|Sir Michael Montgomerie Alston-Roberts-West|
|Born||October 27, 1905|
|Died||May 14, 1978(aged 72)|
|Place of death||Bembridge, Isle of Wight|
|Years of service||1925–1965|
2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment;|
5th Infantry Brigade;
2nd Infantry Division;
British Troops in Austria;
1st Commonwealth Division, Korea;
1st British Corps, British Army of the Rhine;
World War II|
- Burma Campaign
|Awards||GCB; DSO & two bars; Mentioned in Despatches; Legion of Merit (United States)|
General Sir Michael Montgomerie Alston-Roberts-West GCB DSO** (1905–1978), better known as Sir Michael M.A.R. West, was a British Army General who achieved high office in the 1960s. He served in World War II and the Korean War. West was a witty and unconventional soldier, with a taste for partying and jazz.
He served in World War II initially as a Brigade Major for 163rd Brigade. He was then appointed Commanding Officer of 2nd Bn South Lancashire Regiment and was deployed to Madagascar in 1942. He became Deputy Commander of 72nd Indian Infantry Brigade in 1943 and Commander of 5th Infantry Brigade in Burma in 1944.
After the War he joined the School of Infantry in 1946 moving on to be Deputy Director of Manpower Planning at the War Office in 1949. He was appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief British Troops in Austria in 1950. West was Commander of the Commonwealth Division in Korea from 1952 to 1953 and has been described as "the architect of British strategy in the Korean War". He was Director of the Territorial Army from 1955 and then Commander, 1st British Corps, part of the British Army of the Rhine from 1958. He became General Officer Commanding-in-Chief for Northern Command in 1960 and Head of the British Defence Staff in Washington DC and UK Representative on the NATO Standing Group in 1962.
West was often routinely provocative and, as a relatively junior officer, he regularly challenged Eisenhower's planning and was "invariably" found to be right. Despite his successes and influence, Michael West was thought to be too unpredictable for the highest levels of command and he retired in September 1965.
There is a memorial to him in the Church at Whitchurch in Warwickshire.
Honours and awards
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath 13 June 1964 (KCB 1 January 1959, CB 7June 1951
- Distinguished Service Order 24 May 1945, 28 June 1945, 8 December 1953
- Mentioned in Despatches 8 December 1953
- Commander, Legion of Merit (United States) 10 August 1954
- Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. World War II unit histories & officers "British Army Officers - 1939-1945". World War II Unit Histories. http://www.unithistories.com/units_index/default.asp?file=../officers/personsx.html World War II unit histories & officers. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Anthony Powell Society
- Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
- The cook, her lover and a spicy divorce Daily Mail, 26 July 2007
- Quay Arts - Michael West Gallery
- Papers of Michael Harvey University of Reading
Sir Harold Pyman
|GOC 1st (British) Corps
Sir Charles Jones
Sir Richard Goodbody
|GOC-in-C Northern Command
Sir Charles Jones
Sir George Mills
|UK Military Representative to NATO
Sir Nigel Henderson
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