouraged to marry into the royal house to cement their loyalty. When the third prophet of Amun married Shoshenq’s daughter, the king knew he had the Theban priesthood well and truly in his pocket. It was just like the old days.

To demonstrate his newfound supremacy, Shoshenq consulted the archives and turned his attention to the activities traditionally expected of an Egyptian king. He ordered quarries to be reopened and sat down with his architects to plan ambitious building projects. While ordering further removals of New Kingdom pharaohs from their tombs in the Valley of the Kings, he nonetheless took pains to portray himself as a pious ruler and actively sought opportunities to make benefactions to Egypt’s great temples. For the first time in more than a century, fine reliefs were carved on temple walls to record the monarch’s achievements—even if the monarch in question was unashamed of his Libyan ancestry. But for all the piety and propaganda, the art and architecture, Shoshenq knew that there was still one element missing. In days of yore, no pharaoh worthy of the title would have sat idly by as Egypt’s power and influence declined on the world stage. All the great rulers of the New Kingdom had been warrior kings, ready at a moment’s notice to defend Egypt’s interests and extend its borders. It was time for such action again. Time to reawaken the country’s long-dormant imperialist foreign policy. Time to show the rest of the Near East that Egypt was still in the game.

A border incident in 925 provided the perfect excuse. With a mighty army of Libyan warriors, supplemented—in time-honored fashion—by Nubian mercenaries, Shoshenq marched out from his delta capital to reassert Egyptian authority. According to the biblical sources, there was murky power politics at play, too, with Egypt stirring up trouble among the Near Eastern powers and acquiescing in, if not actively encouraging, the breakup of Solomon’s once mighty kingdom of Israel into two mutually hostile territories. Whatever the precise context, after crushing the Semitic tribesmen who had infiltrated Egypt in the area of the Bitter Lakes, Shoshenq’s forces headed straight for Gaza, the traditional staging post for campaigns against the wider Near East. Having captured the city, the king divided his army into four divisions (with distant echoes of Ramesses II’s four divisions at Kadesh). He sent one strike force southeast into the Negev Desert to seize the strategically important fortress of Sharuhen. Another column headed due east toward the settlements of Beersheba and Arad, while a third contingent swept northeast toward Hebron and the fortified hill towns of Judah. The main army, led by the king himself, continued north along the coast road before turning inland to attack Judah from the north.

According to the biblical chroniclers, Shoshenq “took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.” Curiously, the Judaean capital is conspicuously absent from the roll call of conquests that Shoshenq had carved on the walls of Ipetsut to commemorate his campaign, but it is possible that he accepted its protection money without storming the walls. The city’s lament—that “he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house; he took away everything”—may indeed be a true reflection of events.

With Judah thoroughly subjugated, the Egyptian army continued its devastating progress through the Near East. Next in its sights was the rump kingdom of Israel, with its new capital at Shechem—the site of a famous victory by Senusret III nearly a millennium earlier. Other localities, too, echoed down the centuries as the Egyptians took Beth-Shan (one of Ramesses II’s strategic bases), Taanach, and finally Megiddo, scene of Thutmose III’s great victory of 1458. Determined to secure his place in history and prove himself the equal of the great Eighteenth Dynasty warrior pharaohs, Shoshenq ordered a commemorative inscription to be erected inside the fortress of Megiddo. Having thus secured an overwhelming victory, he led his army southward again, via Aruna and Yehem to Gaza, the border crossing at Raphia (modern Rafah), the Ways of Horus, and home. Once safely back in Egypt, Shoshenq fulfilled the expectations of tradition by commissioning a mighty new extension to the temple at Ipetsut, its monumental gateway decorated with scenes of his military triumph. The king is shown smiting his Asiatic enemies while the supreme god Amun and the personification of victorious Thebes look on approvingly.

Yet if all this sword-wielding and flag-waving was supposed to usher in a new era of pharaonic power, Egypt was to be sorely disappointed. Before the work at Ipetsut could be completed, Shoshenq I died suddenly. Without its royal patron, the project was abandoned and the workmen’s chisels fell silent. Worse, Shoshenq’s successors displayed a lamentable poverty of aspiration. They reverted all too easily to the previous model of laissez-faire government and were content with limited political and geographical horizons. Egypt’s temporary renaissance on the world stage had been a false dawn. The country’s renewed authority in the Near East withered away just as quickly as it had been established. And, far from being overawed by Shoshenq I’s brief display of royal authority, Thebes became increasingly frustrated at rule from the delta.

The specter of disunity stalked the city’s streets once more.




