Cunningham file photo [639]

Andrew Cunningham

Given NameAndrew
Born7 Jan 1883
Died12 Jun 1963
CountryUnited Kingdom


ww2dbaseAndrew Browne "ABC" Cunningham had been a member of the Royal Navy as early as 1897. He was a veteran of the South African War (1899-1902) and WW1. During WW2, he was commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean from 1939 to 1942, and again in 1943. His outstanding naval record led to his appointment as the overall Allied naval commander under General Dwight Eisenhower in 1942 during the North African and Sicilian campaigns. He served as First Sea Lord and Chief Naval Staff from 1943 to 1945. He was absolutely loyal to the British naval tradition, always ordering his captains to fight aggressively and not "let the army down". "It takes three years to build a ship", he said, "it takes three centuries to build a tradition".

ww2dbase"He was the Nelsonian type of admiral", recalled Dwight Eisenhower. "He believed that ships went to sea in order to find and destroy the enemy. He thought always in terms of attack, never of defense." During the Battle off Calabria in Jul 1940, he ordered his flagship, the HMS Warspite, in a bitter chase against the Italian fleet. Then at the Battle off Matapan, he chased the Italian fleet once again and sank three cruisers during the night time action. "He was a real sea dog," added Eisenhower.

ww2dbaseIn terms of royal titles, in 1939 he was made a Knight Commander of the Bath in 1939. In 1945 he was made a Knight of the Thistle and appointed to the House of Lords as Baron Cunningham of Hyndhope. In 1946 he was admitted to the Order of Merit and named a Viscount. He acted as Lord High Steward at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

ww2dbaseHe retired from Royal Navy service in 1946, and passed away in 1963.

ww2dbaseSources: Crusade in Europe, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2005

Andrew Cunningham Timeline

7 Jan 1883 Andrew Cunningham was born.
12 Jun 1963 Andrew Cunningham passed away.


Cunningham and Major General Freyberg aboard HMS Phoebe off Crete, May 1941François Darlan, Andrew Cunningham, Dwight Eisenhower in Algeria, Nov 1942Winston Churchill presiding over the Allied Planning Conference, Algiers, Algeria, 4 Jun 1943; note Eden, Brooke, Tedder, Cunningham, Alexander, Marshall, Eisenhower, and MontgomerySir Andrew Cunningham, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Hewitt, and Walter Bedell Smith at Allied Forces Headquarters in Hotel St. George, Algiers, Algeria, 16 Oct 1943.
See all 9 photographs of Andrew Cunningham

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More on Andrew Cunningham
Event(s) Participated:
» Malta Campaign
» Battle of Gabon
» Battle of Matapan
» Operation Torch
» Conclusion of the Desert War
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender
» Octagon Conference
» Malta Conference
» Yalta Conference

Ship(s) Served:
» Warspite

» Armistice with Italy, Employment and Disposition of Italian Fleet and Merchant Marine (Cunningham-de Courten Agreement)

Andrew Cunningham Photo Gallery
Cunningham and Major General Freyberg aboard HMS Phoebe off Crete, May 1941
See all 9 photographs of Andrew Cunningham

Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935