History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Military Series: Official Campaign History

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Drew5233, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I've been casually browsing through military books online and came across 'HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR: UNITED KINGDOM MILITARY SERIES: OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN HISTORY'

    There seems to be 18 volumes of 'Official' British Military History covering every aspect of Britain's involvement.

    Has anyone come across them before?

    Here's a example of one of the volumes:

    WAR AT SEA 1939-45: Volume III Part I The Offensive 1st June 1943-31 May 1944OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR - Naval & Military Press

    Cheers for any feedback
    Andy
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    Yes, I have original editions of these for France 1940, NW Europe 1944-45 and Italy. They are quite useful, but not as detailed as the Official History was for WW1. Units below Division are only mentioned rarely.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Paul.....I think I'll pass then if it doesn't go down to the Battalions.
     
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Yes, I've occasionally used the couple of volumes that are up on Hyperwar.
     
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I only have 'France & Flanders 1940'. I find it interesting and worthwhile in that it shows the immediate post-war official view and sometimes based on documents which were accessible then but subsequently not released for some time. It goes out of its way, as you would expect, not to cause offence. It does nevertheless give a good broad view of events.

    To my mind individual volumes are worth having if there is a special interest in the campaign but I wouldn't want to plough through the whole set.
     
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Yes, I've occasionally used the couple of volumes that are up on Hyperwar.
    I thought it sounded familiar phyl. Thats where I heard it from.
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Derry's account of the Norway campaign is one of the more legendary volumes, being a Scandanavian expert who also wrote one of the reputable English-language histories of the area...and is still regarded as essential reading on the campaign - from the Allied side ;)

    On the other hand, Richards' official history of the RAF's campaign -
    HyperWar: Royal Air Force 1939–1945: Volume I: The Fight at Odds
    HyperWar: Royal Air Force 1939-1945: Volume II: The Fight Avails

    ...was for some reason not popular with the Air Staff. Too close to the knuckle? :)
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Does anyone know where the best place is to find original Hardback copies?

    I got one in SB and after flicking through it I want to get a few HB copies :)

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  10. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Only place ive seen these is in reference section of library.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    After a bit of a rough search there appears to be according to a book dealer I contacted a lot more than the 18 volumes that N&M Press suggest exsist/published.

    Does anyone know if there is a definitive list of the books in this series published by HMSO after the war?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  13. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    Does anyone know if there is a definitive list of the books in this series published by HMSO after the war?

    Yes; see Appendix C in John Cantwell's The Second World War: A Guide to Documents in the Public Record Office (PRO, 1998).

    Best, Alan
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Does anyone know if there is a definitive list of the books in this series published by HMSO after the war?

    Yes; see Appendix C in John Cantwell's The Second World War: A Guide to Documents in the Public Record Office (PRO, 1998).

    Best, Alan

    Without buying a book to find it :D
     
  15. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    This seems to be comprehensive ...

    Best, Alan
     
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  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Allan, much appreciated !
     
  17. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Then you can add two more RAF official histories:

    Air Defence of Great Britain: Vol I: The Growth of Fighter Command, 1936-1940
    Air Defence of Great Britain: Vol II: The Battle of Britain

