Today Miles Dempsey, Commander of the British Second Army in the invasion of Europe 1944 - 45, is almost unknown to the general public. Yet during the Normandy landings he commanded over half a million men and, from the British military point of view, his contribution to the success of that campaign was second only to that of the Army Group Commander, Montgomery.
As this long over-due biography describes, this was the highlight of a distinguished military career. Dempsey survived two and a half years of bitter fighting as an infantry officer on the Western Front before accompanying his beloved Royal Berkshire Regiment in the little-known North-West Persia campaign of 1920 - 21. Promotion in the inter-war years was painfully slow even for the most talented officers. All this changed with the outbreak of the Second World War and, in just 6 years, Dempsey rose from major to Army command in the largest combined operation in history, leading them to victory a year later. Prior to this he played a crucial role in the Dunkirk evacuation, the training of the Canadian Army , and the invasions of Sicily and Italy.