Tedder: Quietly in Command


Arthur Tedder became one of the most eminent figures of the Second World War: first as head of Anglo-American air forces in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa; then as Deputy Supreme Commander to General Eisenhower for the Allied campaign that began in Normandy and ended in Berlin. During those anxious, exhilarating years, he was, as The Times of London wrote, 'the most unstuffy of great commanders, who could be found sitting cross-legged, jacketless, pipe smouldering, answering questions on a desert airstrip'.

After the war, promoted to five-star rank and elevated to the peerage as Lord Tedder, he was made Chief of the Air Staff, holding this appointment for longer than anyone since his time: four critical years (from 1946-49) that saw the tragic start of the Cold War and the inspiring achievement of the Berlin Airlift.

In 'retirement', between the dreadful blow of his second wife's sudden death in January 1965 and his own physical collapse during that year and the next, Tedder managed to produce one of the most valuable memoirs of the Second World War. In addition to offering the first comprehensive account of a

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