Difference between GOC and GOC-in-C

Discussion in 'General' started by Distinction of the badges, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Hi there,
    Recently, I have worked on WE tables of 2nd Army (WO24/953, Vol XIV/250/2) and 14 Army (WO203/1994) and found that the appointment of the commander of 2nd army and 14th army are GOC and GOC-in-C respectively. I am confused why did the appointment of army commander in North West European theater and South East Asia theatre different?
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Did the Commander of the 14 Army have some commanders of Commonwealth or Allied armies subordinate to him?
  3. Yes please. 14th army was consisted of British, Indian and West African troops. So their commanders were British, but commissioned into different colonial armies.
  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    So that General Officer Commanding in Chief would have subordinate General Officers Commanding
  5. Commanders of both armies (2nd and 14th) had several subordinate GOCs such as Corps GOCs and Division GOCs. Moreover, if we dig into WEs of 8th and 1st armies, both commanders were also called GOC, not GOC-in-C. Whereas, the orders of the battle says both 1st and 8th armies were multinational armies (containing troops from different colonies (India, East Africa etc.), dominions (Australia, NZ, South Africa etc.) and countries (USA, Poland etc.)). 1st Canandian army commander was called as GOC-in-C where 1st Canadian army was multinational army (prior to operation goldflake, it heavily consisted of British troops). All armies were made up from several corps and divisions. Commanders of the corps and divisions were GOC. I think there is something else.
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I think it is simpler than that and is just used in a Command where there are several formations with Generals in charge to give someone overall responsibility.
    Wiki has:
    A General Officer heading a particularly large or important command, such as Middle East Command or the Allied Armies in Italy, may be called a General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C). GOC-in-Cs are usually one rank higher than a GOC with GOCs of Corps - level formations reporting into them.

    Taking General Alexander as an example his biography shows:
    He was promoted acting lieutenant-general in July 1940,[51] and appointed the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Southern Command, which was responsible for the defence of south-west England.
    and in February, after the Japanese invasion of Burma, was sent to India to become GOC-in-C of British Forces in Burma as a full general.[
    For General Wavell:
    Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald Wavell, commanding officer of Southern Command in the United Kingdom, was chosen as the first General Officer Commanding in Chief, a position he took up in July 1939,[6] and was given the acting rank of General.[7]


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