Winston Churchill - Member of Parliament in 1900. He held many high posts in Liberal and Conservative governments during the first three decades of the century. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty - a post which he had earlier held from 1911 to 1915. In May 1940, he became Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and remained in office until 1945.
2. Charles De Gaulle - General Charles de Gaulle was one of the pioneers of modern armored warfare as practiced in the Second World War. His writings, although initially ignored, eventually led to his assuming command of the newly-created French 4th Mechanized Division in May, 1940, just as the German invasion began. The counterattack he made did not save his country, but was one of the few bright moments in the national disaster. He was appointed Under-Secretary for War and was in London, meeting with the British, when France fell.
3. Erwin Rommel - German field marshal. He entered the army in 1910 and rose slowly through the ranks. In 1939, Adolf Hitler made him a general. Rommel brilliantly commanded an armored division in the attack (1940) on France. In Feb. 1941, he took the specially trained tank corps, the Africa Corps., into Libya. For his successes there he was made field marshal and earned the name "the desert fox." In 1942 he pressed almost to Alexandria, Egypt, but was stalled by fierce British resistance and lack of supplies.
4. Bernard Montgomery - General Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, is probably the best-known British military leader, but was not the most talented. Having planned the disastrous Dieppe Raid, he had the tremendous good luck to be transferred elsewhere just before the Canadians were slaughtered while carrying out his plans at Dieppe! His new command, the British Eighth Army, had been beaten repeatedly by Rommel and the African Corps. This was mostly due to the tactical brilliance of Rommel and problems in the armored warfare doctrine used by the British, but there also were problems with equipment.