Author of Churchill’s Right-hand Critic, Dr Andrew Sangster spoke to John Ash about the book on the great field marshal, Viscount Alanbrooke
What drew you to writing about Brooke?
In popular history books Alan Francis Brooke is hardly mentioned, whereas Montgomery, Alexander, Patton and others dominate the historiography.
Yet, Brooke, as Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS), was a large part of the reason why the Allies’ most famous military leaders met the success they did.
Much of this book is based on Brooke’s diaries which, unlike many memoirs, biographies and autobiographies, were contemporary, raw and written with little motive. Post-war additions were carefully marked out by Brooke himself.
This means that his thoughts and feelings are without embellishment. This did cause embarrassment and later turned Churchill against him, but as a historical record they really are unique.