Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell

Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (1883-1950).

As a young officer Wavell saw service in the Boer War and World War I (where, despite losing an eye at Ypres, he became a respected Staff Officer during the Palestine campaign).

As Commander-in-Chief Middle-East (1939 41) Wavell conducted a skilful campaign against numerically superior Italian and German forces (notably during the conquest of Ethiopia in 1941). He later served as Commander-in-Chief India (1941), as Supreme Commander, Southeast Asia (1942), and as Commander in India and Burma from 1942. Promoted Field Marshal in 1943 and, despite being unpopular with Churchill, appointed as Viceroy of India-a position he was to hold until 1947 when Mountbatten, who would administer the transfer of power to the new independent countries of India and Pakistan, took over as Governor-General.

Wavell spoke fluent Russian and was a great lover of poetry.

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