Page 364

Appendix 8: Principal Commanders and Staff Officers in the Mediterranean and Middle East

The ranks given are in some cases ‘acting’ ranks. Brief temporary appointments are omitted.

Royal Navy

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

Chief of Staff: Rear-Admiral A. U. Willis; Commodore J. H. Edelsten (from March 1941)

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

V.A. Light Forces and Second-in-Command, Mediterranean Fleet*: Vice-Admiral H. D. Pridham-Wippell

RA 1st Battle Squadron: Rear-Admiral H. B. Rawlings (to 12th May 1941)

RA Mediterranean Aircraft Carriers: Rear-Admiral A. L. St. G. Lyster; Rear-Admiral D. W. Boyd (from 18th Feb. 1941)

RA 15th Cruiser Squadron: Rear-Admiral E. L. S. King (Vice-Admiral 30th May 1941); Rear-Admiral P. L. Vian (from 15th Oct. 1941)

RA 3rd Cruiser Squadron: Rear-Admiral E. de F. Renouf (appointment lapsed 12th May 1941)

RA 7th Cruiser Squadron: Rear-Admiral H. B. Rawlings (from 12th May 1941)

RA Destroyers: Rear-Admiral I. G. Glennie (from 12th May 1941)

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

Flag Officer attached Middle East: Rear-Admiral H. T. Baillie-Grohman

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

RA Alexandria: Rear-Admiral (retd.) F. Elliott; Rear-Admiral G. A. Creswell (from 5th Feb. 1941)

Mobile Naval Base Defence Organization: Major-General E. C. Weston, R.M.

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

Commander-in-Chief, East Indies: Vice-Admiral R. Leatham; Vice-Admiral G. S. Arbuthnot (from May 1941)

Senior Officer, Red Sea Force†: Rear-Admiral A. J. L. Murray; Rear-Admiral R. H. C. Hallifax (from 1st April 1941)

Senior Naval Officer Persian Gulf: Rear-Admiral (retd.) C. M. Graham (serving as Commodore 2nd class)

* The title V.A.L.F. lapsed on 12th May 1941 when the Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet transferred his flag to the Battle Squadron.

† Title changed to Flag Officer Commanding, Red Sea, and transferred to Mediterranean Command on 21st October 1941.

Page 365

The Army

Commander-in-Chief: General Sir Archibald Wavell; General Sir Claude Auchinleck (from 5th July 1941)

Deputy Commander-in-Chief: General Sir Thomas Blamey (from 23rd April 1941) who was also G.O.C. Australian Imperial Force

Principal Staff Officers

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

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

Adjutant-General’s branch: Major-General N. W. Napier-Clavering

Lieutenant-General, Administration: Lieutenant-General T. S. Riddell-Webster (from 18th Oct. 1941)

British Troops, Egypt

Lieutenant-General Sir Richard O’Connor (from 15th Feb. 1941 to 3rd April 1941)

Lieutenant-General J. H. Marshall-Cornwall (from 14th April 1941)

British Troops, Greece (W Force)

Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson

Cyrenaica Command (Ceased to exist during April 1941)

Lieutenant-General P. Neame (from 27th Feb. to 7th April 1941)

Western Desert Force (Reconstituted April, 1941. Became 13th Corps, Oct. 1941)

Lieutenant-General Sir Noel Beresford-Peirse (from 13th April to 4th Oct. 1941)

8th Army

Lieutenant-General Sir Alan Cunningham (from 24th Sept 1941)

Palestine and Transjordan

Major-General J. G. W. Clark

Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson (from 7th May 1941)


Lieutenant-General W. Platt

Lieutenant-General Sir Noel Beresford-Peirse (from 4th Oct. 1941) East Africa Force (Designated East African Command from 15th Sept. 1941)

Lieutenant-General Sir Alan Cunningham (to 29th Aug. 1941)

Major-General H. R. de R. Wetherall (temporary—to 5th Dec. 1941)

Lieutenant-General Sir William Platt (from 15th Sept. 1941, but assumed command 5th Dec. 1941)


Major-General W. A. K. Fraser (from 17th April to 7th May 1941)

Lieutenant-General E. P. Quinan (from 7th May 1941)