    Both by T C G James and both have been reprinted by Cass recently.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    • British War Economy, Hancock, W. K. & Gowing, M. M. London: HMSO and Longmans, Green, 1949
    • Problems of Social Policy, Titmuss, Richard M. London: HMSO, 1950
    • British War Production, Postan, Michael M. London: HMSO, 1952
    • Statistical Digest of the War, Hancock, W. K. London: HMSO, 1951
    • Food, Volume 1: The Growth of Policy, Hammond, R. J. London: HMSO, 1951
    • Food, Volume 2: Studies in Administration and Control, Hammond, R. J. London: HMSO, 1956
    • Food, Volume 3: Studies in Administration and Control, Hammand, R. J. London: HMSO, 1962
    • Agriculture, Murray, Keith A. H. London: HMSO, 1955
    • The Economic Blockade, Volume 1, Medlicott, William N. London: HMSO, 1952
    • The Economic Blockade, Volume 2, Medlicott, William N. London: HMSO, 1959
    • Merchant Shipping and the Demands of War, Behrens, C. B. A. London: HMSO and Longmans, Green, 1955
    • Inland Transport, Savage, Christopher I. London: HMSO, 1957
    • Financial Policy, 1939-45, Sayers, Richard S. London: HMSO, 1956
    • Civil Industry and Trade, Hargreaves, Eric L. London: HMSO, 1952
    • Manpower: Study of War-TimePolicy and Administration, Parker, H. M. D.: London: HMSO, 1957
    • Oil: A Study of War-Time Policy and Administration, Payton-Smith, D. J. London: HMSO, 1971
    • Coal, Court, William H. B. London: HMSO, 1951
    • Studies in the Social Services, Ferguson, Sheila London: HMSO, 1954
    • Civil Defence, O'Brien, Terence H. London: HMSO, 1955
    • Works and Buildings, Kohan, Charles M. London: HMSO, 1952
    War Production



    • The Administration of War Production, Scott, J. D. London: HMSO, 1955
    • North American Supply, Hall, H. Duncan. London: HMSO, 1955
    • Studies of Overseas Supply, Hall, H. Duncan. London: HMSO, 1956
    • Contracts and Finance, Ashworth, William London: HMSO, 1953
    • Design and Development of Weapons: Studies in Government and Industrial Organisation,
      Postan, Michael M. London: HMSO, 1964
    • The Control of Raw Materials, Hurstfield, Joel. London: HMSO, 1953
    • Labour in the Munitions Industries, Inman, P. London: HMSO, 1957
    • Factories and Plant, Hornby, William London: HMSO, 1958
    Intelligence


    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Abridged Version,
      Hinsley, F. H. et al. London: HMSO, 1993
    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 1: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations,
      Hinsley, F.H. et al. London: HMSO, 1979
    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 2: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations,
      Hinsley, F.H. et al. London: HMSO, 1981
    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 3, Part 1: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations,
      Hinsley, F.H. et al. London: HMSO, 1984
    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 3, Part 2: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations,
      Hinsley, F.H. et al. London: HMSO, 1988
    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 4: Security and Counter-Intelligence,
      Hinsley, F.H. et al. London: HMSO, 1990
    • British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 5: Strategic Deception, Howard, Michael, London: HMSO, 1990
    • SOE in France, Foot, Michael, R. D., London: HMSO, 1966
    • SOE in the Low Countries, Foot, Michael, R. D., London: St Ermin's Press, 2001
    • SOE in Scandinavia, Cruickshank, C., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986
    • SOE in the Far East, Cruickshank, C., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1983
    • Secret Flotillas, Volume 1, Clandestine Sea Operations to Brittany 1940-44,
      Richards, Brooks, Frank Cass, 2004
    • Secret Flotillas, Volume 2, Clandestine Sea Operations in the Mediterreanean, North Africa and the Adriatic 1940-44,
      Richards, Brooks, Frank Cass, 2004
    Foreign Policy


    • British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, Abridged Version, Woodward, Sir Llewellyn London: HMSO, 1962
    • British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, Volume 1, Woodward, Sir Llewellyn. London: HMSO, 1970
    • British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, Volume 2, Woodward, Sir Llewellyn. London: HMSO, 1971
    • British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, Volume 3, Woodward, Sir Llewellyn. London: HMSO, 1971
    • British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, Volume 4, Woodward, Sir Llewellyn. London: HMSO, 1975
    • British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, Volume 5, Woodward, Sir Llewellyn. London: HMSO, 1976
    Medical Services


