Orde Wingate

PITT, Barrie. Orde Wingate.

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PITT, Barrie. Orde Wingate. Biographical Article Typescript on paper, c. 1960.

Three leaves of yellow paper with three pages of text and several corrections and amendments in black and red ink, oxidation to upper margin due to paper clip; otherwise very clean.
The apparently unpublished essay begins: 'On 25th July, 1943, Mr. Churchill wrote "I consider Wingate should command the army against Burma. [.]"'. According to Pitt, his investigation has revealed that 'while those who served under him profess a devotion amounting to idolatry, those who commanded him have combined with the Official Histories in almost unanimously denigrating his every action.' He concludes that 'Wingate was neither a charlatan nor a madman (and some of his critics have called him both) [.] but he was an imaginative soldier with immense powers of mental concentration and of will. The only essential for great generalship he seems to have lacked, was luck; and that lack was fatal.' Pitt analyzes the difficulties of the Bumese Campaign, especially Wingate's expeditions with three thousand soldiers 'some two hundred miles behind the Japanese defences'.
Barrie Pitt (1918-2006) was a writer on war history, notably of The Crucible of War, a three-volume history of desert warfare. He influenced an entire generation of British military historians.