Notícia

Thomas Blamey

Thomas Blamey

Thomas Blamey nasceu em Wagga-Wagga, Austrália, em 24 de janeiro de 1884. Blamey trabalhou como professor antes de ganhar uma comissão no Australian Corps em 1906. Após um período na Índia, ele foi enviado para a Inglaterra para servir no Exército Britânico .

Em julho de 1914, Blamey foi promovido a major e com a eclosão da Primeira Guerra Mundial foi enviado ao Egito como oficial de inteligência. Após três meses em Gallipoli, ele foi para a Frente Ocidental como oficial de estado-maior da 2ª Divisão Australiana. Mais tarde, ele serviu como chefe de gabinete do general John Monash.

Blamey deixou o Exército Britânico em 1925 para se tornar o comissário de polícia em Victoria, Austrália. Ele foi considerado um administrador eficiente e foi nomeado cavaleiro em 1935. No entanto, em 1937 ele foi forçado a renunciar quando foi descoberto que ele havia ocultado informações sobre um caso que estava sendo investigado.

Com a eclosão da Segunda Guerra Mundial, Blamey foi nomeado comandante das forças australianas no Oriente Médio. Ele serviu sob o comando do General Archibald Wavell no Egito e liderou o 1º Corpo Australiano na Líbia e na Grécia.

Blamey foi chamado de volta à Austrália quando o Japão entrou na guerra. Em maio de 1942, ele assumiu o comando do Exército australiano, mas perdeu o controle operacional de suas tropas depois que o general Douglas MacArthur se tornou o comandante supremo aliado da Área do Sudoeste do Pacífico.

Em 1950, Blamey se tornou o primeiro marechal de campo da Austrália. Depois de se aposentar do exército, ele abriu um negócio. Thomas Blamey morreu em 27 de maio de 1951.


‘Lady Blamey’: significado e origem

Em inglês australiano, Lady Blamey designa um copo improvisado feito ao cortar a tampa de uma garrafa.

As primeiras ocorrências do termo que encontrei são de Smith’s Weekly (Sydney, New South Wales) de sábado, 13 de setembro de 1941:

Minha é uma senhora culpada!
Diggers New Beer Pot

O fantasma da Sra. Macquarie terá que estar em alerta. Até agora, a cadeira da Sra. Macquarie 1 foi o artigo individual mais famoso da história feminina australiana.
A menos que alguém diga ao General Sir Thomas Blamey 2 para parar de fazer as tropas beberem de garrafas de cerveja cortadas, um artigo, satiricamente chamado de Lady Blamey 3 , vai eclipsar a famosa cadeira.
As tropas que retornam dizem que “a Lady Blamey” já é conhecida em toda a Palestina.
As tropas dizem que foi emitida uma ordem pelo General Blamey no sentido de que, como as tropas australianas puderam comprar muita cerveja em seus cantis, ele ordenou que as garrafas de cerveja fossem cortadas ao meio, e a metade inferior usada como uma medida e um copo.
Depositar no vidro
Digger enche um destes com cerveja por 10½d depois de depositar 4½d no “copo”!
Os homens que retornaram dizem que deram a essas potes de cerveja o nome de "Lady Blamey" porque o governo australiano não autorizou sua presença no Oriente Médio mais do que Lady Blamey's.
Durante o trabalho, "Smith's" sugere que deve haver mil maneiras de economizar na A.I.F. 4 sem fazer tropas beberem em garrafas de cerveja cortadas.

Uma senhora culpada

1 A cadeira da Sra. Macquarie é uma rocha de arenito exposta cortada na forma de um banco, em uma península no porto de Sydney, foi esculpida à mão por condenados em 1810 para Elizabeth Macquarie, esposa do Major-General Lachlan Macquarie (1761-1824), Governador de Nova Gales do Sul de 1809 a 1821.
2 Thomas Blamey (1884-1951) foi um oficial do exército australiano. Na quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 1941, Blamey, que comandava o I Corps, um corpo do Exército australiano baseado no Mediterrâneo e no Teatro do Oriente Médio, foi nomeado subcomandante-chefe das Forças Britânicas no Oriente Médio.
3 Olga Ora Blamey (nascida Farnsworth - 1905-1967) foi a segunda esposa de Thomas Blamey.
4 AIF é curto para Força Imperial Australiana.

No entanto, a origem do termo é diferente de acordo com o texto que contém a segunda ocorrência mais antiga que encontrei - este texto é Drama colorido no esplendor de Melbourne, nossa capital militar, por Alice Jackson, publicado em The Australian Women’s Weekly (Sydney, New South Wales) de sábado, 23 de maio de 1942:

Um amigo meu, um A.I.F. oficial que passou pelas campanhas na Líbia, Grécia e Creta, e teve um longo período no hospital, me disse:
“Lady Blamey foi uma dádiva de Deus perfeita para os soldados doentes. Ela costumava nos visitar regularmente, trazer conforto e escrever cartas para aqueles que estão muito doentes para escrever suas próprias. Você não pode imaginar que alegria foi para os homens ter uma conversa com ela.
“Ela também era prática”, disse ele, “com um verdadeiro talento australiano para a improvisação. Sempre faltavam copos nas cantinas, e ela teve a ideia de cortar as garrafas de cerveja vazias. Eles sempre os usam agora, e os meninos os batizaram de ‘Lady Blameys’. ”

Um soldado explicou como fez Lady Blameys em uma carta publicada em The Australian Women’s Weekly (Sydney, New South Wales) de sábado, 15 de abril de 1944:

Pte. C. Taylor para sua irmã, Sra. Edith Lees, 10 Second St., Ashbury, N.S.W .:
“Temos feito Lady Blameys. Em outras palavras, cortar garrafas para fazer copos para nossa cerveja.
“Você amarra um cordão no mastro da sustentação, enrola o cordão em volta da garrafa logo abaixo do gargalo e, enquanto um curinga segura a ponta do cordão, o outro desliza a garrafa para cima e para baixo.
“Quando a garrafa esquenta, mergulhamos em um balde de água e o gargalo sai tão limpo quanto um apito.”

No The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Queensland) de sábado, 13 de dezembro de 1947, K. J. Kavanagh, o correspondente desse jornal em Canberra, escreveu que viu Lady Blameys no Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Território da Capital da Austrália:


Banco de dados da Segunda Guerra Mundial


ww2dbase Thomas Blamey ocupou a posição no auge do exército australiano durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial - Comandante-em-Chefe - mas sua posição não era igualada por suas realizações no campo de batalha, nem igualada por um personagem que inspirou subordinados a feitos que eles poderia, de outra forma, não alcançar.

ww2dbase Thomas Albert Blamey nasceu no Lago Albert, perto de Wagga Wagga, em NSW durante 1884, um de dez filhos. Ele foi criado praticando muitas das habilidades proporcionais ao desenvolvimento - um traço de caráter importante na mitologia do escavador australiano, habilidades que incluíam tiro, passeios a cavalo, natação no lago, droving e a sede que essas atividades causavam seria saciada por uma escuna de cerveja gelada. O soldado australiano nascido no campo médio de ambas as guerras mundiais possuía uma independência lendária que foi notada por superiores em seu serviço valente e por seus inimigos em seu desafio teimoso. Enquanto a célebre imagem do escavador australiano é alto, magro e bronzeado, Blamey era baixo e atarracado. O pai de Blamey era um pau para toda obra proficiente em empregos comuns na Austrália rural. Tom ocasionalmente o ajudava em seu trabalho, aos treze anos ele cavalgou sozinho por trezentos quilômetros para entregar uma mensagem a seu pai. Muitos amigos e vizinhos se lembram de dar a Thomas Blamey presentes de soldadinhos de brinquedo para ele quando era jovem, pois seu pai insistia que eram os únicos brinquedos com que o menino brincava. Educado principalmente em escolas públicas, Blamey gostava de cadetes, uma prática tirada das escolas britânicas e bastante popular nas colônias. Quando as colônias australianas do século XIX deram lugar ao domínio federado do século XX, o trabalho militar foi enfatizado e a glória marcial alcançada em conflitos internacionais que a promessa de tal ocupação representava: mesmo que Blamey fosse jovem demais para se lembrar , New South Wales enviou um contingente para ajudar a Grã-Bretanha no conflito no Sudão em 1885 Com a eclosão da guerra com os Boers na África do Sul em 1899, Thomas Blamey de quinze anos tentou se alistar na Guerra dos Boer com seus dezoito irmão de um ano de idade em 1901, mas foi rapidamente rejeitado pelo sargento de recrutamento. Depois de testemunhar a desgraça de seu pai com as várias propriedades que possuía ao longo dos anos, Thomas Blamey queria seguir uma carreira com muita segurança e oportunidade de progresso.