Increased militancy among the Congress and its supporters owed much to the Indian National Army (INA). This force had been recruited from Indian civilians in Malaya and from Indian Army soldiers who had been captured by the Japanese in Singapore in 1942. The racism of British expatriate society in Malaya, the tide of nationalism among Indians in the region and the apparent invincibility of the Japanese had encouraged many Indian soldiers to throw in their lot with the Axis powers. In 1943 leadership of the INA and the civilian Indian Independence Leagues had passed into the hands of the Bengali politician Subhas Chandra Bose who, on escaping from a Calcutta prison, had made his way to Singapore via Berlin. Bose had been among the most radical of the senior Congress leaders. An inveterate foe of the British, he was willing to accept military and political help from any of their enemies. The INA had fought alongside the Japanese in their great campaign to invade India during the spring and summer of 1944. When that thrust was defeated, Bose’s force had pulled back into Burma and finally retreated into Thailand and Malaya. As the British captured INA personnel, they categorized them into three groups – ‘whites’, ‘greys’ and ‘blacks’ – according to how seriously they rated their offences against the British crown and their former comrades. Opinion among Britain’s Indian troops was mixed. Some believed the INA men should be tried, while others thought of them as misguided patriots, but most civilians in India believed that they should not be tried for treachery or desertion as the British apparently intended.

The captured INA personnel posed a real problem for the British. Local commanders were inclined to view them with hostility. Colonel Balfour Oatts, who had fought with tribal hill levies in northwest Burma, hated the INA even more than he hated Aung San’s forces. After interrogating many of them he concluded that there was nothing to be done with these feral, ‘red-eyed’ deserters and traitors. Some officers gave them grudging respect in view of their fortitude during the clash with the 14th Army near Mount Popa, while others acknowledged that in Rangoon INA men had helped administer the city before the British returned in force, saving it from yet further despoliation. There was also the delicate question of allegiance and of not alienating loyal soldiers in the Indian Army. Some rank and file sympathized with the INA because their British officers had virtually abandoned them in 1942. The British themselves were uneasily aware that the status of Bose’s Azad Hind (Free India) government and its army was unclear under international law. Was Bose’s government, headquartered in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, tantamount to a sovereign power, like the United States after 1776? Certainly, Eamon de Valera and the government of Eire thought so, because they had exchanged diplomatic notes with it. If so, the INA, however detestable, must have been a legitimate military force, no more ‘traitors’ indeed than the old Burma Independence Army, most of whose officers and men had never sworn an oath to the king-emperor and could not be held to have acted treasonably. The British in the 1940s were still an imperialist nation and many of them were unabashedly racist in their attitudes, but they had a deep respect for the rule of law and its demands. Many agonized about the legitimacy of prosecuting the INA men. For this reason they quite quickly fell back on the issue of the violence and torture exercised by INA officers against those Indian soldiers who would not join their rebel army. Trials of INA men would hinge on charges of violence against fellow Indian officers and men, rather than the more nebulous question of treachery to the king-emperor. Slowly the meaning of this retreat came to be understood among the British and Asians for what it really was: an acceptance that King George was no longer the legitimate sovereign of India.

In the meantime, the practical issue of the fate of captured INA soldiers could not be avoided. Some of them were cooped up for long periods in internment camps in different parts of Southeast Asia. Others were repatriated under guard to India and then dishonourably discharged from the ranks without pay or provisions. Here the qualms of the civil administration came into view. There was a danger that these soldiers would return to their villages and form cells of virulently anti-British nationalists. The authorities began to fingerprint them in order to trace their diffusion into a countryside already seething with economic woes, political disquiet and communal tension. The auguries were poor. When INA men began to be repatriated to India under guard, there were many demonstrations of popular support. People met them at stations, garlanded them and gave them sweets. On his release from prison the Congress strongman Sardar Patel proclaimed that ‘Congress recognises the bravery of the INA people’, though during the war Congress leaders had generally distanced themselves from the INA.

Up to the very last minute Subhas Bose had hoped that Japan would resist the Allies’ resurgence long enough for his Azad Hind government to secure something from the expected peace conference. If that did not succeed, he would approach the Soviet Union, which appeared increasingly antagonistic to Britain as the war ended. As their own nemesis approached in August 1945, the Japanese commanders finally agreed to help him make contact with the advancing Soviet armies in Manchuria. The dropping of the atom bombs and the Japanese surrender forced him to move fast. He was touring Malaya, after laying the foundation of the INA Martyrs’ Memorial at Connaught Drive on Singapore’s seafront. On 17 August he issued a final order of the day, dissolving the INA with the words: ‘The roads to Delhi are many and Delhi still remains our goal.’ He then flew out of Singapore on his way to China via French Indo-China. If all else failed he wanted to become a prisoner of the Soviets: ‘They are the only ones who will resist the British. My fate is with them.’ But as the Japanese plane took off from Taipei airport its engines faltered and then failed. Bose was badly burned in the crash. According to several witnesses, he died on 18 August in a Japanese military hospital, talking to the very last of India’s freedom.

