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GARROD, Sir Guy.

Signed carbon-copy typescript despatch to Air Marshal Lord Tedder, relinquishing his position as Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean and Middle East.

Availability: In stock

Published: The Royal Palace, Caserta, Italy January 1946

Stock Code: 115137

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


Rare comprehensive hand-over report signed in holograph by Air Marshal Sir Guy Garrod in a covering letter to Lord Tedder, relinquishing his command as C-in-C RAF Mediterranean and Middle East, and giving a very detailed strategic-level overview of the conclusion of the Allied air offensive in the Mediterranean theatre. Garrod explains that his Despatch is "divided into two parts. The first covers the period from March 16th., 1945, when I assumed command, to the end of hostilities in Italy on May 2nd., 1945. The second deals with the dissolution of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces and the redeployment of the Royal Air Force until the end of my tenure on October 15th.". Garrod's report includes orders of battle, operational directives on the Italian Front and in the Balkans, "oil targets", "assistance to the Russians", the Eighth and Fifth Army offensives, and a series of fascinating appendices that include the interrogation of generals von Vietinghoff and von Senger, the "Balkan Air Force and air operations in support of the Jugoslav Fourth Army Offensive", close support bombing by night, the "Rover" system of air-ground liaison when pursuing fleeing targets, anti-flak tactics developed by MATAF (Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force) and developments in radar tactics. It was published in a much precised form - and with only two maps - as a supplement to The London Gazette (number 39367, 29 October 1951) under the heading "The part played by the allied air forces in the final defeat of the enemy in the Mediterranean theatre, March to May, 1945".
Garrod's experience of high command led to him being called-in to assist Churchill directly when the latter was writing The Second World War (published 1948-54): "The air war in the West gets considerably more space than Churchill's account of the Eastern Front, albeit largely in one survey chapter on 'The Mounting Air Offensive' volume V: Closing the Ring, Chapter XXIX. For this, prodded by Sir Henry Pownall, Churchill had recruited a special consultant, Air Marshal Sir Guy Garrod... who lunched with Churchill for the first time in November 1950. 'It was good to hear him enlarge on that subject!'" (David Reynolds, In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War, 2005, pp. 396-97). There is a copy of the Gazette supplement in the Churchill Archive at Chartwell (CHAR 20/249B/239-267).
Wounded at Ypres in November 1915, while serving with the Leicestershire Regiment, Garrod (1891-1965) subsequently "learned to fly and was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. He spent most of his wartime service overseas. He was thrice mentioned in dispatches and awarded the DFC and MC... When war ended, Garrod planned a career in industry, but Sir Hugh Trenchard, who was at this time assembling the elements of the peacetime Royal Air Force, persuaded him to return, and in August 1919 he accepted a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force. Between the wars he filled a wide variety of posts... By the outbreak of the Second World War, Garrod, now an air vice-marshal, was serving in the Air Ministry as director of equipment, the duties of which included ensuring that hundreds of thousands of items of technical and other equipment (from barrack stores to complete engines and airframes) were available in due proportion to Royal Air Force units all over the world. In July 1940 Garrod succeeded to the appointment which was undoubtedly the climax of his service careerthat of air member for training, a new post on the Air Council created to run the vitally important programme of air force training... In 1943 Garrod was posted overseas, where his appointments included deputy allied air commander-in-chief, south-east Asia, and (briefly) at the end of the war, commander-in-chief, Royal Air Force, Mediterranean and Middle East. After the war Garrod served as Royal Air Force military representative on the military staff committee of the United Nations and head of the Royal Air Force delegation, Washington. He retired in 1948 with the rank of air chief marshal" (ODNB).
Garrod's private papers are held at the IWM and The National Archives. We have been unable to trace another copy of this despatch. A conspicuous survival of a very fragile and important document, apparently the only surviving copy.

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Quarto (350 x 225 mm), approximately 242 pp. (punch hole in top left corner). Stationery Office spring-back cloth binder (type 40/51), black pebble-grain spine, dark brown morocco-grain sides, patterned inner covers; inscribed on inside front cover: "Copy No 2" followed by "II JI/397" and "Ind. SH" (repeated on the initial page).


15 maps & plans (one hand-drawn and coloured, captioned: MASAF [Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force] Railway Targets in Central Europe); 2 original pencilled diagrams of organisational structure.


A little wear to binder, some scrapes and abrasions, a few leaves a little tattered and torn otherwise in excellent condition.


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