Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Glubb, Sir John Bagot (1897–1986)

British soldier and commander of the Arab Legion in Transjordan during World War II. Born on 16 April 1897 in Preston, Lancashire, John Glubb graduated from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in 1915 and served on the Western Front during World War I. At the end of that war, during which he was wounded, he volunteered for assignment in the Middle East and served in Iraq during the Arab revolt there in 1920. In 1926, Glubb left the British army for a civilian position with the Iraqi government.

In 1930, Glubb accepted the rank of brigadier general, which made him in effect second in command of the Transjordan Arab Legion. He was promoted to command this 1,350-man internal police force in 1939, and he made it into a disciplined modern military force. During World War II, the Arab Legion, thanks to Glubb's influence, was a source of support for the Allies in the volatile Middle East and took part in Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Wavell's invasion of Syria in 1941.

After World War II and the emergence of the state of Israel, Glubb built the Arab Legion into a 6,000-man motorized force. It was by far the most effective of Arab units fighting in the 1948–1949 Israeli War of Independence. Bias against the lingering British presence in the region led to Glubb's dismissal in 1956. He returned to Britain and was knighted. Glubb was the author of numerous historical and autobiographical works and was widely known as "Glubb Pasha." He died in Mayfield, East Sussex, on 17 March 1986.

Fred R. van Hartesveldt


Further Reading
Glubb, Sir John Bagot. The Story of the Arab Legion. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1948.; Lunt, James. Glubb Pasha: A Biography. London: Harvill Press, 1984.; Lunt, James. The Arab Legion. London: Constable, 1999.; Royle, Trevor. Glubb Pasha. London: Little, Brown, 1992.
 

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