Allied General Staff : the British

Allied General Staff, the British: General Dempsey, Air Chief-Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, General Montgomery and Admiral Ramsey.


General Miles Dempsey

(15th December 1896 - 5th June 1969) 

He was a career soldier involved in the North African operations (1942-1943), where he acquired a great experience in amphibious operations. 

Montgomery called on Dempsey to implement Operation Overlord. Dempsey commanded the 2nd Army throughout the Battle of Normandy. After the successful landing of his troops, he encountered fierce German resistance in the region of Caen lasting over a month. 

Air Chief-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory

(11th July 1892 ? 14th November 1944) - Commanding the Royal Air Force.

In August 1943, at the beginning of planning for Operation Overlord, Leigh-Mallory was named Commander in Chief of the Allied expeditionary air force on the European front.  

His essential task was to co-ordinate the different air forces during the Battle of Normandy. His principal preoccupation was to restrict and impede the movement of German military units. To achieve this mission, he organised the bombing of road networks, marshalling yards, railway lines and numerous Normandy towns.  

Leigh-Mallory was criticised for the French civilian losses following the bombing. He retorted that the deaths were tragic but necessary if the air campaign was to have any effect. It was seen that his plans considerably slowed the mobilisation of the German army.  

General Bernard Montgomery

(17th November 1887 - 24th March 1976)

 Montgomery served as an Infantry officer during the First World War and as Staff Officer was a member of the British General Staff between the wars.   

In 1942, he won a decisive victory over Rommel’s Afrika Korps at El Alamein. He then conducted the Tunisian campaign and commanded the British army in Italy.   

Building on his great expertise and under the supreme command of Eisenhower, he directed the combined operations of the landings in Normandy.  

His leadership was highly criticised by others of the Allied military command, who could not understand the stagnation of British troops in the Caen area. Montgomery took the liberty of modifying plans fixed in London on 15th May 1944. Some, like Arthur Tedder, Chief of the Allied Air Forces, proposed his recall, but British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was inflexible in his defence.  

Bernard Montgomery was raised to the rank of Field Marshal on 1st September 1944.  

Admiral Bertram Ramsey

Bertram Home Ramsey (20th January 1883 - 2nd January 1945)  

Admiral Ramsey oversaw the evacuation of the British troops from the Dunkirk beaches in May to June 1940, (Operation Dynamo)  

He participated in the planning of Operation Overlord and he directed all of the operations in the landing of troops and equipment from 6th June 1944 and for the duration of the Battle of Normandy

He was killed in an aviation accident at the end of the war.


With the contribution of Remy Desquesnes