Harding, Allan Francis John (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 2911
Department
Sound
Production date
1972
Subject period
Dimensions
  • whole: Duration 30, Number Of Items 2
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

Object description

British officer served as staff officer with Headquarters, Middle East and Headquarters, Western Desert Force in North Africa, 1940-1941; commanded 7th Armoured Div in North Africa, 1941-1943; served as Chief of Staff to Field Marshal Harold Alexander with 15th Army Group in Italy, 1943-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Aspects of period as staff officer with Headquarters, Middle East and Headquarters Western Desert Force in North Africa, 1940-1941: tactics employed by General Richard O'Connor; opinion of Italian forces; opinion of General Richard O'Connor; question of deploying troops to Greece in 1941; importance of holding Tobruk. Libya; delay amongst British to understand mobile nature of desert warfare. Aspects of operations commanding 7th Armoured Div in North Africa, 1942-1943: opinion of General Bernard Montgomery's abilities; conduct of Operation Supercharge; question of General Bernard Montgomery being over-cautious; opinion of General Erwin Rommel; nature of desert warfare. REEL 2 Continues: frustration of war in Middle East; Prime Minister Winston Churchill's visit to Middle East. Recollections of period as Chief of Staff to Field Marshal Harold Alexander with 15th Army Group in Italy, 1943-1945: advise given to Field Marshal Harold Alexander over Anzio landings, 1944; question of American commitment to Anzio landings; reasons for failure of Anzio landings; significance of Monte Cassino and question of bombing of monastery; importance of Rome; effectiveness of German tactics on Gustav Line; plan for attack on Gustav Line; effect of General Mark Clark's drive to Rome, 6/1944; relations between Harold Alexander and Prime Minister Winston Churchill; purpose of campaign in Italy; conditions in Italy.

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