ww2dbase Ele fez o exame no NSW Education Board, tornando-se professor. Ser professor permitiu que Blamey continuasse se envolvendo com os cadetes, desta vez como oficial. Na época em que deixou de trabalhar como professor em 1906, ele havia trabalhado para ingressar na Equipe Administrativa e Instrucional dos cadetes, trabalhando em escritórios do Departamento de Defesa em Melbourne. Blamey sempre viu esta nomeação como uma porta para uma nomeação superior, ele não ficou desapontado quando foi transferido para o Pessoal Administrativo e Instrucional da milícia em abril de 1910. Nessa época ele estava firmemente estabelecido na carreira militar, então ele se inscreveu ao Imperial Staff College da Comunidade Britânica, que abriu um colégio em Quetta, na Índia, sob o conselho de Lord Horatio Kitchener. A faculdade não poderia fornecer uma réplica exata do curso para professores oferecido em Camberley, mas o mesmo esboço básico foi fornecido, e Blamey provou ser um aluno entusiasta que fez muitos amigos durante seu tempo lá. Ele tinha viajado para a Inglaterra para ver os famosos campos de batalha, um aspecto que faltava no campus de Quetta. Blamey foi adequadamente colocado durante a eclosão da Primeira Guerra Mundial: havia poucos oficiais superiores do exército australiano na Inglaterra com a chegada da guerra em 1914, ele foi designado para o cargo de oficial de Inteligência, ocupando o terceiro lugar geral, no estado-maior do 1.º AIF, na sede do estado-maior chefiado pelo Chefe do Estado-Maior General da AIF, Brudenell White. Blamey fez muito trabalho organizacional para o papel australiano na campanha de Gallipoli. À medida que a guerra avançava e os novos chefes de estado-maior australianos assumiam o papel de decidir a direção das operações australianas, Blamey continuou seu envolvimento como oficial na equipe de estado-maior geral. Monash reconheceu a habilidade de Blamey como membro da equipe de planejamento operacional.

ww2dbase Ao retornar à Austrália perto do fim da guerra, Blamey foi designado para cargos na milícia, embora nenhum tão prestigioso quanto os cargos que ocupou durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial. Blamey se perguntou se seu avanço no exército australiano havia parado, se a carreira deslumbrante que ele havia começado no exército havia terminado com o fim da Primeira Guerra Mundial. Blamey tinha 34 anos, jovem demais para se aposentar. Neste momento crucial, em 1925, Blamey foi oferecido o cargo de comissário da força policial vitoriana. A oportunidade era boa demais para recusar. Durante seu reinado de onze anos no cargo, Blamey revelou muitas das características que exibiria durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Embora tenha encorajado uma administração forte e astuta abaixo dele, e possuísse a capacidade obstinada de levar adiante uma agenda, seu mandato foi marcado por controvérsias. Ele tinha um talento para alienar governos, especialmente os trabalhistas. O público ficou indignado com o fato de ele desprezar duas conhecidas falhas morais de Blamey, uma ingestão de álcool e um desejo insaciável por mulheres de má reputação. Ele foi frequentemente flagrado publicamente violando as leis de licenciamento restritivas do estado. A última falha acabou custando-lhe o emprego. No que ficou conhecido como & # 34Badge 80 Affair & # 34, três policiais à paisana invadiram um bordel de Fitzroy, encontrando um policial com uma prostituta em um dos quartos. O número no distintivo que ele exibiu, alegando que era seu, era Blamey & # 39s. Blamey tentou evitar a controvérsia por vários meios: mentindo, nomeando uma investigação interna tendenciosa, ameaças contra investigadores e obtenção de álibis de amigos. Os três policiais à paisana, assim como a senhora do estabelecimento em questão, negaram que o policial no centro do polêmico ato fosse Blamey. No entanto, não foi suficiente: a suspeita virou contra ele seus companheiros, a imprensa, o público e o governo do estado. Independentemente do julgamento individual do comportamento de Blamey, a preocupação era sobre o quão indiscreto ele foi ao causar essa polêmica. Seu mandato como comissário-chefe da força policial vitoriana terminou em 1936. Durante seu reinado de onze anos como comissário-chefe vitoriano, Blamey trouxe procedimentos de treinamento de recrutamento aprimorados, sistemas de bem-estar e técnicas de aplicação da lei mais eficientes para a força do estado. Junto com a polêmica e as mudanças administrativas bem-sucedidas, no entanto, Blamey também sentiu uma perda pessoal. Em 1932, um de seus filhos morreu em um acidente de avião e, em 1935, a esposa de Blamey morreu de uma doença fatal e debilitante. Em 1936, aos cinquenta e dois anos de idade e com poucas perspectivas de carreira, Blamey tornou-se comandante da 3ª divisão da milícia, retomando uma carreira que conhecia. Quando este cargo terminou em 1937, Blamey tornou-se major-general na lista independente do exército australiano.

ww2dbase Após o início da Segunda Guerra Mundial, a perspicácia militar de Blamey foi redescoberta. Em 1939, Blamey foi nomeado presidente do Comitê de Mão de Obra da Commonwealth & # 39s e Controlador-Geral de Recrutamento. Quando o gabinete de guerra começou a procurar um oficial para liderar o primeiro escalão da 2ª AIF, a 6ª divisão, Blamey foi discutido. Devido à agressividade nas relações político-militares com os britânicos, Blamey era uma opção atraente para quatro ministros de gabinete, acreditava-se que Blamey não toleraria as divisões separadoras britânicas da AIF. Em 13 de outubro de 1939, Blamey foi nomeado comandante da 6ª Divisão, escolha que gerou polêmica: havia outros oficiais mais graduados do que Blamey, como Gordon Bennett. Bennett levou a nomeação de Blamey para o lado pessoal, nutrindo ressentimento contra Blamey, acreditando que ele havia sido roubado do cargo pelas conspirações de Blamey. Outros achavam que o cargo deveria ter sido atribuído a um oficial permanente. O tempo de Blamey como comandante da 6ª Divisão foi marcado por polêmica, enquanto servia no Oriente Médio frequentava uma boate do Cairo, onde suas atividades seriam óbvias para outros oficiais e tropas. Enquanto os oficiais do Luster Force escapavam da Grécia, Blamey ofereceu um dos poucos assentos disponíveis restantes no avião ao filho restante, uma decisão que provocou críticas, porém compreensíveis à luz das perdas anteriores em sua família durante os anos entre guerras. Após o retorno de Blamey à Austrália em 1941, o governo Curtin, à luz da entrada dos japoneses na guerra, o promoveu ao cargo de comandante-chefe do Exército australiano. Embora essa mudança tenha provocado polêmica, tanto entre seus subordinados quanto entre o público, que conhecia seu estilo de vida difícil, quando questionado pelos jornalistas, Curtin respondeu & # 34Eu indiquei um comandante militar, não um professor da Escola Dominical & # 34. Quando MacArthur chegou à Austrália em março de 1942, o general americano foi nomeado comandante supremo da SWPA, sob a supervisão do primeiro-ministro e detendo um poder incomparável sobre as decisões militares tomadas na Austrália. De sua parte, MacArthur não gostava de Blamey, que na opinião de MacArthur era um "bêbado australiano não profissional" 34. Os dois brigaram como crianças petulantes, fosse perto ou à distância. O problema foi acentuado pelo fato de que MacArthur não teve escolha a não ser nomear Blamey como comandante das forças terrestres aliadas entre o estado-maior da SWPA, incluindo americanos. Quando os japoneses pareciam prestes a tomar Port Moresby durante a campanha de Kokoda, MacArthur pressionou Blamey a viajar para Papua para & # 34energizar a situação & # 34. Longe de energizar a situação, Blamey fez o que fazia de melhor: criar polêmica. Blamey encerrou os comandos de pelo menos quatro oficiais competentes em Papua.

ww2dbase Ele se aposentou em Melbourne após a guerra e tornou-se o único marechal de campo da Austrália em 8 de junho de 1950. Embora seja difícil compreender como uma figura tão controversa se tornou um marechal de campo, a promoção deriva do papel de Blamey na história australiana. Nos três piores traumas históricos do século 20 para a sociedade australiana, Blamey ocupou o alto comando: No Estado-Maior da 1ª AIF na Primeira Guerra Mundial como Comissário Chefe da Polícia de Victoria durante os anos da Depressão e muitos cargos importantes durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Seu conhecimento militar se adaptou bem durante este tempo, ele nasceu em uma era dominada por cavalos e carroças, mas em sua vida as mudanças na tecnologia militar foram enormes: incluindo artilharia em massa, armas químicas, metralhadoras, aviões, tanques, submarinos, porta-aviões, mísseis e, perto do fim de sua carreira, armas atômicas.

ww2dbase Fontes: D. Horner, Blamey: Comandante-em-Chefe, Australian War Memorial, P. Brune, Um bastardo de lugar: australianos em Papua.


