3rd Edition PB 1972
Paperback. First published in the US in 1969 by "Ballantine Books Inc.".
Printed by "Ballantine Books Inc.". Written by Anthony Farrar-Hockley. No ISBN number.
Purnell's 'History of the Second World War, Battle Book 9', an account of
Operation Market Garden, the attack by Allied airborne forces to seize the bridges
leading to the Arnhem Rhine crossing in September, 1944.
General Sir Anthony Heritage Farrar-Hockley GBE, KCB, DSO & Bar, MC
(8 April 1924 - 11 March 2006) was a robust and outspoken British soldier and a
military historian who distinguished himself in a number of British conflicts.
He held a number of senior British Army commands, ending his career as NATO's
Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Northern Europe. Throughout his four decades of
army life, he spoke plainly, and both before and after his retirement in 1982 wrote
effectively on the conflicts he had experienced and the First World War.
Anthony Farrar-Hockley was born in Coventry the son of a journalist. He was educated
at Exeter School, at the age of 15 he ran away at the start of World War II and
enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment, the fact that he was underage was soon
discovered and he was discharged and had to wait to be re-enlisted in 1941.
He was promoted sergeant while still aged 17 and only 18 when he was commissioned
into the 1st Airborne Division in November 1942 and fought in Italy and France.
Later he won the MC in 1944 while fighting the communist rebellion in Athens.
In 1945 he married Margaret B Wells with whom he three sons (two of whom survive).
His first wife died in 1981 and he married Linda Wood in 1983. Following in
father's footsteps his elder son Charles Dair Farrar-Hockley also won a MC fighting
with the Parachute Regiment in the Falklands War.
During his mid-career Farrar-Hockley was carrying out research and publishing.
He established a reputation as an authority on the World War I, publishing
The Somme (1964) and Death of an Army (1968). By way of sabbatical during his military
career he spent time (1968-1970) at Exeter College, Oxford as a Defence Fellow,
working on a research project into the social effects of National Service in
Britain and publishing two other books. He gained a BLitt at Oxford University.
At the outbreak of war in 1939, at the age of 15, Tony Farrar-Hockley ran away from
school and enlisted in the ranks with the Gloucestershire Regiment. After the discovery
of his age he was discharged. In 1941 he enlisted again and was posted to a
Young Soldiers' Battalion. In 1942 he was commissioned and posted to the new
1st Airborne Division seeing action with the parachute regiment in Italy, France and Greece.
He was still only 20 in 1944 when he was given command of a company in the
6th Battalion Parachute Regiment and later won an MC in Greece whilst resisting the
communist rebellion in Athens.
After post-war service with the Gloucesters in Palestine Farrar-Hockley fought in
the Korean War, still with the Gloucesters as adjutant. He provided inspiring leadership
during the Battle of the Imjin River and fight for Hill 235. "A" Company which had
undergone lengthy attack, taken severe officer casualties and was struggling.
Farrar-Hockley volunteered to reinforce the company and his presence had an immediate
effect and the company was able to retrench and hold on for some time. Nevertheless
they became surrounded, they ran out of ammunition and after hand-to-hand fighting with
bayonets they were ordered to withdraw. Farrar-Hockley organised an orderly withdrawal
but as one of the last to leave the position he was captured. The Gloucesters became
known as the Glorious Gloucesters and he was awarded the DSO although he was a captain
and the DSO was usually reserved for more senior ranks. His citation stated:
"Throughout this desperate engagement on which the ability of the Battalion to hold
its position entirely depended, Captain Farrar-Hockley was an inspiration to the defenders.
His outstanding gallantry, fighting spirit and great powers of leadership heartened
his men and welded them into an indomitable team. His conduct could not have been surpassed.
Farrar-Hockley spent two years as a prisoner of war during which he made six escape
attempts and underwent brutal interrogation. He was mentioned in Dispatches for
his conduct. After active service in Cyprus (1956), Egypt (1956) and Jordan (1958),
he spent some time at RMA Sandhurst as chief instructor (1959-1961)
In 1962 he took command of 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment in the Persian Gulf.
While there possibly the greatest feat of arms of his career took place in 1964
during the Aden Emergency when his battalion captured a stronghold held by nationalist
and tribesmen in the Radfan mountains of north of Aden at Wadi Dhubsan.
For this action Farrar-Hockley was awarded a bar to his DSO.
1n 1965 Farrar-Hockley was posted as Chief of Staff to the Director of Operations
in Borneo in the Far East. Indonesia under President Sukarno was confronting new
Federation of Malaysia. Secret and unattributable cross-border operations which
Farrar-Hockley helped to organise on Indonesian territory helped bring the
ill-judged military confrontation to an end.
After commanding (1966-1968) the 16th Parachute Brigade and his fellowship at
Exeter College, Oxford (1968-1970) he was promoted to major general and appointed
as the first Commander Land Forces in Belfast where he was the first senior officer
to acknowledge publicly that the IRA was behind the violence. After this he
commanded the 4th Armoured division in BAOR (1971-1973) before returning to
the MoD where he was put in charge of Combat Development for the Army.
After a period commanding the Army's GOC South East District (1977-1979)
he was appointed commander in chief of Nato's Allied Forces Northern Europe.
He held this appointment until his retirement from the army in 1982.
Other positions held by Farrar-Hockley included: ADC General to the Queen (1981-1983),
Colonel-Commandant of the Prince of Wales' Division (1974-1980) and of the
Parachute Regiment (1977-1983). He was colonel of his Gloucestershire Regiment 1978-1984.
During his retirement Farrar-Hockley carried out historical research and published
campaign histories and biographies, he acted as a consultant and was a frequent
pundit in the newspapers and on television and radio.
He aroused controversy in 1983 when he became involved trying to organise a campaign
for a new home guard against possible Soviet invasion and in 1990, following Italian
Prime minister Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations concerning Gladio,
a NATO stay-behind network, he revealed that the armed anti-communist secret
resistance network across western European had involved Britain.
He declared to the Guardian that a secret arms network was established in Britain
after the war, but refused to say if it still existed.
His honours included: Mentioned in dispatches 1943, MC 1944, DSO 1953, Mentioned
in dispatches 1954, MBE 1957, DSO bar 1964, KCB 1977, and CBE 1982.