Dempsey, General Miles, 1896-1969

Dempsey was a British General who led the 13th Infantry Brigade at Dunkirk and because of his excellent organizational ability was selected in June 1941 to form a new Armored Division. He was then appointed XIII Corps Commander in Montgomery’s8th Army and quickly impressed Montgomery with his skill. Montgomery said of him he was a ‘soldier who can describe foreign terrain so vividly from a map that it becomes almost a pictorial reality for his listeners.’ Dempsey led his XIII Corps in many difficult landings in Italy and Sicily. He was so successful that he was promoted and given command of the 2nd Army in the D-Day Landings. He had a quiet, unassuming manner and kept his Corps Commanders under control. His Army landed at Juno and held the area between Caen and Bayeux, keeping German armor away from the US forces so they could break out of Normandy. Dempsey’s Army fought at Falaise and Mortain and then dashed over northern France to Brussels and took part in Operation Market Garden. Their advance faltered at this point and they were unable to reach the British paratroops at Arnhem in time. After the German surrender Dempsey was appointed Commander in Chief of Allied Land Forces in Southeast Asia.

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