British and Indian commissions later established convincingly that Bose had died in Taiwan. These were legendary and apocalyptic times, however. Having witnessed the first Indian leader to fight against the British since the great mutiny of 1857, many in both Southeast Asia and India refused to accept the loss of their hero. Rumours that Bose had survived and was waiting to come out of hiding and begin the final struggle for independence were rampant by the end of 1945. A later British interrogation of a Japanese civilian associated with their Southeast Asian secret-service organization, the Hikari Kikan, hints at the rumours’ source. This operative recorded that when news of Bose’s death was reported in Rangoon on 19 August 1945, several Japanese officers went to offer their condolences to one of Bose’s senior officers, Bhonsle. He had not been altogether in Subhas Bose’s confidence and told General Isoda that ‘he had a feeling that Bose was not dead, but that his disappearance had been covered up’. Despite denials from the Japanese, who had received more details on the fatal crash, INA personnel remained unconvinced and passed on this feeling to Indian civilians. When the news of Bose’s death reached India, about a week later, many did not believe it and dismissed the report as British propaganda. In Tokyo young INA leaders studying at the Japanese Military Academy were also unconvinced by the account of his death and disturbed by the hasty cremation. They guarded Bose’s ashes around the clock. There are still some in India today who believe that Bose remained alive and in Soviet custody, a once and future king of Indian independence. The legend of ‘Netaji’ Bose’s survival helped bind together the defeated INA. In Bengal it became an assurance of the province’s supreme importance in the liberation of the motherland. It sustained the morale of many across India and Southeast Asia who deplored the return of British power or felt alienated from the political settlement finally achieved by Gandhi and Nehru.

Of those Indians who did accept that Bose had perished, most eulogized him as a great patriot and military leader, even when they took the official Congress line that he was mistaken in allying with Japanese ‘fascism’. Even Gandhi thought kindly of him. To Amrit Kaur he wrote: ‘Subhas Bose has died well. He was undoubtedly a patriot, though misguided.’ Typically, however, the Mahatma immediately changed the subject and reverted to avuncular advice, adding: ‘Your gum has caused me much trouble. I blame the dentist.’ Bose’s martyrdom most directly traumatized the many young men and women from the Indian civilian communities of Malaya and Singapore who had rushed to enlist. Fearing British reprisals, the INA officers in Tokyo sought sanctuary in the USA from the new military ruler, General MacArthur. Bose’s exit further dramatized the issue of the legitimacy of the INA and the problems that the British would face in dealing with it. They had already decided to try as many as 300 of its officers, but their gradual retreat from this position over the next two years was a further demonstration that the Raj was moving inexorably towards its end.


Alan Francis Brooke


Considered a master strategist, Alan Francis Brooke(1883-1963) was instrumental in orchestrating the victory of Allied forces in the Second World War. As chief of the Imperial General Staff, Brooke was the chief military spokesman for the British government and the Allies. Born on July 23, 1883, in Bagneres de Bigorre, France, Alan Francis Brooke was the sixth son and ninth child of Sir Victor Brooke, third baronet of Colebrooke in county Fermanagh, and Alice Bellingham Brooke, second daughter of Sir Alan Edward Bellingham, third baronet, of Castle Bellingham in County Louth. Both parents belonged to the Protestant Ascendancy class in Ireland. The Brookes of Colebrooke had fought for the British Crown from before 1641. His ancestor, Sir Henry Brooke of Donegal, was awarded 30,000 acres of Fermanagh for his part in suppressing the native uprising in Ireland. As his mother preferred sunny southern France to the Irish climate, Brooke was raised near Pau, in southern France. His father died when he was eight years old. Brooke was privately educated and spoke fluent French and German before he mastered English. He was also an excellent horseman, hunter, and fisherman.

At the age of eighteen, Brooke entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, a traditional English school. He was shy, delicate and introspective, but did well enough to follow the family tradition by embarking on a military career. Brooke joined a battery of Royal Field Artillery in Ireland in 1902. His first four years were spent in Ireland. In 1906, he joined the prestigious Royal Horse Artillery. Three years later, he was sent to India, where he proved to be a highly efficient officer-considerate of his men and kind to his horses. Brooke was well liked and considered to be quick-witted and amusing. He was a gifted draftsman and caricaturist, and a skilled mimic. His hobbies in India were big-game hunting and horseracing. Brooke married Jane Richardson, daughter of Colonel John Richardson, in 1914. He had one son and one daughter from this marriage. His wife died after an auto accident in 1925.

Distinguished Service in World War I

During World War I, Brooke was commanding Canadian and Indian artillery units on the western front. He fought in the battle of the Somme and introduced the French “creeping barrage” system. It ensured that the ground between the enemy’s trench lines was covered and minimized the amount of exposure by advancing infantry to machinegun fire. Brooke’s work was considered to be outstanding in all engagements and, by 1918, he was a brevet lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and bar.

