Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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De Guingand, Sir Francis Wilfred (1900–1979)

British army general. Born at Acton in Middlesex on 28 February 1900, Francis de Guingand joined the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1919 following graduation from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He first met Bernard Montgomery (then brigade major) while serving as a second lieutenant in southern Ireland in 1921. Following a regimental depot tour at York from 1922 to 1925, de Guingand served in Africa with the King's African Rifles (Canal Brigade, Ismailia), and he commanded troops in Nyasaland (Malawi) from 1930 to 1931. He returned to regimental duties, graduating from the Staff College, Camberley, in 1935. In 1939, he was appointed military assistant to Leslie Hore-Belisha, the secretary of state for war. On the latter's removal in 1940, de Guingand was virtually banished from major assignments. He was then instructor at Haifa Staff College, with a short interregnum as the commandant of the new Combined Operations School.

In December, de Guingand joined the Joint Planning Staff at Cairo, where he was intimately involved in operational planning and early reconnaissance for the Greek Campaign. De Guingand remained a lower-level staff officer until he was appointed director of military intelligence for the Middle East in February 1942. In August, when General Montgomery assumed command of the Eighth Army, de Guingand became chief of staff. De Guingand remained with Montgomery in this capacity for the remainder of the war. Although the two men were opposites in temperament, they seemed to function well together, and de Guingand worked hard to remove points of friction between Montgomery and other Allied leaders.

Promoted to major general in April 1943, de Guingand commenced planning for the Sicily Campaign. He supported Montgomery throughout the Sicily Campaign and during early Allied operations in Italy. De Guingand returned to England as chief of staff of Montgomery's 21 Army Group on 10 January 1944 and served in that position throughout the northern Europe campaigns. A falling-out with Montgomery began in late 1944 when Montgomery claimed all the credit for Allied successes and treated General Dwight D. Eisenhower poorly. On 6 May 1945, de Guingand escorted Colonel General Alfred Jodl to Rheims to formalize the German surrender.

De Guingand retired from the army in May 1946. He moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1947, where he became active in international finance. He wrote several books during his retirement and died near Harare, Rhodesia, on 29 June 1979.

Robert B. Martyn


Further Reading
De Guingand, Sir Francis. Operation Victory. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947.; De Guingand, Sir Francis. African Assignment. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1953.; De Guingand, Sir Francis. Generals at War. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1964.; Hamilton, Nigel. Monty: The Battles of Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery. New York: Random House, 1994.
 

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