Kenneth Arthur Noel Anderson

Kenneth Arthur Noel Anderson

Army General
Born Dec 25, 1891

General Sir Kenneth Arthur Noel Anderson, KCB, MC was a British Army officer in both the First and Second World Wars. He is mainly remembered as the commander of the First Army during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of Tunisia. He had an outwardly reserved character and did not court popularity either with his superiors or with the public. Eisenhower wrote that he was "blunt, at times to the point of rudeness".… Read More

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1891 Birth Born on December 25, 1891.


1916 24 Years Old He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for bravery in action and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme on the opening day, 1 July 1916. … Read More
1918 26 Years Old He took eighteen months to recover from the wounds he received, before rejoining his regiment in Palestine in time to celebrate victory. He was appointed an acting major in May 1918, and reverted to captain in July 1919. In 1918 Anderson married Kathleen Gamble. … Read More
1920 28 Years Old Anderson's inter-war career was active. He served as adjutant to the Scottish Horse from 1920–24, and was promoted to major during this posting. … Read More


1928 36 Years Old Anderson graduated from the Staff College, Camberley, in 1928 following which he took a staff posting (GSO2) in the 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
1930 38 Years Old In 1930 Anderson was promoted lieutenant colonel and at the age of 38 he commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Seaforths in the North West Frontier, for which he was mentioned in despatches and, as a full colonel, went on to command the 152nd (Seaforth and Cameron) Infantry Brigade in August 1934.


1936 44 Years Old Still as a full colonel in March 1936 he was appointed to a staff job (GSO1) in India and in January 1938 was appointed acting brigadier to command 11th Brigade which he trained hard, despite inadequate equipment. … Read More
1941 49 Years Old He was given command of the 1st Infantry Division which was tasked with defending the coast of Lincolnshire before being promoted to lieutenant general in 1941 and given VIII Corps, then II Corps to command before becoming General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Eastern Command in 1942. … Read More


1942 50 Years Old His available force, at this stage barely a division strong, was engaged in late 1942 in a race to capture Tunis before the Axis were able to build up their forces and launch a counterattack. … Read More
As further Allied forces arrived at the front they suffered from a lack of co-ordination. Eventually in late January 1943 General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean, persuaded the French to place their newly formed XIX Corps under Anderson's First Army and also gave him responsibility for the overall "employment of American troops", specifically U.S. II Corps, commanded by Major General Lloyd Fredendall. … Read More
1944 52 Years Old On his return to Britain from Tunis he was initially given command of the Second Army during the preparations for the Normandy landings but the criticisms of Alexander and Montgomery (who in March 1943 had written to Alexander saying " it is obvious that Anderson is completely unfit to command any army" and later described him as "a good plain cook") had gained currency and in January 1944 he was replaced by Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey. … Read More
1949 57 Years Old He was promoted full general in July 1949 when he was made a Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John and retired in June 1952 and lived mainly in the south of France. His last years were filled with tragedy: his only son died in action in Malaya and his daughter also died after a long illness. Anderson died of pneumonia in Gibraltar in 1959.


1959 67 Years Old Died on April 29, 1959.
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