After the war, Brooke was sent to the Staff College at Camberley and later became an instructor there. In 1929, he married Benita Lees, daughter of Sir Harold Pelly and widow of Sir Thomas Lees. This second marriage brought a calming influence to his high strung temperament and was a source of strength, especially during World War II. Brooke kept a diary that he intended to be read only by his wife. The diary later provided material for several books including Arthur Bryant’s The Turn of the Tide, 1939-1943 and Triumph in the West, 1943-1946. By 1929, he was commandant of the School of Artillery. He also attended the Imperial Defense College, and later returned as an instructor. In the 1930s Brooke commanded first an infantry brigade, and later a mobile division-which foreshadowed the armored divisions of World War II. He was promoted to lieutenant-general and placed in charge of Britain’s antiaircraft corps and eventually the entire anti-aircraft command. Brooke was responsible for organizing and expanding this division and preparing it to meet the ominous growth of the German Luftwaffe. In this undertaking, he worked closely with Air Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding.

In August 1939, Brooke was made commander-in-chief of the Southern Command and sent to lead the Second Army Corps of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The following month, he moved to the Franco-Belgian frontier with his untrained and poorly equipped troops. As they took up their positions during a lull in the fighting, Brooke tried to get his soldiers into the best condition he could. Despite his efforts, he still believed that his men were not well equipped and not trained as well as they needed to be. Brooke felt that French morale was weak and that Gort, the commander-in-chief, was not a good military strategist. The Allied forces were isolated in northern France and Belgium and fell back to the sea at Dunkirk. When the Belgians surrendered the British Expeditionary Force retreated. Brooke was forced to turn over command of his troops on the beach at La Panne and returned to England.

The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, asked Brooke to return to France in order to bolster the fighting forces. He arrived in Cherbourg and soon concluded that the French had lost their will to fight. Brooke realized that England did not have enough troops to defeat the vastly superior German forces. He convinced Churchill to withdraw nearly 140,000 British troops before it was too late.

Guided the Allies to Victory

In July 1940, Brooke was put in charge of the home forces and worked out plans to defeat a German attack on England. The Royal Air Force won its battle for air supremacy and the Germans postponed their invasion. In December 1941, Japanese forces bombed the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As a result, America joined the conflict and Japan attacked British positions in the Pacific. Churchill asked Brooke to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) in late 1941. In this position, Brooke proved to be most effective. Churchill had a strong-willed personality and tended to set unrealistic goals. Brooke was able to keep Churchill restrained until the Allies had sufficient troop strength to defeat the Germans. He persuaded Churchill to send Field Marshal Sir John Dill to Washington, as head of the British military mission. Dill was able to smooth out many difficulties between the Americans and the British. Brooke was himself able to use common sense in his dealings with Britain’s allies. The Americans wanted to invade France from England in the fall of 1942 by crossing the English Channel. He convinced them that it was necessary to weaken the Germans by fighting in Africa and Russia before such an invasion could succeed. He also believed that the war in Europe must be won before dealing with the Japanese. Therefore, his strategy required liberating North Africa and Italy, while conducting a saturation bombing campaign against the Germans in order to weaken their will and ability to continue the war.

Brooke and Churchill

Brooke spent most of 1943 at Churchill’s side defending the British point of view at conferences in Casablanca, Washington, Quebec, Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran. Though he admired Churchill, Brooke wrote in his diary that he was the most difficult man with whom he had ever worked. His role was to turn Churchill’s visionary ideas into military realities. The two men made a great team. Churchill was the stocky fiery politician while Brooke, the aloof, strong-willed field marshal with a lean, athletic figure and closely trimmed mustache, created the balance. Brooke was able to maintain cordial relations with the leaders of the Allied forces, including Stalin. He did not trust Stalin but knew that his forces were needed in order to keep the Germans occupied and away from Britain. The American president, Franklin Roosevelt and General George Marshall, both respected him. Marshall described Brooke as being determined in his position, but agreeable to negotiation, open minded, and a delightful friend.

In January 1944, Brooke was promoted to field marshal. His staff drew up plans for the invasion of Normandy. Brooke desperately wanted to lead the invasion, but agreed that the American general, Dwight Eisenhower, should be given this role since most of the troops were American.

Selecting the right officers to lead men into battle is an important responsibility, and Brooke demonstrated unerring good judgment. Men like Bernard Law Montgomery and Harold Rupert Alexander may have gotten the most acclaim, but the fact was that he chose them and they reported to him. Brooke was considered to be a tower of strength, a man whose inner power radiated confidence. All were glad that he was the one in charge. After the war was won, Brooke received many honors: he was named Baron Alanbrooke in 1945 and Viscount Alanbrooke in 1946. In addition, he was Knight of the Garter, Royal Order of Merit, most distinguished member of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, and Master Gunner of St. James’s Park, all in 1946. The governments of Poland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Portugal, Ethiopia, the Soviet Union, and Sweden honored him for his service in World War II.