Genealogia da culpa

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Nota biográfica

Primeiros anos

Thomas Albert Blamey nasceu no Lago Albert, perto de Wagga Wagga NSW, em 24 de janeiro de 1884, o sétimo de dez filhos de Richard e Margaret Blamey. O jovem Tom Blamey foi educado na Escola Pública Superior e posteriormente na Escola Secundária Wagga. Foi nessa escola que ele desenvolveu seu interesse pelo corpo de cadetes da escola, chegando à posição de cadete-chefe. Este interesse progrediu após sua nomeação como aluno-professor da escola Lake Albert em 1899 e, posteriormente, da South Wagga Public School.

Carreira docente

Em 1902, ele se candidatou ao exame do Departamento de Educação de NSW para treinamento avançado de professores. Apesar de seus resultados satisfatórios, Blamey não foi selecionado entre os principais candidatos. Em vez de aceitar postar em inúmeras escolas do interior em NSW, ele olhou para o ainda incipiente estado da Austrália Ocidental como um meio de desenvolver suas perspectivas.

Ele se demitiu do Departamento de Educação de NSW em 1903 e foi nomeado para o cargo de professor assistente na Fremantle Boys School em julho daquele ano. Mais tarde, Blamey sentou-se e se qualificou para o WA Teachers Examination. Seu interesse pelo corpo de cadetes não diminuiu durante sua nomeação de três anos na escola. Ele, entretanto, em um estágio considerou abandonar sua carreira de ensino para entrar no ministério metodista.

Carreira militar inicial

A carreira de Blamey mudou quando ele fez o concurso para uma comissão do Corpo Instrucional de Cadetes da AMF. Ele ficou em terceiro na Austrália. Fracassando na seleção inicial, os protestos de Blamey conseguiram que ele ganhasse uma comissão e uma transferência para Melbourne como Tenente do Corpo Administrativo e Instrucional. Sua posição como oficial de estado-maior (cadetes) tornou-o responsável pela administração de cadetes escolares em todo o Estado, responsabilidade que exerceu com vigor.

Blamey se casou com Minnie Millard em 1909. Seu primeiro filho, Charles, nasceu em junho do ano seguinte. Nesta fase, Blamey foi promovido ao posto de Capitão. Após um exame completo em 1911, ele foi bem-sucedido ao entrar no Staff College em Quetta, Índia. Seus dois anos no Colégio foram agitados, estimulantes e gratificantes. Após a formatura em dezembro de 1913, ele foi designado para várias unidades britânicas na área de Simla antes de se alistar na Divisão Territorial de Wessex na Inglaterra e, finalmente, no Ministério da Guerra em 1914. Durante este período, um segundo filho, Thomas, nasceu.

Primeira Guerra Mundial

Com a eclosão da Primeira Guerra Mundial, Blamey estava bem posicionado para ajudar o governo australiano. Seu trabalho na seção de inteligência levou à sua nomeação como General Staff Officer III na recém-formada Primeira Divisão da AIF sob o General W Bridges. Recentemente promovido a major, Blamey ingressou na Divisão no Egito em dezembro de 1914. Ele desembarcou em Gallipoli com a Divisão em 25 de abril de 1915 e esteve ativamente envolvido em operações de combate durante sua estada na Península. Após ser chamado ao Egito em julho para auxiliar na formação da Segunda Divisão, ele retornou à Península como Ajudante Assistente e Quartel-Mestre Geral dessa Divisão. Com a retirada da Península concluída, Blamey partiu para a França como GSO I da Primeira Divisão. Suas excelentes habilidades administrativas o mantiveram nesta posição no Quartel-General da Divisão até maio de 1918. No entanto, atuou brevemente como Comandante do 2º Batalhão e, posteriormente, da 1ª Brigada, em 1916-1917. Ele ganhou destaque em meados de 1918, quando nomeado como Corpo de exército como Chefe do Estado-Maior do General J Monash e do Corpo Australiano. O sucesso nas operações deste Corpo fez com que Blamey encerrasse o conflito como Brigadeiro-General. Ele voltou para a Austrália em 1919.

Entre as guerras

Os anos entre guerras foram uma bênção mista para Blamey. Após a conclusão de um período como Diretor de Operações Militares, ele foi inicialmente nomeado para o cargo de Chefe Adjunto do Estado-Maior Geral e, posteriormente, em agosto de 1922, como Representante Australiano no Estado-Maior Imperial em Londres. Enquanto ainda estava no Reino Unido, ele ocupou simultaneamente o cargo de Segundo Chefe do Estado-Maior Geral.

Enfrentando perspectivas limitadas de promoção, Blamey renunciou ao Exército para aceitar o cargo de Comissário Chefe da Polícia em Victoria em setembro de 1925. Nos onze anos seguintes, ele permaneceu como oficial de polícia sênior durante um período turbulento na história da Força. Ele renunciou ao cargo de comissário de polícia em 1936 em meio a disputas políticas e condenação pública. Essa saída do poder fez com que Blamey fosse removido dos olhos do público até o final da década. Embora tenha renunciado ao cargo de oficial do estado-maior em 1925, Blamey continuou seu serviço militar na milícia. Como primeiro Comandante da 10ª Brigada de Infantaria, e posteriormente como 3ª Divisão do GOC em 1931, ele foi capaz de manter sua presença na hierarquia militar até o final de seu mandato em 1937.

Minnie Blamey morreu em 1935 após uma longa doença. Seu filho mais velho, Charles, morrera em um acidente de vôo da RAAF em 1932. Apesar de seu título de cavaleiro, Blamey enfrentou uma luta para manter a preeminência conquistada ao longo de muitos anos de persistência e serviço. Com a ajuda de amigos, ele começou uma série de conversas de rádio cobrindo as relações internacionais para a 3UZ em 1938. Conhecida como 'a sentinela', essas conversas continuaram por doze meses até sua nomeação para a Segunda AIF.

Com a perspectiva de outra guerra se aproximando, o Governo Federal, reconhecendo a capacidade organizacional de Blamey, nomeou-o presidente do Comitê de Recursos Humanos e controlador-geral da Secretaria de Recrutamento em 1938. Em abril de 1939 ele se casou com Olga Farnsworth.

Segunda Guerra Mundial

Blamey foi reconvocado para o serviço militar em tempo integral pelo governo do Menzies United Australia Party em setembro de 1939 e nomeado GOC da Sexta Divisão AIF com o posto de Tenente General. Em abril de 1940 ele se tornou o 1º Corpo do Exército Australiano do GOC e embarcou para o serviço no exterior logo depois. No mesmo ano, ele ocupou o cargo de GOC AIF Forces no Oriente Médio. Ele assumiu um papel ativo após a colocação das Forças Australianas na Grécia. Cético quanto ao valor militar desse compromisso, ele, no entanto, assumiu o comando do Australian, e mais tarde brevemente, do ANZAC Corps, para a retirada estratégica da Grécia. Blamey foi nomeado subcomandante em chefe das Forças Britânicas no Oriente Médio, sob o general Wavell, em abril de 1941. Nessa posição, ele empreendeu uma vigorosa campanha para que as pressionadas Forças Australianas fossem libertadas de Tobruk e intervissem na campanha síria para apressar sua conclusão. Em setembro de 1941, foi promovido ao posto de General.

