I. S. O. Playfair

  (Redirected from Ian Stanley Ord Playfair)

Major-General Ian Stanley Ord Playfair, CB, DSO, MC & Bar (10 April 1894 – 21 March 1972) was a British Army officer.

Ian Stanley Ord Playfair
Born(1894-04-10)10 April 1894
Died21 March 1972(1972-03-21) (aged 77)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1913–1947
Commands heldArmy Gas School
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross & Bar
Mentioned in Despatches
RelationsJocelyn Malan (wife)
Other workAuthor

Military careerEdit

Born the son of Colonel F.H.G. Playfair of the Hampshire Regiment and educated at Cheltenham College, Playfair joined the Royal Engineers in 1913.[1] He served in France and Belgium during the First World War and was mentioned in despatches, awarded the Military Cross and Bar and the Distinguished Service Order.[2]

Playfair became officer commanding the Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Marine Artillery in 1920, attending the Staff College, Camberley from 1929 to 1930, chief instructor in field works and bridging at the Royal School of Military Engineering in 1930 and an instructor at the Indian Army Staff College in Quetta in 1934.[1] After attending the Imperial Defence College in 1938, he became commandant of the Army Gas School in Wiltshire in 1939.[1]

In 1940, following the outbreak of the Second World War, Playfair was appointed director of plans at the War Office.[1] In early 1942, he was appointed deputy commander (and chief of staff) of land forces in the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM), a short-lived, supreme command for Allied forces in South East Asia and the southwest Pacific.[2] In 1943, Playfair was appointed to the general staff of the 11th Army Group, in the South East Asia Command.[1]

Playfair retired in 1947.[1] He later wrote several books, and was co-author of a Second World War official campaign history: The Mediterranean and Middle East.[2]


In 1930, Playfair married Jocelyn Malan; they had two sons, including Guy Lyon Playfair.[2]


  • The Mediterranean and Middle East
    • Volume 1: The Early Successes Against Italy, to May 1941, 1954, ISBN 1-84574-065-3
    • Volume 2: The Germans Come to the Help of Their Ally, 1941, 1956, ISBN 1-84574-066-1
    • Volume 3: British Fortunes Reach Their Lowest Ebb, 1960, ISBN 1-84574-067-X
    • Volume 4: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa, 1966, ISBN 1-84574-068-8


External linksEdit