Bernard Paget’s stellar military career culminated in the Second World War with his appointment as C-in-C Home Forces, tasked at first with readying the defences against the expected German invasion; and, as the fortunes of war changed, with preparing the Army for the Second Front in Europe as Commander of the 21st Army Group. A gallant soldier in the Great War and a shrewd commander in the ill-fated Norway campaign of April 1940, Paget excelled as a trainer of raw recruits. Though often irascible and sometimes downright rude – possibly as a result of pain from his war wounds – Paget worked well with Alanbrooke, the CIGS, but his relations with Montgomery were stormy. They were exacerbated when Monty was preferred over Paget to command his beloved 21st Group in the invasion of France. Paget’s consolation prize was to be C-in-C Middle East. Although unfairly patronised as the bridesmaid rather than the bride, Paget’s contribution to victory was immense.
CRUSADING GENERAL The Life of General Sir Bernard Paget GCB DSO MC
The war memoirs of Bernard Paget, the man responsible for Britain’s wartime defences as C-in-C Home Forces. Succeeded as Commander of the 21st Army Group by his mortal enemy Montgomery, Paget ended the war as Commander in the Middle East.
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