After retiring from active service, Brooke devoted himself to his love of ornithology. He was president of the London Zoological Society from 1950 to 1954. He also became a director of the Midland Bank and sat on the boards of numerous companies. On June 17, 1963, Brooke died at his home in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, England. Researchers interested in the inner working of the British command during World War II, still turn to his journals for insight into the decision-making processes. Marshall and Eisenhower may have finished the war, but Brooke laid the foundation for their efforts.

Further Reading Bryant, Arthur, Triumph in the West, Doubleday & Company, 1959. Bryant, Arthur, The Turn of the Tide, Doubleday & Company, 1957. Dictionary of National Biography: 1961-1970, edited by E. T. Williams and C. S. Nicholls, Oxford University Press, 1981. Lanning, Michael Lee, The Military 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Military Leaders of all Time, Carol Publishing Group, 1996. Magill, Frank N., Great Lives From History: British and Commonwealth Series, Salem Press, 1987.


Sir JOHN FOX, 1st Baronet BURGOYNE, GCB (1782–1871)

John Fox Burgoyne was the illegitimate son of Lieutenant General John Burgoyne, soldier, politician and dramatist, best known as the “Gentleman Johnny” whose surrender at Saratoga was one of the decisive episodes in the American War of Independence. Earlier in his life, General Burgoyne had eloped with and married Lady Charlotte Stanley, daughter of the 11th Earl of Derby. They had no children and, after his wife’s death, Burgoyne set up house with a popular singer, Susan Caulfield. His position in society prevented them from marrying, though they had four children together. The eldest of these, John Fox Burgoyne, took his second name from his baptismal sponsor, Charles James Fox, a friend and political ally of his father. After General Burgoyne died in 1792, his children were brought up by his late wife’s nephew, the 12th Earl of Derby. John Fox Burgoyne was educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 28 August 1798 and was later sent to join the British force besieging Valetta, where the French were finally starved into surrender in September 1800. Burgoyne was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1800. He continued in the Mediterranean theatre and served as aide-de-camp to General Henry Fox (Charles James Fox’s elder brother) until receiving promotion to second captain on 6 March 1805. Burgoyne took part in the British expedition to Egypt at the end of 1806 and was at the capture of Alexandria in February 1807, the subsequent siege of Rosetta and the withdrawal to Alexandria in April 1807. After returning to Sicily, he joined the staff of Sir John Moore and went with his army to Sweden in May 1808 and Portugal in September 1808. As the engineer officer of the Light Division, he was with the rearguard in the early part of the retreat to Corunna and blew up the bridges at Benavente and Castro Gonzala (29 December 1808) as the French approached. Burgoyne returned to Portugal in April 1809, in the army under Sir Arthur Wellesley [24].

Burgoyne was at the passage of the Douro (Oporto, 12 May 1809) and, when Wellesley decided in October 1809 to fall back and hold Lisbon, joined with his fellow engineers in the construction of the lines of Torres Vedras. He was commended for his demolition of Fort Concepcion (20 July 1810) and for his command of the Portuguese troops serving with the British at El Bodon (25 September 1811), where he was thanked by Wellington in the field and was noticed by the French Marshal Marmont. As engineer officer of the 3rd Division, he served at Busaco (27 September 1810); the second siege of Badajoz (1–10 June 1811) and Ciudad Rodrigo (stormed 19 January 1812). For his services in leading the assault there, he was promoted to major on 6 February 1812. Burgoyne’s next siege was again at Badajoz (17 March–6 April 1812) where he once more led the 3rd Division’s storming parties. He was rewarded with promotion to lieutenant colonel on 27 April 1812. He subsequently served at Salamanca (22 June 1812); the siege of Burgos (16 September–21 October 1812); Vittoria (21 June 1813); the siege of San Sebastian (stormed 31 August 1813); the passage of the Adour (23–26 February 1814) and the siege of Bayonne (27 February–13 April 1814). His next campaign was in the war against the United States, where he was the chief engineer at New Orleans (8 January 1815) and Fort Bowyer (Mobile Bay, 8–12 February 1815). Burgoyne returned to Europe too late for the battle of Waterloo, but served as chief engineer in the Army of Occupation until 1818.

From 1821 until 1826 Burgoyne was at the Royal Engineers Depot, Chatham. He then returned to Portugal in the force of British mercenaries sent to support the constitutional government against Dom Miguel, the absolutist claimant to the Portuguese throne. He was garrison engineer at Portsmouth between 1828 and 1831, with promotion to colonel on 22 July 1830, after which he became chairman of the Board of Public Works in Ireland. He held this post until 1845, during which time he was promoted to major general on 28 June 1838 and was awarded the KCB. Sir John Burgoyne was appointed Inspector General of Fortifications in 1845. He became involved in relief works during the Irish famine of 1846–1847 and sat as a member of various official commissions, including those to decide on the postal system, and the site of Waterloo Bridge. He became a lieutenant general on 11 November 1851.

