David Fraser

David Fraser a general, and formerly Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies, is the author of a biography of Alanbrooke, of a study of the British Army in World War Two, And we shall shock them, and of the political novel August 1988.

Montgomeries

David Fraser, 22 December 1983

There were and there remain two extremes of opinion about Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, as well as a large number of intermediate positions. At one end of the scale are those who judge him a competent if somewhat pedestrian professional soldier who usually managed by good fortune to decline battle unless the odds were overwhelmingly in his favour, a general apt to forfeit the fruits of victory by excessive caution; an unimaginative commander with a very inflated view of his own talents and achievements, who was as conceited as he was uncharitable; an ill-mannered egocentric with a strong streak of unkindness. At the other extreme stands ‘Monty’ – idiosyncratic, strong-willed, decisive, unique of his era; the man who gave the British Eighth Army – and through it the whole British Army – restored confidence in itself and in its leaders in the autumn of 1942; the man who irrevocably turned the wretched tide of failure and disappointment by winning the battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein, so that thereafter defeat was unthinkable, victory only a matter of time; the man who led the Allied armies to triumph in Normandy and chased the Germans back to the Reich and to ultimate surrender on Lüneburg Heath; the man who stood head and shoulders above his peers as one who really understood war and knew how to win. Monty, master of the battlefield.–

Veni, vidi, video

D.A.N. Jones, 18 August 1983

It would be easy to overpraise Dangerous Pursuits. This is a comedy of surveillance, dealing with in-store video monitors, hardware and software, amateur and professional police espionage,...

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Hurricane Brooke

Brian Bond, 2 September 1982

While walking down Sackville Street in London in 1942, Nicholas Jenkins’s attention was unequivocally demanded by the hurricane-like imminence of a thickset general, obviously of high...

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