Orde Wingate, son of an Army Colonel and nephew of Sir Reginald Wingate, Governor-General of Sudan and third out of seven children, was born into a strict Christian family.
Wingate attended the spartan secondary school Charterhouse after which he was accepted to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. He was subsequently commissioned as an artillery officer.
Wingate served with the Sudan defense force (1928–33) and on special duty in Palestine (1936–39) where he first used guerrilla tactics against Arabs with his Special Night Squads. He was awarded a DSO for his actions and tactics but was withdrawn from Palestine by his superiors when they saw that Wingate, highly relgious as he was, became too much personal involved with political issues there. This could endanger in their opinion the British interests in Palestine.
In World War II, although only a major, he commanded the British and African troops who defeated the numerically superior Italians from Ethiopia and restored Emperor Haile Selassie to the throne.
Wingate was subsequently sent to India where he trained and led a force of raiders into Japanese-held Burma for a period of seven months (1943). His guerrillas became known as the "Chindits" or "Wingate's raiders." He was made a major general and placed in command of a larger army, which was flown into Burma, but he was killed in an airplane accident two weeks after this operation began when his B-25 crashed in north Assam, Burma. Initially his remains were buried at the crash site. In April 1947 his remains and those of other victims of the crash, were moved to the British Military Cemetery in Imphal, India. In November 1950 all the remains were reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, as the mass of the victims were Americans.
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