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William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount

(1891—1970) army officer


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(b. 6 Aug. 1891, d. 14 Dec. 1970).

British field marshal Born in Bristol, and educated at King Edward's School (Birmingham). He worked for an engineering company before enlisting in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the outbreak of World War I. He served at Gallipoli and was commissioned. Slim joined the Indian army in 1919, where he served until World War II. He commanded Indian troops in successful campaigns against Vichy French forces in Syria in 1941. In the Burma Campaigns he fought the Japanese forces which were approaching the Indian frontier. In October 1943, he took command of the newly formed 14th Army. He resisted Japan's Imphal offensive in March 1944, and after victory at Kohima, moved down the Irrawaddy River, subsequently recapturing Rangoon and most of Burma in 1944–5. A formidable character who could speak a variety of Indian languages, his crushing defeat of the Japanese ensured his reputation. He was later Chief of the Imperial General Staff (1948–52), and Governor-General of Australia (1953–60).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Military History.


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