A eclosão da guerra com o Japão viu Blamey retornar à Austrália em março de 1942 como Comandante em Chefe das Forças Militares Australianas. Isso lhe deu amplos poderes para organizar o esforço militar total em relação à AIF, às milícias e às unidades de defesa voluntária. Reuniu sua capacidade de administração, planejamento operacional e comando. Com a chegada do general americano Douglas MacArthur, como Comandante-em-chefe de todas as Forças Aliadas, SWPA, Blamey assumiu o comando de todas as Forças Terrestres Aliadas em abril de 1942. A aliança não era confortável para nenhuma das partes, mais porque MacArthur tinha "ouvido" de John Curtin e seu governo trabalhista.

Por insistência de MacArthur, com seu desejo de operações ofensivas, Blamey assumiu o comando da Força da Nova Guiné em setembro de 1942. Este movimento viu o bloqueio bem-sucedido das aspirações japonesas na Nova Guiné, no entanto, catapultou Blamey para um conflito direto com alguns de seus superiores comandantes operacionais, notável Tenente-General S Rowell. Em 1943, a reorganização das tropas americanas desmembrou deliberada e efetivamente o comando das Forças Terrestres Aliadas de Blamey. Apesar disso, ele manteve um período ativo de preparação da AMF para as operações ofensivas planejadas em Salamaua, Lae, Finschhafen e Sattelberg. Em abril de 1944, ele acompanhou o primeiro-ministro Curtin ao Reino Unido e aos Estados Unidos para discutir os interesses estratégicos australianos.
O redirecionamento da política de tropas americana teve um efeito direto sobre a mão-de-obra e o uso australianos. Blamey entrou em conflito com Curtin e o secretário do Departamento de Defesa, F Shedden, sobre o tamanho e os requisitos de mão de obra para a AMF. Blamey olhou para a eficácia operacional da AMF em 1944 na Nova Guiné, em torno de Wewak e em Bougainville e mais tarde em 1945 com a operação de Tarakan, Labuan e Balikpapan, para manter a presença da Austrália na preparação para a rendição japonesa.

Rescaldo

Blamey havia mostrado ao longo de seu comando das forças australianas, primeiro no Oriente Médio e na SWPA, uma forte compreensão da natureza mutável da guerra moderna e do uso eficaz de operações combinadas em grande escala. Suas proezas administrativas serviram bem a seu país.
Apesar dos elogios e de sua posição eminente como representante australiano na rendição oficial dos japoneses em Tóquio em setembro de 1945, Blamey foi demitido de seu comando no início de dezembro daquele ano. Ele efetivamente se aposentou do Exército em 1o de fevereiro de 1946 e foi transferido para a Lista da Reserva de Oficiais.

Por seu longo e devotado serviço, Blamey foi nomeado Cavaleiro Comandante da Ordem de Bath em 1941, recebeu a Cruz Militar Grega no mesmo ano e foi mencionado em despachos várias vezes por seu trabalho no Oriente Médio. Mais tarde, ele foi condecorado com o Cavaleiro da Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Império Britânico (1943), a American Distinguished Service Cross (1943), a Decoração da Eficiência e a Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Oranje Nassau em 1946.

Atividades pós-guerra

Blamey passou seus anos restantes envolvido em várias funções semi-oficiais, incluindo o Comitê de Honras de Batalha da Austrália em 1947, negócios privados e redação. Ele teve um grande interesse no estabelecimento do que mais tarde se tornaria a Australian National University. Ele também estava envolvido com a secreta organização anticomunista 'The Association'.

Morte

Sua saúde piorou no início de 1950 e ele foi internado no Hospital Geral de Repatriação em Heidelberg, Victoria, em junho daquele ano. Persuadido pelo Primeiro Ministro RG Menzies a reentrar na Lista Geral das Forças Militares Cidadãs, Blamey foi promovido ao posto de Marechal de Campo em 8 de junho de 1950. Ele recebeu seu Bastão de Marechal de Campo do Governador-Geral, William McKell, no hospital em em 16 de setembro de 1950. Isso o tornou o primeiro e único australiano a manter esse posto.
Blamey morreu em 27 de maio de 1951 em conseqüência de sua longa doença. Ele recebeu um funeral de estado e foi cremado no cemitério Fawkner General.

PostScript

Blamey é o tema de três biografias, duas de John Hetherington. O primeiro, Blamey: a biografia do Marechal de Campo Sir Thomas Blamey, foi publicado em 1954. O segundo, Blamey: soldado controverso foi lançado em 1973. O terceiro, Blamey: o Comandante em Chefe de David Horner foi lançado em 1998. Ele tem sido o assunto de vários livros e artigos de revistas. Ele também é tema de duas esculturas. O primeiro, de Daphne Mayo, foi encomendado pelo Memorial em 1948. O segundo, de Ray Ewers, foi concluído em 1960.

  • Australian Dictionary of Biography Vol 13: 1940 - 1980 A - De, Melbourne University Press, 1993
  • Hetherington J, Blamey: um polêmico soldado AWM-AGPS, Canberra 1973
  • Horner D M, The Commanders Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1984
  • AWM 43, História Oficial, Guerra 1914 - 1918, arquivos biográficos e de pesquisa
  • AWM 140, História Oficial 1914 - Guerra de 1918, cartas biográficas
  • AWM 76, História Oficial 1939 - Guerra de 1945, arquivos biográficos
  • AWM 168, História Oficial 1939 - Guerra de 1945, cartas biográficas

Thomas Blamey

(1884-1951) Senhor Marechal de Campo Thomas A. Blamey, GBE KCB CMG DSO ED, foi o único soldado do Exército australiano a chegar ao posto de Marechal de Campo. [1] Ele foi um voluntário cadete em 1904 e alcançou um notável recorde na Primeira Guerra Mundial. Ele esperava se tornar chefe do Estado-Maior do Exército quando o cargo ficou vago em 1923, mas renunciou, permanecendo na milícia, e se tornou o comissário-chefe da Polícia em Victoria, uma época repleta de escândalos.

Enquanto estava na reserva inativa em setembro de 1938, ele foi nomeado para um comitê de planejamento de guerra e, quando a guerra europeia estourou em 1939, voltou ao serviço ativo e subiu rapidamente. Ele lutou no norte da África e voltou a se tornar comandante-em-chefe das forças australianas em março de 1942. Douglas MacArthur tinha mais autoridade sobre as forças e era o conselheiro estratégico do primeiro-ministro, embora Blamey tivesse acesso ao chefe do governo.


Thomas Blamey - História

General Sir Thomas A. Blamey GBE KCB CMG DSO ED.

Thomas Albert Blamey nasceu em Wagga Wagga, Nova Gales do Sul, em 24 de janeiro de 1884, o sétimo de dez filhos de Richard Blamey, um açougueiro da Cornualha que emigrou para a Austrália aos 16 anos e trabalhou como tropeiro e capataz. Tom foi educado na Escola Pública Superior Wagga Wagga e na Escola Secundária Wagga Wagga. Ele passou no exame de admissão do Departamento de Educação de New South Wales e tornou-se aluno-professor na Lake Albert School em 1899. Em 1901 mudou-se para a South Wagga Public School. Em 1903 mudou-se para a Austrália Ocidental, onde se tornou professor assistente na Fremantle Boy's School.

Blamey serviu na unidade de cadetes da escola em Wagga e tornou-se oficial cadete em novembro de 1904. Em 1906, ele fez o exame para uma comissão na equipe administrativa e instrucional dos cadetes. Apenas cinco dos doze candidatos passaram a nota máxima foram para o Capitão T. H. Dodds, enquanto Blamey ficou em terceiro. Os principais candidatos de Queensland, Austrália do Sul e Tasmânia foram nomeados, mas não Blamey, não havendo vagas na Austrália Ocidental. No entanto, houve uma vaga não preenchida em Victoria e Blamey escreveu ao Adjunto Assistente Geral Adjutor (DAAG) em Melbourne, Major J. H. Bruche, declarando que estava disposto a se mudar para Victoria e que a vaga vitoriana deveria ser oferecida a ele. Bruche ficou impressionado com a carta de Blamey e em novembro de 1906, Blamey chegou a Melbourne, comissionado como tenente.

