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Harry Tuzo

Sir Harry Tuzo
Born (1917-08-26)26 August 1917
Bangalore, India
Died 7 August 1998(1998-08-07) (aged 80)
Norwich, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1939–78
Rank General
Unit Royal Artillery
Commands held 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery 1960–2
Assistant Commandant Royal Military Academy Sandhurst 1962–3
Commander, 51 Gurkha Infantry Brigade 1963–5
Chief of Staff, British Army of the Rhine 1967–9
Director, Royal Artillery 1969–71
GOC Northern Ireland 1971–3
Commander, Northern Army Group and Commander-in-Chief British Army of the Rhine 1973–6
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Europe 1976–8
Battles/wars Second World War
Indonesian Confrontation
Northern Ireland
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (KCB)
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Military Cross (MC)
Mentioned in Despatches (twice)
Other work Chairman, Marconi Space and Defence Systems, 1979–83
Chairman, Royal United Services Institute 1980–3

General Sir Harry Craufurd Tuzo, GCB, OBE, MC (26 August 1917 – 7 August 1998) was a British Army officer who was Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe and GOC of the British Army in Northern Ireland during the early period of the Troubles.

Early life

Harry Craufurd Tuzo was born in Bangalore, India, on 26 August 1917; the son of John Atkinson Tuzo, a British Army Officer and civil engineer, and his wife Annie Catherine (whose maiden name was Craufurd).[1][2][3] Tuzo was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire (where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps[4]) and Oriel College, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence.[1]

Second World War

He first entered the British Army on 15 July 1939 as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, Supplementary Reserve of Officers,[4] just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. After a fortnight's training he crossed to France with the 21st Anti-Tank Regiment as part of the British Expeditionary Force. In May 1940, he was amongst the last of those evacuated from Dunkirk, travelling in a paddle cruiser to Harwich. He stayed with his regiment engaged in coastal defence until June 1944 when they returned to France in the Invasion of Normandy. His regiment was in support of the Guards Armoured Division in Normandy where he won the Military Cross (MC) for his actions up to Operation Goodwood (the breakout from Caen).[1] He was then a war substantive captain and temporary major (United Kingdom) commanding Y Battery of the regiment consisting of self-propelled anti-tank guns, the original recommendation for his MC mentions his actions at the Albert Canal bridgehead, the attacks on Hechtel, Elst, Sittard and particularly in support of the Coldstream Guards at Wesel; he was slightly wounded three times during this period.[5] Later in Germany he had the rare distinction as a battery commander of accepting the surrender of a German Admiral who was Flag Officer U Boats.[2] As the end of the war approached, he was granted a Regular Army commission, with the substantive rank of lieutenant (with seniority from 24 February 1941), on 17 January 1945.[6] He was Mentioned in Despatches on 9 August 1945,[7] and his MC was gazetted on 22 January 1946.[8] He received substantive promotion to captain on 1 July 1946.[9] He had married Monica Patience Salter on 5 October 1943.[1]


From 1963 to 1965 he commanded the 51st Gurkha Brigade in Borneo, which included Brunei in its area of operations. His Gurkha battalions worked to win the "hearts and minds" of the locals, but also participated with the SAS in Operation Claret which interdicted Indonesian troops as they attempted to cross the border. The Sultan of Brunei honoured Tuzo with the title Dato Setia Nagara in 1965.[2] His work also earned him a Mention in Despatches.[10]

Northern Ireland

Tuzo was appointed as General Officer Commanding and Director of Operations, Northern Ireland on 2 March 1971 together with promotion to lieutenant-general.[11] His appointment was made after the previous incumbent, Lieutenant-General Vernon Erskine-Crum suffered a heart attack.[12] Tuzo was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on 4 June 1971, in the Queen's Birthday Honours.[13] In 1972, after consultation with Whitehall, Tuzo ordered Operation Motorman which sent 30,000 troops into Republican dominated 'no-go' areas of West Belfast and Derry to take back control.[2] He relinquished his position in Northern Ireland on 1 February 1973 and was replaced by Lieutenant-General Sir Frank King.[14][15] Tuzo was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) on 2 June 1973.[16]

After his service in Northern Ireland ended he was appointed Commander-in-Chief British Army of the Rhine until 1976 when he was made Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.[2] He was placed on the retired list on 5 February 1979.[17] After his service in the army he accepted a position in 1979 as chairman of Marconi Space and Defence Systems which he held until 1983.[18] Tuzo was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk on 12 September 1983.[19]


Military offices
Preceded by
Vernon Erskine-Crum
General Officer Commanding the British Army in Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Frank King
Preceded by
Sir Peter Hunt
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine
Succeeded by
Sir Frank King
Preceded by
Sir John Mogg
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Succeeded by
Sir Jack Harman
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Baker
Master Gunner,
St. James's Park

Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Morony
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