    • The Emergency Medical Services, Volume 1: England and Wales, Edited by Dunn, Cuthbert, L. London: HMSO, 1952
    • The Emergency Medical Services, Volume 2: Scotland, Northern Ireland and Principal Air Raids on Industrial Centres in Great Britain, Edited by Dunn, Cuthbert L. London: HMSO, 1953
    • The Royal Air Force MedicalServices, Volume 1: Administration, Edited by Rexford-Welch, S. C. London: HMSO, 1954
    • The Royal Air Force Medical Services, Volume 2: Commands, Edited by Rexford-Welch, S. C. London: HMSO, 1955
    • The Royal Air Force Medical Services, Volume 3: Campaigns, Edited by Rexford-Welch, S. C. London: HMSO, 1958
    • The Royal Naval Medical Service, Volume 1: Administration, Coulter, Jack L. S. London: HMSO, 1954
    • The Royal Naval Medical Service, Volume 2: Operations, Coulter Jack L. S. London: HMSO, 1956
    • The Army Medical Services, Administration, Volume 1, Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1953
    • The Army Medical Services, Administration, Volume 2, Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1955
    • The Army Medical Services, Campaigns, Volume 1: France and Belgium, 1939-40, Norway, Battle of Britain, Libya, 1940-42, East Africa, Greece, 1941, Crete, Iraq, Syria, Persia, Madagascar, Malta, Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1956
    • The Army Medical Services, Campaigns, Volume 2: Hong Kong, Malaya, Iceland and the Faroes, Libya, 1942-43, North-West Africa, Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1957
    • The Army Medical Services, Campaigns, Volume 3: Sicily, Italy, Greece (1944-45), Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1959
    • The Army Medical Services, Campaigns, Volume 4: North-West Europe, Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1962
    • The Army Medical Services, Campaigns, Volume 5: Burma, Crew, Francis A. E. London: HMSO, 1966
    • The Civilian Health and Medical Services, Volume 1: The Civilian Health Services; Other Civilian Health and Medical Services, MacNalty, Sir Arthur A. London: HMSO, 1953
    • The Civilian Health and Medical Services, Volume 2: The Colonies, The Medical Services of the Ministry of Pensions, Public Health in Scotland, Public Health in Northern Ireland, MacNalty, Sir Arthur A. London: HMSO, 1955
    • Medical Services in War: The Principal Medical Lessons of the Second World War, MacNalty, Sir Arthur A. London: HMSO, 1968
    • Medicine and Pathology, Edited by Cope, Sir Zachary London: HMSO, 1952
    • Surgery, Edited by Cope, Sir Zachary London: HMSO, 1954
    • Casualties and Medical Statistics, Edited by Franklin, William M. London: HMSO, 1972
    • Medical Research, Edited by Green, F. H. K. and Major-General Sir Gordon Covell London: HMSO, 1953
    Grand Strategy


    • Grand Strategy, Volume 1: Rearmament Policy, Gibbs, N. H. London: HMSO, 1976
    • Grand Strategy, Volume 2: September 1939-June 1941, Butler, J. R. M. London: HMSO, 1957
    • Grand Strategy, Volume 3, Part 1: June 1941-August 1942, Gwyer, J. M. A. London: HMSO, 1964
    • Grand Strategy, Volume 3, Part 2: June 1941-August 1942, Butler, J. R. M. London: HMSO, 1964
    • Grand Strategy, Volume 4: September 1942-August 1943, Howard, Michael, London: HMSO, 1970
    • Grand Strategy, Volume 5: August 1943-September 1944, Ehrman, John, London: HMSO, 1956
    • Grand Strategy, Volume 6: October 1944-August 1945, Ehrman, John, London: HMSO, 1956
    Military Government


    • Civil Affairs and Military Government: Central Organization and Planning, Donnison, Frank S. V. London: HMSO, 1966
    • Civil Affairs and Military Government: North-West Europe, 1944-46, Donnison, Frank S. V. London: HMSO, 1961
    • Allied Administration of Italy 1943-45, Harris, Charles R. S. London: HMSO, 1957
    • British Military Administration in the Far East, 1943-1946, Donnison, F. S. V. London: HMSO, 1956
    • British Military Administration of Occupied Territories in Africa During the Years 1941-1947,
      Rennel, Lord Francis London: HMSO, 1948
    The War at Sea