Page 366


1st Australian Corps: Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Blamey; Lieutenant-General J. D. Lavarack (from 18th June 1941)

2nd Armoured Division: Major-General M. D. Gambier-Parry

7th Armoured Division: Major-General Sir Michael O’Moore Creagh; Major-General W. H. E. Gott (from 3rd Sept. 1941)

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

6th Division (later 70th): Major-General J. F. Evetts; Major-General R. M. Scobie (from 17th Oct. 1941)

50th Division: Major-General W. H. Ramsden

6th Australian Division: Major-General Sir Iven Mackay; Major-General E. F. Herring (from 14th Aug. 1941)

7th Australian Division: Major-General J. D. Lavarack; Major-General A. S. Allen (from 18th June 1941)

9th Australian Division: Major-General L. J. Morshead

2nd New Zealand Division: Major-General B. C. Freyberg (Also G.O.C. 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force)

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

2nd South African Division: Major-General I. P. de Villiers

4th Indian Division: Major-General N. M. de la P. Beresford-Peirse; Major-General F. W. Messervy (from 14th April 1941)

5th Indian Division: Major-General A. G. O. M. Mayne

8th Indian Division: Major-General C. O. Harvey

10th Indian Division: Major-General W. A. K. Fraser; Major-General W. J. Slim (from 15th May 1941)

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

12th African Division: Major-General A. R. Godwin-Austen; Major-General C. C. Fowkes (from 28th Aug. 1941)


Governor and Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie

Page 367

Royal Air Force

Command Headquarters

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief: Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore; Air Marshal A. W. Tedder (from 1st June 1941)

Deputy Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief: Air Marshal A. W. Tedder; Air Vice-Marshal R. M. Drummond (from 1st June 1941)

Senior Air Staff Officer: Air Vice-Marshal R. M. Drummond (to 31st May 1941); Air Vice-Marshal H. E. P. Wigglesworth (from 7th June 1941)

Air Officer-in-Charge of Administration: Air Vice-Marshal A. C. Maund; Air Vice-Marshal G. C. Pirie (from 20th Sept. 1941)

Chief Maintenance and Supply Officer: Air Vice-Marshal G. G. Dawson (from 1st June 1941)

Egypt and the Western Desert

No. 201 Group(became No. 201 Naval Cooperation Group on 20th Oct. 1941): Group Captain G. M. Bryer; Air Commodore L. H. Slatter (from 23rd Oct. 1941)

No. 202 Group(became Air Headquarters, Egypt on 1st December 1941): Air Commodore R. Collishaw; Air Commodore T. W. Elmhirst (from 14th April 1941)

No. 205 Group(formed on 23rd October 1941): Air Commodore L. L. Maclean

No. 206 Group(formed on 1st Sept. 1941; had functioned as Maintenance Group since 17th June 1941): Air Commodore C. B. Cooke


H.Q. RAF Cyrenaica(absorbed by No. 204 Group in April 1941):

Group Captain L. O. Brown

No. 204 Group(became Air Headquarters, Western Desert on 9th Oct. 1941): Air Commodore R. Collishaw (from 14th April 1941); Air Vice-Marshal A. Coningham (from 30th July 1941)


Air Vice-Marshal J. H. D’Albiac


Group Captain G. R. Beamish

Palestine and Transjordan (became Air Headquarters Levant on 1st Dec. 1941)

Group Captain S. D. Culley

Air Vice-Marshal J. H. D’Albiac (from 3rd May 1941)

Air Commodore L. O. Brown (from 17th May 1941)


Air Vice-Marshal H. G. Smart

Air Vice-Marshal J. H. D’Albiac (from 1st June 1941)

Page 368


Air Vice-Marshal G. R. M. Reid (to 25th June 1941)

Air Vice-Marshal F. G. D. Hards (from 10th Sept. 1941)

East Africa (became No. 207 Group on 15th Dec. 1941)

Air Commodore W. Sowrey

Sudan (No. 203 Group)

Air Commodore L. H. Slatter

Air Commodore C. B. S. Spackman (from 14th July 1941)


Air Vice-Marshal F. H. M. Maynard

Air Vice-Marshal H. P. Lloyd (from 1st June 1941)