Sidney Kirkman

Sidney Kirkman was a British military officer. His ultimate rank was general. He participated mainly in combats in North Africa and Italy during World War 2 and got promoted and was awarded medals for several times because battle achievements.

Kirkman was born in 1895, so he was able to participate in the First World War. During World War 1, he primarily served in the artillery unit and was awarded the Military Cross Medal. At the end of the war, his rank was already acting major. During the World War 2, he still served in the army, during which he stationed in India, Malta and Palestine and other places.

After World War 2 broke out, he still served as an artillery commander. In 1942, he was appointed to command the artillery unit of the British 8th Army and played an important role in the Battle of El Alamein. Since then he continued to participate in combat in North Africa and chased the Axis forces all the way to Tunisia. In the final stages of the Tunisian campaign, he was appointed the commander of the 50th Infantry Division. After the Battle of Tunisia ended, the Allies immediately launched the offensive against Sicily. The troops led by Kirkman also participated in the battle.

After the landing in Sicily, the Allies wanted to quickly advance. So it sent the British 1st Parachute Brigade to launch airborne operations to seize bridges in the rear of the enemy. The 50th Infantry Division led by Kirkman needed to arrive at the bridge after the airborne troops occupied it and assisted in defense. However, due to strong resistance from the German, Kirkman failed to arrive at the designated location and the raid failed. But in the following days of fighting, the 50th Infantry Division eventually repelled the defense forces re-captured the essential bridge necessary for advancing forward. Kirkman then coordinated with other forces to occupy the whole Sicily in about a month.

In January 1944, Sidney Kirkman was appointed as the commander of the British 13th Army and participated the fighting in Italy. The 13th Army was the superior troop of the 50th Infantry Division commanded by Kirkman in Sicily. The army had long been involved in the fighting in North Africa. So Kirkman was clearly the right person to be appointed as its commander. In the critical Battle of Monte Cassino, the 13th Army played an important role and contributed a lot to defeating the Germans. In the remaining time of the war, Kirkman had been commanding operations in Italy and had to return to Britain due to illness till 1945.

After the war, Kirkman held several important positions and retired in 1950. Before retiring, he was awarded the rank of general.

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