In April 1910, Blamey transferred to the Administrative and Instructional Staff of the Citizen Military Forces (CMF), with seniority back dated to 1 July 1906. On 1 December 1910 he was promoted to captain. In 1911, Blamey sat the entrance examination for the staff college and became the first Australian to actually pass, previous entrants including Captains C. B. B. White and C. H. Foott having had the requirements waived. Blamey commenced the course at Quetta, India in 1912 and graduated the next year. While in India he spent short periods on attachment to the British and Indian Armies.

Blamey then sailed for Britain in May 1914, visiting Turkey (including the Dardanelles), Germany and Belgium en route. On arrival he spent a brief time on attachment to the 4th Dragoon Guards and then took up duties on the staff of the Wessex Division, at that time entering its annual camp. On 1 July 1914, he was promoted to major. When war broke out on 4 August 1914, Blamey was one of four officers stationed in the United Kingdom, the other three being Colonel H. G. Chauvel, Major C. H. Foott and Captain J. D. Lavarack. All four were soon deployed on duties at the War Office.

On 28 November 1914, Chauvel and Blamey sailed for Egypt where Blamey became part of the 1st Division Headquarters, as General Staff Officer, Grade 3 (GSO3), in charge of intelligence. As such, he landed at Anzac Cove along with Major General W. T. Bridges, Lieutenant Colonel C. B. B. White and Lieutenant R. G. Casey at around 7:30am on 25 April 1915. In the early afternoon, Bridges sent Blamey to Colonel J. W. McCay's 2nd Brigade to evaluate the situation. Blamey telephoned headquarters at 3:30pm and informed them that reinforcements were urgently required. An hour later McCay again requested reinforcements, and Blamey added his opinion that they were urgently required. A battalion was sent.

On the night of 13 May 1915, Blamey, in his capacity as intelligence officer, led a patrol consisting of himself, Sergeant J. H. Will and Bombardier A. A. Orchard, behind the Turkish lines in an effort to locate the Olive Grove guns that had been harassing the beach. Near Pine Ridge, an enemy party of eight Turks approached and one of them went to bayonet Orchard, so Blamey shot him with his revolver. In the fire fight that followed, six Turks were killed. Blamey withdrew his patrol back to the Australian lines without locating the guns. Later, examination of the fuse setting on a dud round revealed that the guns were much further to the south than had been realised.

Blamey was always interested in technical innovation. He was instrumental in the adoption of the periscope rifle, an instrument which he saw on an inspection of the front line. He arranged for the inventor, Lance Corporal Beech, to be seconded to division headquarters to progress the idea. Within a few days, the pattern was perfected and periscope rifles began to be used throughout the Australian trenches.

In July 1915, Major General J. G. Legge began forming a headquarters for the new 2nd Division and he selected Blamey as GSO2. But when Legge's first choice for Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General (AA & QMG), Colonel T. H. Dodds, was turned down by the Australian government, he chose Blamey for the post, as he was determined that it should be occupied by an Australian, for he felt that an Australian officer would take better care of the troops. Blamey was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 26 July, the day he left Anzac to take up the post in Egypt. The 2nd Division Headquarters embarked for Gallipoli on 29 August 1915 but Blamey was forced to remain in Egypt for as he had just had an operation for haemorrhoids. He finally returned to Anzac on 25 October, remaining for the rest of the campaign.

Blamey accompanied the 2nd Division to France in March 1916 but on 5 July, as a result of a shuffle of senior staff posts, he moved to the 1st Division as GSO1, replacing Lieutenant Colonel A. H. Bridges (a cousin of the general), who became GSO1 of the 2nd Division. He was immediately plunged into the planning for the attack on Pozieres. Blamey visited British divisions in order to learn as much as possible from their recent experiences, which he summarised in memoranda circulated widely through the division. Although mistakes were made, the attack was a tactical success. For his part, Blamey was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in the 1917 New Year's list.

At this time, Birdwood had Blamey under consideration for appointment as a brigade commander. As a preliminary step, Blamey was appointed to command the 2nd Infantry Battalion on 3 December 1916. Then on 28 December, Blamey, as senior ranking battalion commander, took over acting command of the 1st Infantry Brigade. On 9 January 1917, he went on leave, handing over acting command to Lieutenant Colonel I. G. Mackay. By the time Blamey got back, the plan had been scuttled. GHQ BEF had noticed that Blamey was a Staff College graduate and directed that such qualified staff officers were not to be used as battalion commanders unless they had failed as staff officers. Blamey had not failed, so back to the GSO1 job he went. Birdwood did, however, promote Blamey to full colonel, backdated to 1 December 1916, thereby making him technically senior to recently promoted Brigadier Generals E. A. Wisdom, H. G. Bennett and J. Heane, and his division commander, Major General H. B. Walker, had Blamey mentioned in dispatches for his period of battalion and brigade command, although the battalion had spent most of the period out of the line and there had been no significant engagements.

Blamey was also acting commander of the 2nd Brigade during a rest period from 27 August to 4 September 1917. On 13 September he was admitted to hospital and was eventually evacuated to England and did not return until 8 November 1917. In his absence, Colonel J. G. Dill and Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Lavarack acted as GSO1 in his absence. Blamey was made a Companion of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1918 New Year's list.

On 1 June 1918 Blamey was finally promoted, becoming Brigadier General General Staff (BGGS) of the Australian Corps under its new commander, Lieutenant General Sir J. Monash. The two men soon built up an excellent working relationship. Monash later wrote:

The prediction that Blamey's orders would be studied at staff colleges did indeed come to pass.

Blamey remained interested in technological innovation. He was impressed the capabilities of the new models of tanks and pressed for their use at Hamel. He noted the wide use that the Germans made of their Mustard gas and took extraordinary steps to arrange for a supply of mustard gas shells for the assault on the Hindenburg Line. For his services as Corps Chief of Staff, Blamey was made a Companion of the Bath (CB). In all, he had been mentioned in dispatches seven times.

Blamey finally returned to Australia on 20 October 1919, after more than six years overseas and was posted to army Headquarters in Melbourne as Director of Military Operations. In May 1920, he became Deputy Chief of the General Staff. His first major task was the creation of the RAAF, working with Lieutenant Colonel R. Williams of the Flying Corps as the Army representatives. On 1 November 1922, Blamey left for London where he was posted as the Australian Representative at the Imperial General Staff. Most of his work was connected with the establishment of a naval base at Singapore and the development of the RAAF.

On the retirement of the Chief of the General Staff (CGS), Major General Sir C. B. B. White, in 1923, Blamey expected to become CGS. However, his ambition was thwarted by Major General V. C. M. Sellheim, who wrote to the Minister of Defence, protesting his supersession, and that of other senior permanent officers including Major Generals J. H. Bruche and C. H. Brand and Brigadier Generals W. A. Coxen, T. H. Dodds, and C. H. Foott. Instead, the post was given to General H. G. Chauvel, the Inspector General, while Blamey became 2nd CGS.

On 1 September 1925, Blamey resigned from the permanent forces and became Chief Commissioner of Police in Victoria. Almost immediately he became embroiled in a scandal when on 21 October 1925, police raided a brothel and apart from finding alcohol being sold without a liquor licence, discovered a man in possession of Blamey's police badge. Apparently, Blamey had loaned his badge to a friend. Blamey modernised the force, improved and increased recruiting, raised the number of women in the force, overhauled the promotion system and established the Licensing Branch. He was created a knight bachelor in 1935 but was forced to resign on 9 July 1936 for issuing an untrue statement in order to protect the reputations of two ladies who were innocent victims of an armed hold up.

After leaving the regular army, Blamey had transferred to the militia. On 1 May 1926 he took command of the 10th Infantry Brigade, succeeding Brigadier General J. C. Stewart. The brigade was part of the 3rd Division, which was commanded by Major General G. J. Johnston from 1922 to 1927 and then by Major General H. E. Elliott. Following Elliott's death on 23 March 1931, Blamey took command of the division and was promoted to major general, one of only four militia officers promoted to this rank between 1929 and 1939, the others being H. G. Bennett in 1930, I. G. Mackay in 1937 and E. A. Drake-Brockman, who succeeded Blamey as 3rd Division commander in 1937, when he moved to the unattached list.

