|Born||25 Dec 1881|
|Died||4 Nov 1944|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseJohn Greet Dill was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland to a local bank manager. He attended Cheltenham College and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He joined the 1st battalion of the Leinster regiment in 1901 and fought in the Second Boer War in South Africa. During WW1, as a brigade-major, he led the 25th Brigade of the 8th Division in France. He spent part of the 1920s as a military instructor. He served in India between 1929 and 1930 and in Palestine between 1936 and 1937.
ww2dbaseAt the outbreak of the European War, Dill was given command of the I Corps in France. In Apr 1940, he returned to Britain and was appointed the Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff; on 26 May, upon Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister, Dill was appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff. His style of leadership conflicted with that of Churchill; the Prime Minister called him "Dilly Daily", expressing the opinion that Dill was slow, ineffective, and having a pessimistic defeatist attitude. He was removed from his position at the Imperial General Staff and was given the title of Field Marshal as a consolation prize. Shooting down two birds with one stone, Churchill sent him to Washington, DC, where he could make use of his outstanding diplomatic skills while staying far from Churchill's policies.
ww2dbaseAs a liaison officer and a mediator, Dill became an instrumental diplomat between the different military branches across Britain and the United States. Together with George Marshall, he asserted influence on Franklin Roosevelt's war time policies. Roosevelt described Dill as "the most important figure in the remarkable accord which has been developed in the combined operations of our two countries". He had also participated in high-profile conferences such as Quebec, Casablanca, and Tehran.
ww2dbaseDill passed away in Washington, DC in Nov 1944. He now rests in peace at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, United States.
ww2dbaseSources: the Churchill Centre, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: Dec 2006
John Dill Timeline
|25 Dec 1881||John Dill was born.|
|26 May 1940||In the United Kingdom, General Sir John Dill became Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Sir Edmund Ironside became Commander-in-Chief of Home Defense.|
|18 Nov 1941||General John Dill, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal.|
|4 Nov 1944||Field Marshall Sir John Dill, the senior British representative on the Combined Chiefs of Staff, died from an illness at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, DC, United States. He was subsequently buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, United States.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945