In 1853 Burgoyne was sent by the British government, at his own suggestion, to inspect the Turkish fortifications on the lower Danube. On the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854, he joined the British army under Lord Raglan [38] at Varna as an official adviser. When the Allies invaded the Crimea, Burgoyne played an important part in the selection of Kalamita Bay as the site for the army’s disembarkation. He was also influential in the Allied decision not to attempt a coup de main against Sevastopol but to march round the city and conduct a regular siege from its south side. This resulted in the Allied forces spending the winter of 1854–55 in the field, for which Burgoyne was much blamed. He was recalled by the Cabinet in February 1855, after continual disagreements with his French allies. Burgoyne’s popularity revived at the end of the war and he received various honours, including a baronetcy in 1856. He became a colonel commandant of the Royal Engineers on 22 November 1854, followed by promotion to general on 5 September 1855 and to field marshal on 1 January 1868. Burgoyne was married and had a daughter, who married an officer in the Army, and a son, Hugh, who joined the Royal Navy and was among the first recipients of the Victoria Cross. Captain Hugh Burgoyne was lost, with many of his crew, when the experimental warship HMS Captain was swamped in the Bay of Biscay in September 1870. Burgoyne never recovered from the loss of the son who had been the focus of his love and hopes. He died from the effects of grief on 7 October 1871, at Pembroke Gardens, London, and his baronetcy became extinct. Sir John Fox Burgoyne was the first field marshal to come from the Corps of Royal Engineers.


Sir JEFFERY, 1st Baron Amherst KB (1717–1797)

Jeffery Amherst, the second son of a barrister, was born on 29 January 1717 at Riverhead, on the outskirts of Sevenoaks, Kent. His father obtained a place for him at the nearby Knole House as a page in the service of the 7th Earl (later 1st Duke) of Dorset, a great Whig magnate of the time. Amherst was commissioned as a cornet in Ligonier’s regiment of Horse (later the 7th Dragoon Guards) on 10 July 1735 and served in the War of the Austrian Succession as an aide-de-camp to Sir John Ligonier at Dettingen (27 June 1743) and Fontenoy (11 May 1745). After becoming a captain in the 1st Foot Guards and lieutenant colonel in the Army on 25 Dec 1745, he fought at Rocoux (Rocourt, 11 Oct 1746) and Laffeldt (La Val, 2 July 1747). Amherst was promoted to major general on 22 May 1756 and at the same time became colonel of the 15th Foot. During the Seven Years War he served in Germany at Hastenbeck (15 July 1757) before being given command of an expedition against the French at Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island) in the Gulf of St Lawrence. After the capture of Louisbourg on 26 July 1758, Amherst became C-in-C of the British forces in North America, with appointment as colonel-in-chief of the 60th Royal American Regiment in September 1758. He then launched a three-pronged offensive against Canada. One army, under his personal command, took Ticonderoga (July 1759) and Crown Point (August 1759), while another, led by Sir William Johnson, captured Niagara (July 1759) and the third, under Major General James Wolfe, defeated the French at Quebec (13 September 1759). Montreal, the last major French garrison in Canada, capitulated on 8 September 1760. Amherst, an able tactician, trained his infantry to form a firing line two-deep rather than the conventional three-deep and justified this decision on the grounds that they would only be opposed by French Canadian militia and Indians, not by European regulars. His strategic success derived from his grasp of logistics and his arrangements for the transport and supply of his troops across a trackless wilderness, while co-ordinating the movement of forces separated by great distances. His conquest of Canada was a major victory, with lasting political consequences.

Amherst was made Governor-General of British North America in September 1760 and was promoted to lieutenant general on 19 January 1761, with the accolade of a Knight of the Bath later in the year. In 1763 the British had to face a major Indian war against a combination of tribes led by Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas. Sir Jeffery Amherst had previously taken the view that colonial Militia or locally raised Special Forces could defeat bands of marauding savages without the Regular Army becoming involved. When Pontiac destroyed isolated farms and tricked or starved British forts into surrender, Amherst was at first inclined to blame their redcoat garrisons for incompetence. Although he had underestimated both the strength and skill of his Native American enemies, he had little time for the concept of the noble red man and responded to Indian atrocities by distributing smallpox-infected blankets among the offending tribes. This war was still going on when Amherst returned to England in 1765. He was made Governor of Virginia, but resigned in 1768 when required to reside there. The post had not previously been a residential one and the new requirement was imposed by King George III to induce Amherst to resign, so freeing this office for a royal favourite. Amherst ceased to be colonel-in-chief of the 60th Royal American Regiment in September 1768, but in the following November, when the King realized the value of his services, he was reinstated in this post and moved from the 15th Foot to become colonel of the 3rd Foot, the Buffs. He remained colonel of the Buffs until April 1779, when he became colonel of the 2nd Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, from which he moved to be colonel of the 2nd Troop of Horse Guards (later 2nd Life Guards) in March 1782.

