Wavell, First Earl


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Wavell, First Earl

 

(Archibald Percival Wavell). Born May 5, 1883, in Colchester; died May 24, 1950, in London. British field marshal (1943).

Wavell was educated at Winchester College, the Royal Military College at Sandhurst (1901), and the Staff College at Camberley (1910). He served in World War I, and in 1916–17 was British military attache at the headquarters of the Russian Army in the Caucasus. In July 1939 he was made commander of British armed forces in the Near East. Early in World War II, Wavell’s troops defeated the Italians in Cyrenaica (December 1940-February 1941) and East Africa (January–May 1941). However, after his troops suffered defeat in Greece, on Crete, and in Libya, Wavell was removed and was made commander in chief in India. From January to March 1942 he was supreme commander of the Allied forces in Southeast Asia, and from March 1942, of the Allied forces in India and Burma. Wavell was viceroy of India from June 1943 to February 1947, and in this role he was a strong champion of British imperialism. He was granted the title of earl in 1947.

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