Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, saw action in the First World War as a junior officer. During the Second World War he commanded the British Eight Army in the Western Desert in North Africa until the final Allied victory in Tunisia. He was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord from the initial landings until after the Battle of Normandy. He was the principal field commander for the failed airborne attempt to bridge the Rhine at Arnhem and enter Germany. On May 4, 1945, in a tent in the region of Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony, Germany, he accepted the surrender of German forces in northern Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Between 1946 and 1948, Montgomery served as the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the highest ranking soldier in the British military.