Major-General Robert Adam Mungo Simpson Melvin (1955) CB OBE is a retired British Army officer, and a noted military historian. He is best known for his biography of German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. He is an Editorial Board Member on Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism Studies.[1]

Mungo Melvin
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1975–2011
Commands heldUK Support Command (Germany)
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Military careerEdit

Educated at Daniel Stewart's College in Edinburgh, the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Downing College, Cambridge and the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Hamburg, Melvin was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1975.[2] He became Director, Land Warfare in June 2002, Director of Operational Capability at the Ministry of Defence in 2004 and General Officer Commanding United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) in 2006.[3] He went on to be Chief Army Instructor at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2009 before retiring in 2011.[3]

In 2009 he appeared as an expert witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia.[4] He is an associate senior fellow of the Royal United Services Institute.[5]

The Manstein BiographyEdit

Mungo Melvin and German General Markus Kneip crossing the Weser on 1 August 2009

During his Army service in Germany, Melvin learned German and developed an interest in German military history. The product of this was his 2010 biography of Erich von Manstein.[6] Manstein is widely regarded as the most gifted German commander of World War II, but he was also a convicted war criminal who never acknowledged his own or the German Army's responsibility for the crimes committed on the Eastern Front while he held major commands there. Melvin's conclusion was that Manstein was a product of his age, his class, his education and his own stubborn personality, all of which blinded him to the ethical conflict between his duty as a German officer to obey the orders of the legitimate government, and the increasingly criminal nature of the Nazi regime.[7]

Reviews of Melvin's book concentrated on this question. Alexander Rose in the New York Times referred to "Mungo Melvin’s authoritative and splendidly comprehensive biography" but criticized what he saw as Melvin's narrow focus on military matters.[8] Tom Nagorski in the Wall Street Journal found fault with Melvin's concentration on detailed descriptions of Manstein's work as a military commander.[9]


  1. ^ ""Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism Studies Editorial Board"". Veruscript. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "No. 46551". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 April 1975. p. 5160.
  3. ^ a b Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ ICTY - Tribunal Update No. 622
  5. ^ Major General (Retd.) Mungo Melvin RUSI
  6. ^ Mungo Melvin, Manstein: Hitler's Greatest General, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2010
  7. ^ Melvin, Manstein, 8
  8. ^ Commanding Hitler’s Soldiers New York Times, 1 July 2011
  9. ^ Not a Fanatic, Also Not Blind Wall Street Journal, 19 June 2011

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
David Bill
GOC United Kingdom Support Command (Germany)
Succeeded by
Nicholas Caplin