    • War at Sea 1939-1945, Volume 1: The Defensive, Roskill, S. W. London: HMSO, 1954
    • War at Sea 1939-1945, Volume 2: The Period of Balance, Roskill, S. W. London: HMSO, 1956
    • War at Sea 1939-1945, Volume 3: The Offensive, Part 1, Roskill, S. W. London: HMSO, 1960
    • War at Sea 1939-1945, Volume 3: The Offensive, Part 2, Roskill, S. W. London: HMSO, 1961
    The War in the Air


    • Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, Volume 1: Preparation, Webster, Charles and Noble Frankland. London: HMSO, 1961
    • Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, Volume 2: Endeavour, Webster, Charles and Noble Frankland. London: HMSO, 1961
    • Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, Volume 3: Victory, Webster, Charles and Noble Frankland. London: HMSO, 1961
    • Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, Volume 4: Annexes and Appendices, Webster, Charles and Noble Frankland. London: HMSO, 1961
    • The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945, Volume 1: Fight at Odds, Richards, Denis. London: HMSO, 1953
    • The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945, Volume 2: Fight Avails, Richards, Denis and Hilary Saunders. London: HMSO, 1953
    • The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945, Volume 3: Fight is Won, Saunders, Hilary St George. London: HMSO, 1954
    European Theatre


    • Defence of the United Kingdom, Collier, Basil, London: HMSO, 1957
    • The Campaign in Norway, Derry, T. K. London: HMSO, 1952
    • The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, Ellis, L. F. London: HMSO, 1953
    • Victory in the West, Volume 1: Battle of Normandy, Ellis, L. F. et al., London: HMSO, 1962
    • Victory in the West, Volume 2: Defeat of Germany, Ellis, L. F. et al., London: HMSO, 1968
    Mediterranean, African, Middle East Theatres


    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 1: The Early Successes Against Italy, to May 1941,
      Playfair, I. S. O. et al. London: HMSO, 1954
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 2: The Germans Come to the Help of Their Ally, 1941,
      Playfair, I. S. O. et al. London: HMSO, 1956
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 3: British Fortunes Reach Their Lowest Ebb,
      Playfair, I. S. O. et al. London: HMSO, 1960
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 4: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa,
      Playfair, I. S. O. C.J.C. Molony et al. London: HMSO, 1966
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 5: The Campaign in Sicily, 1943 and the Campaign in Italy, 3rd September 1943 to 31st March 1944,
      Molony, C. J. C. London: HMSO, 1973
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 6, Part 1: Victory in the Mediterranean: 1st April to 4th June 1944,
      Molony, C. J. C. London: HMSO, 1984
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 6, Part 2: Victory in the Mediterranean: June to October 1944,
      Jackson, General Sir William et al., London: HMSO, 1987
    • The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 6, Part 3: Victory in the Mediterranean: November 1944 to May 1945,
      Jackson, General Sir William et al., London: HMSO, 1988
    Asia-Pacific Theatres


    • War Against Japan, Volume 1: The Loss of Singapore, Kirby, S. Woodburn et al. London: HMSO, 1957
    • War Against Japan, Volume 2: India's Most Dangerous Hour, Kirby, S. Woodburn et al. London: HMSO, 1958
    • War Against Japan, Volume 3: The Decisive Battles, Kirby, S. Woodburn et al. London: HMSO, 1961
    • War Against Japan, Volume 4: The Reconquest of Burma, Kirby, S. Woodburn et al. London: HMSO, 1965
    • War Against Japan, Volume 5: The Surrender of Japan, Kirby, S. Woodburn et al. London: HMSO, 1969
    A Short Military History Series


