Sir John Monash, (born June 27, 1865, West Melbourne, Austl.—died Oct. 8, 1931, Melbourne), civil engineer and soldier, best known for his role as commander of the Australian army corps in France during World War I.
Monash attended Scotch College and Melbourne University, obtaining degrees in the arts, civil engineering, and law. Active in the prewar militia, he commanded an infantry brigade at the Battle of Gallipoli during the Dardanelles Campaign in Turkey, and in 1916–17 he commanded a division on the Western Front. Monash was not a frontline general. Instead, his extensive and successful business experience led him to emphasize planning and organization. He favoured using technical and mechanical resources—tanks, artillery, and aircraft—to relieve the infantry as much as possible of the burden of fighting its way forward. In March 1918 he took command of the Australian Corps, and on July 4 he tested his theory of the semimobile managed battle in a small-scale attack at Le Hamel, France. Its outstanding success led Monash to develop a more comprehensive plan for a sustained offensive, which shaped the general British plan as well. From August 8 until its withdrawal from the line in October, the Australian Corps was in almost continuous combat as the spearhead of the British Expeditionary Force’s advance to victory.
When World War I broke out in 1914 Monash enlisted. He was a brigade commander in Gallipoli where he was responsible for the extremely successful evacuation of ANZAC troops at the end of 1915. After a period training Australian troops in England, Monash moved to the Western Front where his ability for organisation and meticulous planning became obvious in such battles as Messines in 1917. Monash had risen to the position of Lieutenant General by 1918. Monash reorganised the way in which tanks - the new weapon - were used in battles so that they would be more effective and could be accepted by the infantrymen who had to fight alongside them. Monash's brilliant tactical planning was responsible for the success of Australian offensives against the German Hindenburg Line in the final year of the war. His offensive planning technique was seen at its best in the Battle of Hamel in 1918.
WHAT IS HE REMEMBERED FOR:
John Monash was knighted by King George V during 1918 and is remembered as the last person to be knighted during the Second World War.
After the war, there was a university made and named in Sir John Monash’s honour.
Statue of Sir John Monash in King's Domain, Melbourne
He is on the 100 dollar Australian Note
Remembered for revolutionising the way that artillery is used such as tanks, air support etc.
After the outbreak of war, Monash took command of the AIF's 4th Infantry Brigade, landing at Gallipoli on 26 April 1915. In July he was promoted to brigadier. Despite having encountered some criticism for his performance on Gallipoli, Monash took his brigade to France in June 1916. He became a major…