At this point, where the biographies of most Great War generals end, that of Blamey usually begins.

In September 1938, with the prospect of another war looming, the government established a Manpower Committee at the Department of Defence and Blamey took its chairmanship over from Major General Sir C. H. Jess in November. Over the next weeks, Blamey and his staff drew up lists of reserved occupations, selected district manpower officers and made arrangements for a future full mobilisation.

When war broke in September 1939, Blamey was the army's second most senior officer on the active list, ranking after Major General H. G. Bennett and ahead of the CGS, Major General J. D. Lavarack, both vocal critics of the government's defence policies. The others had their supporters in Cabinet, but Blamey was well known to the Prime Minister, R. G. Menzies, who had been Attorney General in the Victorian Government when Blamey was Chief Commissioner, and the Treasurer, R. G. Casey, who had served under Blamey on the 1st Division and Australian Corps staff.

On 28 September 1939, Blamey was appointed to command the Second AIF and its new 6th Division. He began selecting his staff on 1 October. For GSO1 he selected Colonel S.F. Rowell for GSO2, Major R. G. H. Irving (the son of Major General G. G. H. Irving) for AA & QMG, Lieutenant Colonel G. A. Vasey, all regular officers. For brigade commanders he selected Brigadier A. S. Allen who had commanded the 45th Battalion in the First AIF, Brigadier L. J. Moreshead, who had commanded the 33rd, and Brigadier S. G. Savige, who had commanded a small independent force in Kurdistan in 1918, and later the 37th and 24th Battalions and 10th Brigade under Blamey in the 3rd Division. For an artillery commander, he chose Brigadier E. F. Herring, commander of the 3rd Division Artillery, a King's Council and Rhodes Scholar. All four brigadiers were militia officers, on orders from Menzies.

Blamey was promoted to lieutenant general on 13 October 1939.On 28 February the War Cabinet decided to raise another division and Blamey was given command of I Corps. Major General I. G. Mackay took over the 6th Division and Lieutenant General J. D. Lavarack dropped in rank to major general command the 7th Division. Blamey took Rowell with him as Brigadier General Staff (BGS) and appointed Major General H. D. Wynter as Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General (DA & QMG).

Already the 16th Brigade and other elements of the 6th Division had arrived in Palestine. The 17th followed in April, and then the 18th, although it was diverted to the United Kingdom due to the deteriorating military situation in France. On 12 June 1940, Blamey left for Palestine with Rowell and others on a Qantas flying boat in civilian clothes as they were passing through neutral countries. They landed on Lake Tiberias on 20 June 1940 and on 22 June Blamey reported to his new superior, the Companion in Chief Middle East, General Sir A. P. Wavell in Cairo. The two men had similar backgrounds, having both been corps BGGS during the Great War.

In December 1940, Wavell launched a surprise offensive against the Italians in Libya. By this time the 6th and 7th Divisions were in the Middle East and more or less complete and Blamey agreed to temporarily attach the 6th Division to the Western Desert Force, with which it participated in the attack on Bardia and the drive to Benghazi. Wavell agreed that I Corps would take over at first opportunity and this it did on 15 February 1941.

Yet within days Blamey was alerted for another operation. Wavell had been ordered to send troops to Greece and wanted I Corps to go. Wavell misled Blamey into believing that the project had been approved by Menzies, while informing Menzies that Blamey approved. In reality Blamey thought that the expedition to Greece had a poor chances of success, and was concerned about the ability of the man appointed to command the expedition, Lieutenant General Sir H. M. Wilson. Blamey has been strongly criticised for failing to make the Australian government aware of his doubts about the project. He learned his lesson and never again failed to keep the Australian government fully informed.

Soon after he arrived in Greece, Blamey scouted the likely evacuation beaches with his aide. While Wavell had proposed to send the 7th Division, followed by the 6th, Blamey reversed the order, so that his most experienced division would be available. Unfortunately, this resulted in the inexperienced 9th Division, under Major General L. J. Moreshead, finding itself in the path of the German advance when Rommel counterattacked in Libya. Meanwhile Blamey conducted a skilled withdrawal in Greece, culminating in the evacuation he had foreseen. The campaign ended ignominiously when Wavell ordered Blamey out of Greece, an order he protested to no avail. Blamey flew out with Rowell and other staff officers, including his son, Major T. R. Blamey.

Blamey returned to Cairo to find that he had been appointed Deputy Companion in Chief Middle East as a result of the political fall out of the Greek campaign, and that the AIF had been scattered about the theatre. His first concern was Crete, where German paratroops landed on 20 May 1941. As acting theatre commander, Blamey was unable to salvage the situation but took action to ensure that as many Australians were evacuated as possible. In Syria, where the 7th Division was the principal force, Blamey acquiesced with the British command arrangements, whereby Wilson directed operations from a hotel in Jerusalem, because he was reluctant to appoint another as corps commander while still uncertain how secure his job as Deputy C-in-C was. When it became clear that Wilson could not adequately control the operation, Blamey took belated but decisive action, appointing Lavarack as I Corps commander, and interposing his headquarters between Wilson and the 7th Division, which he appointed Allen to command.

As Blamey was the second most senior officer in the theatre, the British government promoted Wilson to full general in June. Later that month Wavell was relieved, replaced by General Sir C. Auchinleck. Blamey and Auchinleck soon clashed. After Syria, Blamey's concerns focused on the 9th Division, besieged in Tobruk. Concerns about Tobruk receded after Morehead twice defeated Rommel in April but Blamey and the Australian government pressed for its relief. The Australian government strongly backed Blamey and promoted him to full general on 24 September 1941. Blamey became only the fourth Australian to reach this rank, after H. G. Chauvel, J. Monash and C. B. B. White. The division was eventually withdrawn from Tobruk in October 1941. For his services, particularly in Greece, Blamey was created a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB) in the 1942 New Year's List.

Blamey's stance over the relief of the 9th Division had British Prime Minister W. S. Churchill ready to ask the Australian government for Blamey's relief but the outbreak of war with Japan on 8 December 1941 completely changed the situation. On 11 March 1942 Blamey was appointed C-in-C of the Australian Military Forces and returned to Australia to take command of the army in its greatest crisis. On 26 March 1942 he arrived in Melbourne and was informed that he would also be C-in-C Allied Land Forces under the new C-in-C of the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) theatre, General D. MacArthur who became the Australian government's chief advisor on strategic matters, although Blamey had direct access to the Prime Minister.

Blamey established his headquarters, which became known as Land Headquarters (LHQ), in Melbourne. He appointed Major General G. A. Vasey as his chief of staff, Lieutenant General H. D. Wynter as Lieutenant General Administration (LGA), Major General V. P. H. Stantke as Adjutant General and Major General J. H. Cannan as Quartermaster General. There were few Americans at LHQ, just as (in spite of orders to the contrary from Washington), there were few Australians at MacArthur's GHQ. Blamey initiated a sweeping reorganisation of the defence of Australia that saw Lieutenant General J. D. Lavarack appointed to command the First Army in Queensland, Lieutenant General I. G. Mackay, the Second Army in Victoria and Lieutenant General H. G. Bennett, the III Corps in Western Australia. Lieutenant General S. F. Rowell was given I Corps and Lieutenant General J. Northcott, II Corps. These formations (which became active on 15 April 1942) soon controlled eleven Australian divisions and two American divisions.

The Battle of the Coral Sea on 7-8 May 1942 ended the possibility of a Japanese seaborne attack on Port Moresby but within a fortnight the code breakers in Melbourne reported that the Japanese intended to make an overland attempt over the Kokoda Trail. MacArthur decided to establish a base on the eastern tip of New Guinea at Milne Bay and Blamey sent the 7th Brigade to defend it and the 14th Brigade to Port Moresby. The 30th Brigade was already there. Blamey has been strongly criticised for sending the militia instead of the veteran AIF troops of 7th Division, which he was keeping for projected offensive operations. Once the Japanese offensive developed, Blamey ordered Rowell to take command in New Guinea, and sent the 7th Division. There was soon heavy fighting, both at Milne Bay and on the Kokoda Trail.

