PERSONALITY CLASH

REPUTATIONS

Was Sir Kenneth Anderson a misanthrope or simply misunderstood? Michael E Haskew investigates the career of a North African campaign commander who inspired enmity and admiration in equal measure

General Anderson’s career rose and fell on the desert stage, foundering on his inability to build rapport with Allied commanders. The debate as to his leadership prowess lingers today, with praise for his heroism and tenacity blighted by harsh criticism of his sometimes prickly personality. 

As a result, the man is largely relegated to the backwaters of World War Two history, something of a footnote in the convergence of personas and events that occurred during the long slugging match with Axis forces in North Africa. 

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