Triumph in the West: A History of the War Years Based on the Diaries of Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff

Triumph in the West: A History of the War Years Based on the Diaries of Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff

Triumph in the West: A History of the War Years Based on the Diaries of Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff

Triumph in the West: A History of the War Years Based on the Diaries of Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff

Excerpt

In one of my war diary entries, sandwiched between an account of a C.O.S. Committee and of interviews with Montgomery and the Prime Minister, there is a note that Arthur Bryant came to luncheon and that "I found him very interesting." He seems to have found me interesting too! If anyone else does so, it will be due to his years of patient labour in presenting my diary record of my war experiences and setting it against the broader picture of the war as a whole. The friendship that inspired that labour has been one of the best things life has brought me.

The work of a C.I.G.S. or a Commander-in-Chief is only possible because he is a member of a team in which thousands of others play their part. For this reason it is impossible to thank as I should all who helped me to play mine. In the course of the autobiographical notes quoted in this volume I have tried to express what I owe to my two colleagues of the C.O.S. Committee and to the distinguished officers -- all, like them, trusted and valued friends -- who worked with me at Storey's Gate, at the War Office and in the field. I have tried, too, in recording, in July 1945, the end of our long partnership, to express some sense of the obligation which, in common with every Briton, I owe to the great statesman who led us out of the abyss to victory. But for him, as Sir Arthur has written, there "would have been neither turn of the tide nor triumph in the west." That, in the course of my duty, I had sometimes to oppose him or criticise his strategic projects does not in any way diminish the admiration I feel for him or the debt I owe him for the trust he reposed in me and the leadership he gave me.

Though there are many whom I have no space to thank by name, I should like to take this opportunity of recording my debt to my personal staff. In my Military Assistants, Colonel R. Stanyforth and Colonel Brian Boyle, I had two of the most painstaking and hard-working assistants one could have asked for. Ronnie Stanyforth's efficiency and ability did much . . .

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