    • Arms and the Men, HayIan. London: HMSO 1950
    • Norway — The Commandos — Dieppe, Buckley, Christopher. London: HMSO, 1951
    • Greece and Crete, Buckley, Christopher. London: HMSO, 1952
    • Five Ventures (Iraq-Syria-Persia-Madgagascar-Dodecanese), Buckley, Christopher. London: HMSO, 1954
    • The Campaign in Italy, Linklater, Eric. London: HMSO, 1951
    • North-West Europe, 1944-5: Achievement of 21st Army Group, North, John. London: HMSO, 1953
    • The Campaign in Burma, Central Office of Information. London: HMSO, 1946
    Order of Battle


    • Orders of Battle, Volume 1, Joslen, H. F. London: HMSO, 1960
    • Orders of Battle, Volume 2, Joslen, H. F. London: HMSO, 1960
     
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  19. PeterG

    PeterG Senior Member

    One has also to bear in mind that the official histories were researched and drafted in the late 1940s and were published over three decades starting in the 1950s. During this period there was still massive secrecy surrounding Ultra and the 30 year rule on Cabinet secrecy was strictly imposed. They also suffer the usual drawbacks from a multiplicity of authors and there are other idiosyncrasies, for example the historian Lionel Frederic Ellis, who wrote of the events in France in 1940 and the two volumes covering North-West Europe, 'Victory in the West, was a serving army officer and was at one time a major on Montgomery's staff and is reticent to offer any real criticism of him. Regarding Ellis' Victory in the West', in the main I would agree with the review given here Amazon.co.uk: Carl's review of Victory in the West: The Battle of Normand... adding only that all D-Day intelligence deception is also ignored. Nonetheless, the two volumes on North West Europe, and in fact the whole series, are a treasure trove for anyone interested in WW2, particularly the maps in the original hard back edition.

    With regard to matters which were still secret in the 1950s and 1960s, some of the volumes had red ink manuscript annotations in the margins, referring to restricted matter, for military use. Fortunately (or unfortunately) a whole batch of these annotated volumes were mistakenly released to public libraries and lot of these were later sold off in library sales. Unfortunately I have yet to find one.

    Naval & Military Press, Military History, WWI & World War II Books are to be congratulated for scanning and re-printing these volumes, which seem to me to be at a loss. The softback reprints are in the original font size although a page or two are still missing in some of the volumes. The maps were coloured fold-outs in the hard backs, but unfortunately the scans are black-and-white inserts spread over two pages making them difficult to see at the centre fold. Also the original coloured arrows are confusing in monochrome The superb maps in the rear pocket are also missing and were probably lost from the scanned volumes. The Naval & Military Press are extremely helpful as can be seen from this exchange of emails I had with Gary Buckland in 2005:

    Dear Gary
    On 10 July I notified you of missing pages, 440 and 441, in ""The Mediterranean and Middle East" vol. V. It is now nearly a month since you said that you were checking your stock. Any progress? I am reluctant to order the remaining copies in this series until I get this sorted out.
    sincerely,
    Peter
    --------------------

    Peter

    We have made progress, the page is missing from all copies of the book, so we have rescanned the page and the run is being reprinted. We will have corrected stocks in about 14 days, as soon as this arrives I will send a copy to you.

    Regards,
    Gary.
    ----------------------------

    Many thanks Gary. Just a shot in the dark, but is there any chance of having the maps, which were included in a rear pocket on the original, scanned? On several pages the text refers to maps and diagrams in the rear pocket, for example at page 269, note 1, "These areas are shown in the diagrams ... in rear pocket". Were these excluded because of cost considerations?

    Best wishes,

    Peter
    --------------------------------

    Peter,
    We have not reprinted any additional maps in pockets, as far as we are aware the original editions did not include these either.
    Regards,
    Gary.
    --------------

    As I said, it seems that the pocket maps were missing from the volumes they scanned, but this is a minor draw-back.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    Yes, I've occasionally used the couple of volumes that are up on Hyperwar.
    The War at Sea volumes in are my queue right now.
     

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