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By Michael Simpson

Cunningham was once the best-known and so much celebrated British admiral of the second one global conflict. He held one of many significant fleet instructions among 1939 and 1942, and in 1942-43, he used to be Allied naval commander for the good amphibious operations within the Mediterranean. From 1943 to 1946, he was once 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 method for Allied victory.He additionally led a really lively public lifestyles for nearly two decades after his retirement in 1946. Cunningham's papers are ample for the interval 1939-63 and are supplemented the following 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 documents and personal papers.

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Extra info for A Life of Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham: A Twentieth-century Naval Leader (Naval Policy and History Series)

Sample text

9 Cunningham’s outstanding service earned him not only a second bar to the DSO but also accelerated promotion to Captain in December 1919, at the early age of 36. Though he knew Cowan from Boer War days, Cunningham probably learned little from his mentor, since he was mature, shrewd, a sound judge and self-contained. 10 Cunningham languished on half pay until September 1920, when he supervised the demolition of the fortress of Heligoland on behalf of the Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control but was thankful to return home after a year.

Keyes wanted a higher degree of aggression and sharpness. To Cunningham’s unconcealed delight, Termagant actually spent most of her time at Dunkirk, where she was more likely to see action, but he was disappointed to have no more than a distant supporting role in the Zeebrugge raid (23 April 1918) and his vessel was undergoing boiler cleaning when the blocking of Ostend (10/11 May) took place. Much of Cunningham’s time was spent on routine patrol or escorting cross-channel traffic but there were some night-time clashes with German flotillas.

Of particular interest were the visits to the United States, where the US Navy showed itself to be a most generous, good-humoured and enthusiastic host, engaging in some good-natured historical backchat. 33 As might be expected, there was little opportunity to exercise, other than a couple of days and nights of gunnery and torpedo encounters. 34 Cunningham was reminded forcibly of the power of the sea on three occasions. The new heavy cruiser Raleigh had gone ashore on the coast of Labrador in 1922, becoming a visible and embarrassing total loss.

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