20116 General Sir Richard Nelson "Windy" GALE, GCB, KBE, DSO, MC

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by airborne medic, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Anyone got any thoughts as to why the a/m was picked in 1941 to take command of the 1st Parachute Brigade?
    He had been from early 1941 commanding the 2nd/5th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Haven't got a clue but in one of the early issues of Military Illustrated from the mid-late 1980s had a great article about him, I wonder if any of the members have a copy tucked away somewhere.
    Mine went out years ago.
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It's not much to add but, strictly speaking, Gale was appointed to raise and form 1 Para Bde, not simply command it. If you can excuse the pun, I think he must have been seen as a high-flying infantry commander in the right place at the right time to create a new type of infantry formation from what had been a commando-style 'special' force.
  4. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Well according to Wikipedia in 1941 ...

    ... Gale had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Coloneland given command of a Territorial Army battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. Then in the summer of 1941 1st Parachute Brigade was formed as part of the expansion of the British airborne forces and Gale was was offered command of the Brigade by General Alen Brooke, who was impressed with the high morale and standards in the battalion;

    Richard Nelson Gale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  5. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

  6. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    I have his book 'With the Sixth Airborne Division in Normandy' so not only raising and commanding 1st Parachute Brigade. He later went on to raise and command 6th Airborne Div.
    After scanning the opening chapter, all he says (in relation to forming 6th AD) on 1st Para Bde is this..
    It had, moreover, been my privilege to form the 1st Parachute Brigade early in September 1941. I had, therefore, a full and very intimate knowledge of airborne domestic problems; a knowledge gleaned from contacts with both the troops and the more Olympian War Office staff.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Just finished reading 'Generating and Sustaining Combat Effectiveness: British 6th Airborne Division, 5th November 1942 – 27th August 1944' by Andrew Stephen Wheale. The central character being General Gale.

    The author concludes in the final passage:
    Link: http://bear.buckingham.ac.uk/520/1/Andrew Wheale Complete Thesis 30-06-21.pdf

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