John Kiszely

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir John Kiszely
Born (1948-04-02) 2 April 1948 (age 74)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1968–2008
RankLieutenant General
Service number486680
Commands heldDefence Academy of the United Kingdom
Regional Forces
Multi-National Division (South-West)
1st (UK) Armoured Division
7th Armoured Brigade
1st Battalion Scots Guards
Battles/warsFalklands War
Bosnian war
Iraq War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches
Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service
Legion of Merit (United States)

Lieutenant General Sir John Panton Kiszely, KCB, MC, DL (born 2 April 1948) is a retired senior British Army officer who was director general of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2008. He is a former national president of The Royal British Legion.

Early life[edit]

The son of Dr John Kiszely and Mrs Kiszely, Kiszely was educated at Marlborough College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Scots Guards as a second lieutenant on 20 December 1968.[1]

Military career[edit]

Kiszely served with the regiment as a platoon commander, company commander and commanding officer in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands.[2] Kiszely was awarded the Military Cross for an action during the Battle of Mount Tumbledown during the Falklands War, where he led an attack in close quarter battle against determined resistance through the Argentine position which drove them from the summit.[3]

Kiszely became commanding officer of 1st Battalion the Scots Guards in 1986 and, following various other military appointments, took command of 7th Armoured Brigade in early 1993. In 1996 he was appointed General Officer Commanding 1st (UK) Armoured Division and served as commander of the Multi-National Division (South-West) in Bosnia.[4]

In September 1998 Kiszely was appointed assistant chief of defence staff (resource and plans) at the Ministry of Defence.[5] In 2002 he was appointed Commander of Regional Forces at Land Command and,[2] in 2004, he was deployed as senior British military representative and deputy commanding general, Multinational Force, Iraq.[2] In 2005 he took up his post as director general of the Defence Academy.[2] He retired from this post on 30 May 2008.[6]

Later life[edit]

On 14 December 2009, Kiszely gave evidence to The Iraq Inquiry in which he claimed that American officials had refused to admit that they were dealing with an insurgency in Iraq.[7]

In December 2008, Kiszely was appointed national president of The Royal British Legion. He took over the role from Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen, who recommended him for the post.[8] In an October 2012 article, the Sunday Times alleged that Kiszely was among several retired military leaders who had offered to lobby and influence MPs and government defence ministers on behalf of arms firms.[9] When the Royal British Legion announced it was setting up an inquiry into Kiszely's behaviour, he resigned, admitting that he had made "exaggerated and foolish claims" and therefore it would be "inappropriate" for him to keep his role at the legion. However, he claimed that he had not broken Whitehall rules.[10] Defence secretary Philip Hammond said that the allegations against Kiszely and others are damaging and that he may restrict the access that former officers have to current staff.[11] "If they're abusing that access for commercial purposes then we will have to tighten it up or maybe even shut it down," he said. However, he argued that former military officers did not have influence on how the Ministry of Defence spends taxpayers' money.[11] The Ministry of Defence said it would investigate whether Kiszely and other former generals implicated by the investigation had broken any rules and if so, what punishment was appropriate.[11]

In 2017, Kiszely wrote the book, Anatomy of a Campaign: The British fiasco in Norway, 1940. It was published by the Cambridge University Press and won the inaugural Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History.[12]


Kiszely is married with three children.[13]


  1. ^ "No. 44774". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 January 1969. p. 1000.
  2. ^ a b c d Oxford Leverhulme Biography Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "No. 49134". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 October 1982. p. 12846.
  4. ^ "Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Previous Commanders".
  5. ^ "NATO/SFOR Informer". Archived from the original on 29 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Lieutenant General Andrew Graham takes over from Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszley". Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  7. ^ "US would not 'admit' the insurgency in post-war Iraq". BBC News. BBC. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  8. ^ Royal British Legion appoints new National President Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Royal British Legion, 15 December 2008
  9. ^ "Inquiry into Legion lobby claim". BBC News. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  10. ^ Kim Sengupta (15 October 2012). "Royal British Legion president Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely resigns over lobbying allegations". The Independent. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b c "Ministry of Defence to investigate Sunday Times lobbying story – BBC News". BBC News. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History 2018". www.rusi.orghttps.
  13. ^ "Person Page".
Military offices
Preceded by General Officer Commanding the 1st (UK) Armoured Division
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander Multi-National Division (South-West), Bosnia
June–December 1996
Succeeded by
New title Commander Regional Forces
Succeeded by
Preceded by Senior British Military Representative
and Deputy Commanding General, Multinational Force, Iraq

Succeeded by
Preceded by Director General of the Defence Academy
Succeeded by
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by President of the Royal British Legion
Succeeded by