Amherst became Lieutenant General of the Ordnance in 1772. In May 1776 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Amherst, of Holmesdale. He was promoted to general on 19 March 1778 and was appointed general on the staff (in effect, commander-in-chief) with a seat in the Cabinet, in the following month. His tenure of this office included the period of a major international conflict, the American War of Independence. In the Gordon Riots of June 1780 the military under his command were called out to restore order on the streets of London. Lord Amherst resigned in March 1782 and was succeeded by the Honourable Henry Conway. After Conway’s resignation in April 1783, Amherst again became the Cabinet’s chief military adviser. He clung to office with great tenacity and in 1787 was granted a second peerage, as Baron Amherst, of Montreal, created with a special remainder in favour of his nephew. On the approach of war with Revolutionary France, he was reappointed as general on the staff in January 1793. In peace, Amherst had been criticized for promoting wealthy officers over those with greater experience. With the return of war, he was blamed for many of the shortcomings revealed by the opening campaigns and was succeeded as C-in-C by the Duke of York in February 1795. He became field marshal on 30 July 1796. Amherst died on 3 August 1797, at his residence, Montreal Park, Riverhead. He married twice, firstly to Jane Dalison, the daughter of a Kent squire, and secondly to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of General the Hon George Carry. He had no children and his peerage, by special  remainder, was inherited by his nephew, William Pitt Amherst.


Ernest Gideon, Freiherr von Laudon


Laudon in victory pose at the Battle of Kunersdorf, 1878 portrait. Baron Ernst Gideon von Laudon (German: Ernst Gideon Freiherr von Laudon (originally Laudohn or Loudon) (February 2, 1717 – July 14, 1790) was an Austrian generalisimo, one of the most successful opponents of the Prussian king Frederick the Great, allegedly lauded by Alexander Suvorov as his teacher.

Austrian Lieutenant-colonel (1756-57), Colonel (1757-58), Feldmarshall Lieutenant (1758-59), Feldzeugmeister (1759-78) born February 2, 1717, Tootzen, Livonia died July 14, 1790, Neutitschein, Moravia

Loudon was the son of Petrol Gerhard von Loudon, a lieutenant-colonel, retired from the Swedish service and of Sofia Eleonore von Bornemann. His family was of Scottish origin and had settled in Livonia before 1400.

In 1732, Loudon was sent into the Russian army as a cadet.

In 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession, Loudon took part to the siege of Danzig by Field Marshal Münnich.

In 1735, Loudon accompanied the Russian corps who marched to the Rhine.

In 1738 and 1739, Loudon participated to the war against Turkey.

In 1741, dissatisfied with his prospects in the Russian army, Loudon resigned from the Russian service and sought military employment elsewhere. He applied first to Frederick II of Prussia who declined his services. Finally, thanks to his relations with Lieutenant-colonel Franz von Trenck, Loudon was enlisted in the Austrian army as captain in the famous Trenck’s Pandour Corps.

In 1744, Loudon fought with Trenck’s unit in Alsace where he was wounded and taken prisoner. He was shortly released by the advance of the main Austrian army.

In 1745, Loudon saw active service, once more under Trenck, in the Silesian Mountains. During this campaign, he greatly distinguished himself as a leader of light troops. On September 30, Loudon was present at the battle of Soor. Later, he had a conflict with Trenck, left his unit and went to Vienna.

In 1746, Loudon was appointed captain in the Karlstädter Infantry Regiment, a unit of Grenzers (frontier light troops). He spent the next 10 years with this unit in the Carlstadt district. At Bunich, where he was stationed, he built a church and planted an oak forest now called by his name.

In 1753, Loudon was promoted lieutenant-colonel. With his Grenzers unit, he served under Browne.

Before the beginning of the campaign of 1757, Loudon was promoted colonel. In August, he repeatedly distinguished himself while conducting guerrilla operations against the Prussian army during its retreat from Bohemia.

In 1758, Loudon became a knight of the newly founded Order of Maria Theresa. During the Prussian invasion of Moravia, he got his first opportunity to act as commander of an Austrian corps. On June 30, by his action at Dormstadtl where he destroyed a Prussian supply convoy of 4,000 wagons, he forced Frederick II to abandon the siege of Olmütz and to retire into Bohemia. Three days later, Loudon was rewarded with the grade of Feldmarshall Lieutenant (roughly equivalent to lieutenant-general). After the battle of Hochkirch where he showed himself an active and daring commander, Loudon was created a Freiherr (baron) in the Austrian nobility by Maria Theresa and in the peerage of the Holy Roman Empire by her husband the Emperor Francis. Furthermore, Maria Theresa gave him the Grand Cross of her order and an estate near Kuttenberg in Bohemia.

