Richard Dannatt

Richard Dannatt


General Lord Richard Dannatt was commissioned into The Green Howards regiment in 1971. He served with the 1st Battalion in Northern Ireland (where he won the Military Cross), Cyprus and Germany and commanded the Battalion in the Airmobile role from 1989 to 1991. From 1994 to 1996 he commanded 4th Armoured Brigade in Germany and Bosnia. He took command of the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division in January 1999, also serving in Kosovo that year as Commander British Forces. In 2000 he returned to Bosnia as the Deputy Commander Operations of the Stabilisation Force, and from 2001 to 2002 he was the Assistant Chief of the General Staff in the Ministry of Defence before taking command of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. In 2005 he became Commander-in-Chief, Land Command.

Richard Dannatt became Chief of the General Staff in 2006, leading the British Army during its most challenging time in the post-war era as it fought two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He handed over as Chief on 28th August 2009, forty years to the day from when he first joined the Army. In 2009 HM The Queen appointed him Constable of the Tower of London and in 2010 he was appointed as a Crossbencher to the House of Lords. He has written regular columns for the Sunday Telegraph, and lectures on leadership and current defence and security issues.

His autobiography Leading from the Front was published in 2010 by Transworld. Boots on the Ground, his post-Second World War history of the British Army was published by Profile to critical acclaim in 2016.

Written with co-author Robert Lyman, his A Cautionary Tale on why the British Army was catastrophically unprepared for the Second World War and the lessons we must learn, will be published by Bloomsbury / Osprey in 2023.

Richard Dannatt

Latest Release

Boots on the Ground by Richard Dannatt

On Lüneberg Heath in 1945, the German High Command surrendered to Field Marshall Montgomery; in 2015, seventy years after this historic triumph, the last units of the British Army finally left their garrisons next to Lüneberg Heath.

Boots on the Ground is the story of those years, following the British Army against the backdrop of Britain's shifting security and defence policies. From the decolonisation of India to the two invasions of Iraq, and, of course, Ireland, the book tracks the key historical conflicts, both big and small, of Britain's transformation from a leading nation with some 2 million troops in 1945, to a significantly reduced place on the world stage and fewer than 82,000 troops in 2015. Despite this apparent de-escalation, at no point since WWII has Britain not had 'boots on the ground' - and with the current tensions in the Middle East, and the rise of terrorism, this situation is unlikely to change.

Sir Richard Dannatt brings forty years of military service, including as Chief of Staff, to tell the fascinating story of how the British Army has shaped, and been shaped by, world events from the Cold War to the Good Friday Agreement. Whether examining the fallout of empire in the insurgencies of Kenya and Indonesia, the politically fraught battle for the Falklands, the long-standing conflict in Ireland or Britain's relationship with NATO and experience of fighting with - or for - America, Dannatt examines the complexity of perhaps the greatest British institution.

    Other Publications

    by Richard Dannatt

      Boots on the Ground
      Leading From The Front