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Cunningham, Andrew, 1st Viscount Cunningham

Cunningham, Andrew, 1st Viscount Cunningham (1883–1963). Sailor. Entering the navy in 1897 as a cadet, Cunningham spent the First World War as captain of the destroyer Scorpion. The outbreak of the Second World War found him an acting Admiral as commander-in-chief Mediterranean. This became a post of supreme importance when Italy entered the war in 1940 and an extraordinary situation developed with British convoys moving east–west from Suez to Gibraltar and Italian convoys crossing north–south en route for Libya. In November 1940 an air attack on the harbour of Taranto forced the Italian fleet to withdraw northwards and in March 1941, in a night attack, Cunningham won a decisive victory over an Italian force off Cape Matapan. He remained in his Mediterranean command during the allied landings in north Africa and Sicily, and in 1943 was appointed 1st sea lord and chief of the naval staff. In 1945 he was given a barony and advanced to viscount the following year.

J. A. Cannon

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Cunningham, Andrew Browne, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope (hīnd´hōp), 1883–1963, British admiral. A long-seasoned naval officer—he fought in the South African War and World War I—Cunningham was (1939–42) commander in the Mediterranean, which he kept open to the British. He was later naval commander in the expedition against N Africa (1942–43), commander in chief of the Allied naval forces in the Mediterranean (1943), and first sea lord and chief of the naval staff (1943–46). He retired and was created viscount in 1946.

See his memoirs, A Sailor's Odyssey (1951); biography by O. Warner (1967).

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