In 1759, Loudon was placed in command of the Austrian contingent sent to join the Russians on the Oder. He advanced into Neumark and made his junction with the Russian army of Saltykov. On August 12, they both won the battle of Kunersdorf but failed to pursue the Prussians. After this victory, Loudon was promoted Feldzeugmeister (general of infantry) and made commander-in-chief in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.

At the battle of Landeshut on June 23 1760, Loudon destroyed an entire Prussian corps led by Fouqué. He also stormed the important fortress of Glatz (present-day Kłodzko). On August 15, he sustained a reverse at Frederick’s hands in the battle of Liegnitz, which action led to bitter controversy with Daun and Lacy, the commanders of the main army, who, Loudon claimed, had left his corps unsupported.

In 1761, Loudon operated in Silesia in conjunction with a Russian corps. All attempts against Frederick’s entrenched camp of Bunzelwitz failed. However, on the night of September 30 to October 1, he succeeded in the storming of Schweidnitz. His tireless activity continued to the end of the war, in conspicuous contrast with the temporizing strategy of Daun and Lacy. The last three years of the war are marked by an ever increasing friction between Daun and Loudon.

After the peace, when Daun became the virtual commander-in-chief of the army, Loudon fell into the background. Offers were made, by Frederick II amongst others, to induce Loudon to transfer his services elsewhere. Loudon did not entertain these proposals. When Lacy succeeded Daun as president of the council of war, Loudon was made inspector-general of infantry. Dissensions, however, continued between Loudon and Lacy, and on the accession of Joseph II, who was intimate with Lacy, Loudon retired to his estate near Kuttenberg.

In 1769, under the influence of Maria Theresa and Kaunitz, Loudon was appointed commander-in-chief in Bohemia and Moravia. He assumed this function for three years.

In 1776, Maria Theresa repurchased his estate near Kuttenberg on generous terms. Loudon then settled at Hadersdorf near Vienna.

On February 27 1778, Loudon was finally appointed Feldmarshall. At the outbreak of the War of the Bavarian Succession, Emperor Joseph and Lacy reconciled to Loudon. Lacy and Loudon then commanded the two armies in the field. However, the performance of Loudon during this war did not stand to his reputation. For two years after this Loudon lived quietly at Hadersdorf.

In 1779, other Austrian generals having suffered important reverses against the Turks, Loudon was called for the last time into the field. Though old and broken in health, he was commander-in-chief in fact as well as in name and won a last brilliant success by capturing Belgrade in three weeks (October 8).

In March 1790, Loudon received supreme command over the Observation army on the Prussian border. On July 14, he died at Neu-Titschein, his Moravian headquarters, while still on duty.


Leopold Fellerer


Oblt Leopold Fellerer. Gruppenkommandeur II./NJG 5. Gütersloh


Leopold “Poldi” Fellerer (7 June 1919 – 16 July 1968) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Fellerer was born in Vienna, Austria on 7 June 1919. In November 1940 he was posted as a bomber pilot, before being assigned as Technical Officer to II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1). He claimed his first victory on 11 February 1941, a Handley Page Hampden of No. 49 Squadron north of Bergen-Alkmaar. He was transferred to 4./NJG 1 in June 1941.

In October 1942 Fellerer was made Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 3./NJG 1 before being posted to Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (NJG 5) in December 1942. Promoted to Hauptmann, Fellerer became Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of II./NJG 5 in December 1943. During this period, Fellerer raised his score to 18 victories.

In January 1944 Fellerer claimed two United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) heavy bombers in daylight- a Consolidated B-24 Liberator on 4 January, and a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress on 11 January. On the night of 20/21 January 1944 he claimed five Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers. He was then awarded the German Cross in Gold in February 1944.

After 34 victories Hauptmann Fellerer was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 8 April 1944. He then moved to command III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 6 (NJG 6) in May 1944.

During August–October 1944 Fellerer and III./NJG 6 also flew operations to counter supply operations from Italy to the Polish Home Army uprising in Warsaw. He claimed two Douglas DC-3’s and two Liberators during this time, his final kill coming in October 1944.

In 450 missions Leopold Fellerer claimed 41 aerial victories, 39 of them at night. 32 were four engine heavy bombers.

During the 1950s, he served with the Austrian Air Force, becoming Commander of the Langenlebarn Airbase in Tulln on the River Donau, retiring as a Oberstleutnant. Leopold Fellerer died on 15 July 1968 in an air crash, his Cessna L-19 coming down near Krems.