(Isaac) Leslie Hore Belisha

(1893—1957) politician

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(1893–1957), British Liberal politician who was a reformist secretary of state for war from 1937 until January 1940, and a member of Chamberlain's war cabinet. His ruthless modernization of the army, his introduction of a field force (see British Expeditionary Force), his doubling of the Territorial Army in March 1939, his insistence on bringing in conscription, and his organization of anti-aircraft defences proved he was in the van of those striving to prepare the country before it was too late. But his sharpness of mind and tongue, the employment of the military strategist, Basil Liddell Hart, as an adviser (see land power), and perhaps anti-Semitism (Hore-Belisha was a Jew), led to personality clashes with General Gort and other senior officers. His alleged interference in military matters and his brash assertiveness motivated Chamberlain to offer him another post; instead, he chose to resign.

From The Oxford Companion to World War II in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Second World War.

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