(1894–1978), British Army officer who commanded 30th Corps in the British and Commonwealth Eighth Army from August 1942 to December 1943, taking part in the Western Desert, North African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns. Montgomery, whom Leese succeeded as commander of the Eighth Army in December 1943, thought him first class and Leese's successes in Italy—which included breaking through the Gustav Line at Monte Cassino and later breaching the Gothic Line—bore out this judgement. In November 1944 Leese took over Eleventh Army Group, which controlled the British and Commonwealth forces fighting in the Burma campaign, and became Mountbatten's C-in-C Allied Land Forces South-East Asia. He was critical of Mountbatten's prosecution of the campaign and was dismissed, perhaps unjustly, in July 1945 over the posting of Slim away from Fourteenth Army. He was knighted in 1943.
From The Oxford Companion to World War II in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Second World War.