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Harold Alexander

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Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis (December 10, 1891 - June 16, 1969) was a British military commander and Field Marshal, notably during World War II as the commander of the 15th Army Group.

A career soldier, he was educated at Harrow School and Sandhurst Military Academy[?]. During World War I he served on the Western Front, he received the Military Cross in 1915 and by 1918 was a brigadier.

Between the wars Alexander led the Baltic Landwehr in Latvia during the Russian Civil War and served in Turkey and Gibraltar before returning to England and the Staff College at Camberley and the Imperial Defense College. In 1937 he was promoted to major general and joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

During WW II with the BEF he controlled the retreat to Dunkirk. After that he was promoted and sent to Burma at the beginning of that disaster. In August 1942 Churchill sent him and Bernard Montgomery to North Africa to replace Claude Auchinleck. He presided over Montgomery's victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein. After the Anglo-American forces from Torch and the Western Desert forces met in Tunisia in January 1943, he became deputy to Dwight Eisenhower and Supreme Allied Commander in Italy. He was Eisenhower's preference to command D-Day but Churchill pressured to keep him in Italy. He received the German surrender in Italy on April 29, 1945.

Sir Harold Alexander was created Viscount Alexander of Tunis in 1946 for his leadership the North Africa and Italy. He elevated to Earl in 1952.

After the war Alexander was Governor General of Canada (1946-1952) and in 1952 Winston Churchill made him Minister of Defence. He resigned from that office in 1954.

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