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Appendix 9: Principal Commanders and Staff Officers in the Mediterranean and Middle East

(The ranks given are in some cases ‘acting’ ranks)

Royal Navy

Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean: Admiral Sir Andrew B. Cunningham

Chief of Staff: Rear-Admiral A. U. Willis

Additional Chief of Staff R.N., at Middle East H. Q., Cairo (also represented Commander-in-Chief East Indies): Commodore H. G. Norman (from Sept. 1940)

1 V.A. Light Forces and Second-in-Command Mediterranean Fleet: Vice-Admiral J. C. Tovey; Vice-Admiral H. D. Pridham-Wippell (from Oct. 1940)

R.A. 1st Battle Squadron: Rear-Admiral H. D. Pridham-Wippell; Rear-Admiral H. B. Rawlings (from Oct. 1940)

R.A. Mediterranean Aircraft Carriers: Rear-Admiral A. L. St. G. Lyster

Admiral Commanding 3rd Cruiser Squadron: Rear-Admiral E. de F. Renouf

Vice-Admiral in charge, Malta: Vice-Admiral Sir Wilbraham T. R. Ford

Senior British Naval Officer, Suez Canal Area: Vice-Admiral (retd.) Sir James Pipon

R.A. Alexandria: Rear-Admiral (retd.) F. Elliott

Flag Officer Force H: Vice-Admiral Sir James F. Somerville

Commander-in-Chief, East Indies: Vice-Admiral R. Leatham

Senior Officer, Red Sea Force: Rear-Admiral A. J. L. Murray

The Army

Commander-in-Chief: General Sir Archibald Wavell

Principal Staff Officers

General Staff branch: Major-General A. F. Smith.

Quarter-Master-General’s branch: Major-General B. O. Hutchison

Adjutant-General’s branch: Brigadier R. M. Scobie (from 13th May 1940) Major-General N. W. Napier-Clavering (from 11th Sept. 1940)

British Troops in Egypt

Lieutenant-General Sir H. Maitland Wilson (to 4th Feb. 1941)

Lieutenant-General R. N. O’Connor (from 4th Feb.-Apr. 1941)

Western Desert Force (became 13th Corps on 1st Jan. 1941)

Lieutenant-General R. N. O’Connor (to 4th Feb. 1941)

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Cyrenaica Command

Lieutenant-General Sir H. Maitland Wilson (Feb. 1941)

Lieutenant-General P. Neame (Feb.-Apr. 1941)

Palestine, Transjordan and Cyprus

Lieutenant-General M. G. H. Barker

Lieutenant-General P. Neame (Aug. 1940-Feb. 1941)


Lieutenant-General W. Platt

East Africa Force

Lieutenant-General D. P. Dickinson

Lieutenant-General A. G. Cunningham (from 1st Nov. 1940)


7th Armoured Division: Major-General M. O’Moore Creagh

1st Cavalry Division Major-General J. G. W. Clark

4th Indian Division: Major-General P. Neame; Major-General N. M. de la P. Beresford-Peirse (from Aug. 1940)

5th Indian Division: Major-General L. M. Heath; Major-General A. G. O. M. Mayne (from Apr. 1941)

1st Australian Corps: Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Blarney

6th Australian Division: Major-General I. G. Mackay

1st South African Division: Major-General G. L. Brink

11th African Division: Major-General H. E. de R. Wetherall

12th African Division: Major-General A. R. Godwin-Austen

New Zealand Division: Major-General B. C. Freyberg

2nd Armoured Division: Major-General J. C. Tilly (to 16th Jan. 1941)


Governor and Commander-in-Chief: General Sir Charles Bonham-Carter (until Oct. 1940); Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie (from 11th Oct. 1940; acting from May-Oct. 1940)

Royal Air Force

Command Headquarters

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief: Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur M. Longmore

Deputy Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief: Air Marshal A. W. Tedder (from 29th Nov. 1940)

Senior Air Staff Officer: Air Vice-Marshal R. M. Drummond

Air Officer-in-Charge of Administration: Air Vice-Marshal A. C. Maund

Egypt and the Western Desert Air Commodore R. Collishaw No. 202 Group. Group Captain H. W. G. J. Penderel No. 201 Group, Alexandria

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Group Captain L. O. Brown (from 19th Feb. 1941)


Air Vice-Marshall J. H. D’Albiac (from 5th Nov. 1940)

Palestine and Transjordan

Air Commodore J. H. D’Albiac (until 4th Nov. 1940) Air Commodore J. W. B. Grigson (from 1st Dec. 1940)


Air Vice-Marshal H. G. Smart


Air Vice-Marshal G. R. M. Reid (also Commander of all British Forces)

East Africa

Air Commodore W. Sowrey


Air Commodore L. H. Slatter No. 203 Group


Air Commodore F. H. M. Maynard