The Master-General of the Ordnance (MGO) was a very senior British military position from 1415 to 2013 (except 1855-1895 and 1939-1958) with some changes to the name, usually held by a serving general. The Master-General of the Ordnance was responsible for all British artillery, engineers, fortifications, military supplies, transport, field hospitals and much else, and was not subordinate to the commander-in chief of the British military. In March 2013 the holder was titled as "Director Land Capability and Transformation", but still sat on the Army Board as Master-General of the Ordnance; in September 2013 the post was eliminated.
The position of Master-General was frequently a cabinet-level one, especially in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when it was normally a political appointment. In 1855 the post was discontinued and certain of the ceremonial aspects of the post were subsequently vested in the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. In 1904 the post was re-established, and until 1938 the Master-General of the Ordnance was the Fourth Military Member of the Army Board.
In 1913 the control of military aviation was separated from the responsibilities of the Master-General of the Ordnance. A new Department of Military Aeronautics was established and Brigadier-General Henderson was appointed the first director.
In March 2013 the holder was titled as "Director Land Capability and Transformation" but still sat on the army board as Master-General of the Ordnance. In September 2013 the post was abolished.
The post was abolished by Leslie Hore-Belisha, the Secretary of State for War, as he perceived it to be a block on production, transferring tank development responsibility to the Director General of Munitions Development. It was not reinstated until 1959.
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