By the end of August, the Japanese had been defeated at Milne Bay but as Rowell's troops made a fighting withdrawal along the Kokoda Trail over the Owen Stanley Range, some of the most rugged and daunting terrain in the world, MacArthur became increasingly alarmed at what looked like another Malaya style retreat. MacArthur told Prime Minister J. Curtin that the Australian commanders had confidence in their ability to deal with the situation which he did not share and recommended that Blamey be sent to New Guinea to take personal command. Much against his wish and better judgement, Blamey complied with the Curtin's and MacArthur's order.

Blamey arrived in Port Moresby on 23 September 1942. He found Rowell petulant and uncooperative and relieved him of his command on 28 September, replacing him with Lieutenant General E. F. Herring. Blamey made sure that MacArthur was kept fully informed on progress back in Brisbane as the 7th Division pushed the Japanese back over the Kokoda Trail. In response to constant calls from MacArthur for a faster advance, Blamey relieved Brigadier A. W. Potts of the 21st Brigade on 9 October and then Major General A. S. Allen of the 7th Division on 27 October, replacing him with Major General G. A. Vasey.

Having pursued the Japanese across the Owen Stanleys, the diggers confronted an enemy ensconced in a vast complex of bunkers in the swamps surrounding Buna and Sanananda. Joining them was the US 32nd Division. MacArthur's hopes for a quick victory were soon dashed and the performance of the American troops was profoundly embarrassing in the light of his criticism of the Australians. MacArthur sent the US I Corps, under Major General Robert L. Eichelberger, with orders to take Buna or not come back alive. For the first time since the Great War, an American Corps fought under an Australian Corps. Eichelberger soon established a good working relationship with the Australians. On 5 January, Blamey flew across the mountains and visited the forward units. Looking at the bunkers that had been captured thus far, Blamey declared that the GIs and diggers who had fought through the fetid swamps and captured the bunkers had performed nothing less than a miracle. For his part, Blamey was created a Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire (GBE) on 29 May 1943.

The Official Historian wrote of Blamey's role in Papua:

At the very peak of this leadership development was General Blamey himself. His greatness was demonstrated almost daily by a knowledge unparalleled in Australia of how an Army should be formed and put to work by his exercise of the vital field command at the same time as he kept within his grasp a vastly detailed control of the Australian Army as a whole by his sagacity and strength in meeting the rapidly changing demands of a difficult political situation by his ability speedily to encompass the requirements of the new war and plan far ahead of the events of the day as he controlled them by his generally unappreciated humanity.

Blamey's next campaign in New Guinea was an entirely different affair. One again, Blamey took over personal command of New Guinea Force. His conception involved a gigantic double envelopment of the Japanese forces. American paratroops would seize the airfield around Nadzab, enabling the 7th Division to fly in and attack Lae from the west while the 9th Division -- back from the Middle East and retrained for jungle warfare and combined operations -- would land on the beaches east of Lae and attack it from the opposite side. Blamey's plan involved imaginative use of the latest innovations in air and sea power in a manner worthy of Monash, and one of the most brilliant of the war. Launched in September 1943, it took the enemy by surprise and the capture of Lae followed rapidly. The 7th Division then turned around 180 and drove up the Markham and Ramu Valleys while the 9th Division moved along the coast to Finschafen. After much fighting, the whole New Guinea coast from Milne Bay to Madang was in Allied hands. It was a major victory at low cost, and a vindication not just of Blamey as a field commander, but of his training policies as well.

This was Blamey's last campaign as an operational commander. The Australians had been the spearhead of the Allied effort in the South west pacific for two years. Now that role was taken over by the Americans of Alamo Force, Lieutenant General W. Krueger's US Sixth Army, operating under MacArthur's direct command, while Blamey's divisions were withdrawn to Australia to rest. In April 1944, Blamey travelled to the United States with Curtin. In Washington Blamey was warmly received by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and met with the Combined Chiefs. Curtin and Blamey flew on to London where they met with the British Chiefs of Staff and discussed British plans for the war in the Pacific. He met with the Supreme Companion, General D. D. Eisenhower and with General B. L. Montgomery, the Allied land commander, who gave Blamey a detailed briefing on the Normandy invasion plan. Blamey also took the opportunity to speak to Australian Army officers involved in the operation.

Because the militia could not be employed north of the equator, MacArthur resolved to have Australians relieve the American garrisons in New Guinea and the Islands, thereby freeing up American troops for the upcoming campaign in the Philippines. Far from withering on the vine, these bypassed Japanese were still tying up large numbers of Australian and American troops. Blamey believed strongly that it was politically vital for Australia to participate in the invasion of Japan, and only the AIF could do it. Therefore the Japanese had to go. For the first time, an Australian general led an Australian Army on operations in pursuit of Australian political objectives. It would be the Australian Army's major effort of the war. Lieutenant General V. A. H. Sturdee of the First Army directed operations from Lae. The 5th Division tightened the noose on Rabaul Savige's II Corps, with the 3rd and 11th Divisions, began a long campaign to wipe out the Japanese on Bougainville while the 6th Division cleared New Guinea, capturing the main Japanese base at Wewak and driving the survivors across the mountains. Lieutenant General Sir L. J. Moorehead's I Corps, with the 7th and 9th Divisions, was under MacArthur's command in case he needed the AIF in the Philippines. Eventually MacArthur used them to capture the oilfields of Borneo.

Blamey received a lot of criticism over these campaigns, both their rationale and their conduct. He was accused of cronyism and sidelining rival generals such as Lieutenant General J. D. Lavarack, Lieutenant General H. G. Bennett and Major General H. C. H. Robertson. He was charged with having an excessive number of generals in the army (in the British army there was one general for every 8,333 men, in the America, 1 per 6,450, in the Australia, 1 per 14,953). He was accused of maintaining an Army that was too large. These accusations had little substance, but Blamey's relations with the government soured.

On 2 September 1945, Blamey stood beside MacArthur on the deck of the USS Missouri and signed the Japanese surrender document on behalf of Australia as an equal partner. He then flew to Moratai where he personally accepted the surrender of the remaining Japanese in the South West Pacific. By this time nine out of every ten Japanese who had set foot on New Guinea had died.

Then on 14 November 1945, Blamey was abruptly dismissed by the government. He was formally discharged on 31 January 1946, after 39 years of service. Asked if he wanted any honours for himself, Blamey declined, instead requesting knighthoods for Generals J. Northcott, J. H. Cannan, J. E. S. Stevens and G. F. Wootten. His request was refused. But in December 1949, the government changed an Menzies again became Prime Minister. Blamey wrote to him recommending knighthoods for J. Northcott, S. G. Savige, V. A. H. Sturdee, F. H. Berryman, S. R. Burston, J. H. Cannan, C. S. Steele, J. E. S. Stevens and G. F. Wootten. All were accepted except Cannan.

On 8 June 1950, Blamey was promoted to field marshal, the first and only Australian to reach the rank. Gravely ill, he was presented with his baton in a ceremony at the Heidelberg Repatriation General Hospital on 16 September 1950. Blamey never removed from his illness and died of a stroke on 27 May 1951. A state funeral was held in Melbourne. An escort of 4,000 troops accompanied the gun carriage with his coffin along a route from the Shrine of Remembrance to Faulkner Crematorium lined by 300,000 people. For pall bearers he had ten of his lieutenant generals: J. Northcott, L. J. Moreshead, I. G. Mackay, E. F. Herring, V. A. H. Sturdee, S. G. Savige, S. F. Rowell, F. H. Berryman, W. Bridgeford and H. Wells.

A statue of Blamey stands in the King's Domain in Melbourne, near the Shrine of Remembrance. The square at the heart of the Department of Defence complex in Canberra was named Sir Thomas Blamey Square and a bas relief likeness was unveiled in 1984. On 27 May 2001, the square was renamed Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey Square. The baton of the nation's only field marshal is on display in the War Memorial.

"I have always felt", wrote MacArthur in 1954, "that his services in the Second World War were not sufficiently recognized. What he did cannot be overestimated, and his contribution to the defeat of Japan marked him as one of the great soldiers of our time. Australia and, indeed, the whole free world owes him a debt of gratitude."


Thomas Albert Blamey

He was born in 24 January 1884 in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia , and He was dead in 27 May 1951 in Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.

