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Orde Wingate Collections

Date range: c.1938-1987

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Collections relating to Major-General Orde Wingate (1903-1944), the Chindits and the Burma Campaign of the Second World War.

Orde Wingate was one of the most significant and controversial British military commanders of the Second World War. Wingate advocated unconventional forms of warfare, and devised the concept of Long Range Penetration groups which could operate behind enemy lines for long periods. These ideas were put into practice with the Chindits, who undertook two important operations against Japanese forces in Burma during 1943-4. The Chindits were effective in disrupting enemy communications and supply lines, although their overall contribution to the eventual reconquest of Burma remains controversial.

The Wingate collections comprise discrete archive collections of Derek Tulloch, Peter Mead, George Dunlop, Malcolm Hay and William Brockbank. The largest collection is that of Tulloch, who was Wingate's chief of staff and his papers relate mainly to his book Wingate in War and Peace (London: Macdonald, 1972). These include notes, drafts, correspondence, unpublished memoirs of former Chindits, and contemporary operational documents. Tulloch was an outspoken defender of Wingate, whose reputation he believed had been unfairly sullied in the official histories of the Burma campaign.

Peter Mead was another former Chindit staff officer, who wrote an outspoken defence of Wingate, Orde Wingate and the Historians (Braunton: Merlin, 1987). His small collection of papers include a copy of his unpublished memoir Chindit HQ. The papers of George Dunlop include his unpublished accounts of his experiences during the first Chindit campaign in 1943. The Manchester physician William Brockbank's small collection of papers relate to his researches into medical aspects of the Chindit campaigns.

The papers of Malcolm Hay concern an important aspect of Wingate's earlier career, the counter-insurgency campaigns of the British Army in inter-war Palestine. During this campaign, Wingate had established Special Night Squadrons, comprised of British officers and Jewish settlers, which played an important, if controversial, role fighting Arab guerrilla forces.

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