Born 16th April 1897 Preston Lancashire UK, Served in the British Army in France during the First World War resigning in 1926.

Major General John Bagot Glubb, a British soldier of fortune known as “General Glubb Pasha”. From 1969 to 1956 he Commanded the Jordanian Arab Legion an Elite six thousand man Bedouin Force.

In 1948 along with his command Glubb Pasha encircled the city of Jerusalem leaving only one safe roadway in and out of the city, known as the Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv main highway. The city was under virtual siege, and was bombarded daily. After a fierce fight the Israelis finally captured a small part of the road back, but this was all they could take achieve.

In desperation the Israeli government employed American soldier of fortune David “Mickey” Marcus to help break the stale mate.  Under Marcus the Israelis fought back bravely and re-took the road, and went on to also regained a lot of the Arab controlled parts of the city.

Glubb Pasha had to retreat leaving Marcus in charge of over three-quarters of the city. Mickey was reward by being made up to Brigadier General. This was the only defeat that Glubb Pasha ever suffered.

Glubb Pasha remained in charge of the defense of the West Bank following the armistice in March 1949, and as the commander of the Arab Legion until 1 March 1956, when he was dismissed by King Hussein who wanted to distance himself from the British and disprove the contention of Arab nationalists that Glubb was the actual ruler of Jordan. Differences between Glubb and Hussein had been apparent since 1952, especially over defense arrangements, the promotion of Arab officers and the funding of the Arab Legion. Despite his decommission, which was forced upon him by public opinion, he remained a close friend of the king. He spent the remainder of his life writing books and articles, mostly on the Middle East and his experiences with the Arabs.

He died 17th March 1986 Mayfield Sussex UK.


Terry Aspinall 1990

Other articles of interest

Artilce on John Bagot Glubb by David M. Castlewitz April 1998