He began his military career as a "civilian soldier" and served as commander at Gallipoli (Turkey). The height of his career was during the Second World War as Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Forces, serving simultaneously as Allied Commander-in-Chief of the forces landed in the Pacific Southwest under the command of the American General, Douglas MacArthur. On 2 September 1945, Blamey was with General MacArthur on the USS Missouri and signed the document of the Japanese capitulation as representative of Australia. He then flew to the island of Morotai and personally accepted the capitulation of the Japanese remaining in the South-West Pacific.

The First World War Blamey is the seventh of the 10 children. After a few failures in agriculture, his father operates a small farm and works as a cattle ranger and monster controller. Blamey joined forces with his father in the company and became a very good rider. He was an effective and hard-fought member of the Cadet Army at school. He passed a test and became a police officer, the test included shooting targets, etc.

Blamey began working in 1889 as a trainee professor in the Wagga Wagga area before moving to western Australia in 1903 to continue his teaching career. He was assigned to the cadet school as a teacher at Wagga Wagga.

He was surprisingly a great womanizer and a great drinker long before, but was afterwards a person who never drinked alcohol and belonged to the Methodist Church. Very early in 1906, he was encouraged by the church leader in Western Australia to enroll in the formation of minister, who was ready to do so.

However, when the Australian military cadet training was created, he saw it as a new opportunity. He passed the entrance examination and came third in Australia, but missed the appointment because there are no vacancies in Western Australia. After persuasive correspondence with the military authorities, he was appointed Lieutenant in Victoria, beginning in November 1906.

Blamey married Minnie Millard on September 8, 1909. Her first child, a boy named Dolf, was born on June 29, 1910. Her second child, a boy named Thomas, was born four years later.

Blamey was promoted to captain in 1910. In 1911, after his candidacies failed, he was the first Australian officer to make a claim for access to tests at the British Staff College, which involved officers for the top commandment. He began his studies at Quetta's staff college in India in 1912 accompanied by his wife and his first child. He accomplished his task very well, completing classes in 1913.

First World War
Blamey served in the 1st AIF during this war. In the middle of 1914, Blamey went to Great Britain in the staff of the Wessex division. In November he sailed to Egypt to join the Australian contingent to become an intelligence officer in the Australian 1st Division headquarters for the Battle of Gallipoli (Turkey). During the disembarkation at Anzac Cove, Blamey was sent to assess the reinforcement requirements of Colonel M 'Cay's of the 2nd Brigade on plateau 400.

In July 1915 Blamey was promoted to lieutenant colonel and joined the staff of the newly formed 2nd Australian Division in Egypt. When the Australian forces were transferred to France in 1916, Blamey returned to the 1st division headquarters and was involved in the Battle of Pozières.

Blamey briefly commanded a battalion and a brigade between the end of 1916 and the beginning of 1917, but his experience as a staff officer was considered too valuable to put him in positions like these. He was promoted to Brigadier-General on June 1, 1918, and became Chief of Staff of Lieutenant General John Monash's. He played an important role in the success of Monash's corps in the final months of the war. Indeed, Monarsh's considers him the key factor of the success of his body.

Between-two-war
Blamey returned to Australia at the end of 1919. Blamey then became Director of Military Operations of the Army Headquarters. In May 1920 he became Deputy Chief of the General Staff. The first important task of Blamey was the creation of the Australian Air Force. In August he was sent to London as representative of the Imperial General Staff.

In 1923, the Chief of the General Staff, Major General Cyril Brudenell White withdrew. Blamey was expected to become the Chief of the General Staff. However, Inspector General Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel was appointed in his place, Blamey was appointed second Chief of the General Staff.


On September 1, 1925, Blamey resigned from regular forces and was appointed as Commissioner of the Victoria Police, where a scandal broke out. During a police raid in a brothel, one of his friends was found in possession of his police card.

He led the "political police" to break the meetings of the movements of unemployed workers.

The treatment of trade unionists was typical of his anti-communist beliefs and as such his relations with the left of the government were tense. With a lot of army officer and ex-officer, he was a member leader of the far right clandestine organization "National Security League." The National Security League was a reaction to the awakening of communism in Australia. Its members were ready to take up arms in the depots to stop the communist revolution.

Blamey moves to the Middle East with the 2nd AIF as Commander in Chief. He insists particularly with the British commander in Egypt, General Archibald Wavell, that the Australian forces will remain together as a cohesive unit, no Australian forces will be deployed or without the consent of the Australian government and as long as Blamey is the sole commander in Head of all Australian forces. The Australian forces remained together during the siege of Tobruk, the Balkan campaign and the Syrian campaign (against Vichy) until the 2nd AIF was withdrawn in 1942.

The most controversial actions of Blamey concern the period after the declaration of war of Japan and that the American general Douglas MacArthur leave from Australia. MacArthur had a bad opinion of the Australian soldiers and highly criticized their performance at the Battle of New Guinea. Blamey appears to be enthusiastic and not hostile towards MacArthur and not publicly speaking discordant. For example, in a speech to the 21st Brigade of the 2nd AIF in 1942, he accuses the men of "running rabbits".

His treatment of senior officers was also controversial. The many biographers of Blamey of the Second World War, including generals Lavarack, Rowell, Allen and Morshead, in addition to Brigadier Potts, all claimed that their subjects were treated unfairly and some cruelly by Blamey

Blamey left the army in 1946, and was promoted marshal on his deathbed.


Field Marshal (Sir) Thomas Blamey

Cairo, Egypt. 1941-12. General Sir Thomas Blamey, General-Officer Commanding A.I.F., Middle East, recording his Christmas broadcast to the troops under his command.

Field Marshal Sir Thomas Albert Blamey, known as a fierce officer, was loved by those who knew him but despised by those who didn’t.

Thomas Albert Blamey joined the Australian Army in 1906. He was posted to Melbourne on receiving a commission of Commonwealth Cadet Forces. Transferring to the Australian Military Forces in 1910 he was promoted to Captain. He graduated from Staff College in India in 1913 and was in England when WWI began, joining the 1 st Australian Division in Egypt, and landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

Blamey went on to serve on the Western Front playing a key strategic role in the planning for the Battle of Pozieres. Rising to the rank of Brigadier General, he served as Chief of Staff of the Australian Corps under Lieutenant General Sir John Monash. Monash later credited him as being a major factor in the Corps’ success in the Battles of Hamel, Amiens and the Hindenburg Line.

After WWI Blamey was appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff and was instrumental in the creation of the Royal Australian Air Force. Blamey retired from the Army in 1925. He was appointed to the position of Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police, and immediately implemented many new initiatives such as police dogs and equipping police vehicles with radios.

Considered to be confrontational, violent and ruthless Blamey’s tenure as Chief Police Commissioner was marred by scandal and he was forced to resign in 1936.

The onset of WWII saw Blamey promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed to command of the 6 th Division. In 1940 he became the Commander of the Australian Corps. A lack of understanding around the technological developments across the military proved to be his weakness. This came to the fore during the Battle of Greece when he failed to alert the Australian Government sufficiently early of his doubts about the Greek campaign that resulted in the Allies withdrawal. BRIG (Sir) Sydney Rowell observed that Blamey was ‘physically and mentally broken during the withdrawal’. Learning his lesson, Blamey never again failed to inform the government of his views.

Appointed Deputy Commander-In-Chief, British Forces in the Middle East, he was promoted to General in 1941. He returned to Australia in 1942 as Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces and Commander of Allied Land Forces in the South West Pacific Area under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.

On the orders of MacArthur and Prime Minister John Curtin, he assumed personal command of New Guinea Force during the Kokoda Track campaign, and relieved Lieutenant General Sydney Rowell and Major General Arthur Allen under controversial circumstances.

During the final campaigns of the war Blamey faced ferocious criticism of the Australian Army’s performance with Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General George Marshall, stating that “the Australians have proven themselves unable to match the enemy in jungle fighting. Aggressive leadership is lacking.”

On Australia’s behalf Blamey signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender at Japan’s ceremonial surrender on-board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945, and on 9 September 1945 personally accepted the Japanese surrender at Morotai.

Blamey formally retired from military service on 31 January 1946. As a result of his service and standing in the community the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, supported Blamey’s promotion to Field Marshal in the King’s Birthday Honours on 8 June 1950.

Blamey passed away on 27 May 1951. His body lay in state at the Shrine of Remembrance, where an estimated 20,000 people filed past. Crowds of up to 300,000 lined the streets of Melbourne at his state funeral.


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