Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Templer, Sir Gerald (1898–1979)

British field marshal. Born in Colchester on 11 September 1898, Gerald Walter Robert Templer was educated at Wellington College and Sandhurst Military Academy in 1916, when he was commissioned in the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He then saw combat service in France. Between the world wars he served in both the Middle East and England and graduated from the Staff College in 1929. At the outbreak of World War II, he was assigned to the intelligence section in the War Office. In November 1940 he was appointed to command a brigade, and in April 1941 he took command of the 47th Division as a temporary major general. In September 1942 he commanded II Corps, part of the British home defense, becoming the youngest lieutenant general in the army. However, ten months later he requested command of a field division and reverted to major general. In October 1943 he was assigned command of the 56th Division in Italy, which he led at Volturno River, Monte Camino, and Anzio. He was sent home the following August to recuperate after being wounded when his vehicle hit a mine.

In 1945 Templer was named director of civil affairs/military government in the British occupation zone in Germany. The following year he returned to the War Office, where he served successively as director of Military Intelligence and vice chief of the Imperial General Staff. He was promoted to lieutenant general in April 1948 and to general in June 1950. In 1952, following two years as chief of the Eastern Command, he was personally chosen by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to become high commissioner in Malaya, then in the midst of the Malayan Emergency.

To restore order in Malaya, Templer selectively built on his predecessors' initiatives while insisting on strict discipline and implementation of reforms, most notably in the police, intelligence, and information services. This approach was closely associated with what became known as the hearts and minds philosophy of counterinsurgency. By the time of his departure in 1954, the insurgents had essentially been defeated. He subsequently served as chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1955 to 1958 and was promoted to field marshal in November 1956. Templer died in London on 25 October 1979.

George M. Brooke III


Further Reading
Stubbs, Richard. Hearts and Minds in Guerrilla Warfare: The Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
 

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