Most recent war's war diaries.

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Owen, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Clumsey thread title I know.
    Just wondering about these...

    Are the Korean War war diaries available?
    What about other conflicts like Malayan Emergency?
    When are the ones for the Falklands War due to be released, 2012?
    What about War Diaries for the Aussie & Kiwi units in Vietnam?
    Do units currently serving in Iraq & Afganisatn still keep war diaries?
    dbf likes this.
  2. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    What a lot of questions!

    You will probably find they are all still retained under ther 75 or 100 year rule!
    A fair while ago I was at Kew and wanted to look at some citations, which were such as Order of the Bath etc, but because they had included some recent ones, the file which had been open was now closed! for another 75 years.

    I would think they keep some sort of records, but nowadays it will all be digitaly recorded I'm sure.

    I will ask when I'm down there next.

  3. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    The 30 year rule was based on the last dated item in the file. I remember having to wait until 1996 for a particular WWII file because it also contained a single later letter from 1965.

    However, you could do a freedom of information request now for a particular war diary from other conflicts.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just noticed some of the Falklands War, War Diaries are available.

    Admittedly it's a Royal Marine Commando Unit in the Admiralty Section so not sure if all the Infantry etc ones are available yet.

    ADM 202/815 Headquarters 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines: Operation Corporate (Falklands Conflict). 1982 Apr 01 - 1982 May 31

    Not sure if I dare look - I may end up being gone sometime :unsure:
  5. graeme

    graeme Senior Member

  6. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    Isn't it a 20 year rule now?

    I assume WDs were properly maintained in Korea but after that it seems to have been patchy, some units kept them, others didn't. Not clear why its like this, possibly lack of direction and confusion about whther or not it was awar. Borneo is a good example, very few units seem to have kept WDs, but the bde HQs produced weekly operational summaries that are available in TNA. It's now much stricter due to the need to have evidence that can be produced in court, and I think WDs are now called the Operational Record..
  7. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    Don't be too confident, not all units in SVN kept WDs, if you know your history you'll recognsie the gaps.
  8. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    The 20 year rule is being phased in. So two years' worth of files are being released each year until they've caught up.
    The Korean war diaries are in WO 281 and are indexed in the ARCRE search engine as well.

    For emergencies like Malaya and Indonesia war diaries as such were not completed but quarterly historical records kept instead. The ones I've looked at aren't nearly as detailed as WWII war diaries though.

    A certain number of Falklands records have been released this year.
    Here's an example of one document which is a post-war assessment of the Argentine air effort:
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    A while ago I transcribed Quarterly Historical Record for 1IG, Palestine, series WO 261. I have been in no rush to look at more for other units.

    A series of moves, locations, lectures, some fatalities all mentioned but not in any detail, and a lot of sports fixtures. I got the distinct impression that this unit took the Quarterly description very seriously, in that they completed 3 months' worth at the end of each quarter.
  10. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Last time I was at Kew I finished what I wanted early, so had a look for my dad's Korean War unit diaries - 55 Field Sqdn, R.E. - some were there from later in 1952/53, but separate files for two or three months each - and my dad was in from 1950-late 51, but I couldn't find them. I've been told his service record from that time isn't available either. I might get Drew on the job as he's more experienced and probably more err... tenacious (in a Bill Shankly voice) - and he definitely takes better photos than I do.
  11. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Yes, many are rather disappointing aren't they. Although like war diaires they do vary in quality. Also worth looking at WO 305 for post-1950.

    WO 281/1152
  12. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Psy War - that's Drew out of a job! Thank you very much and that's what I love about this forum, theres always someone who has gone further or knows more. Apologies for my lack of perspiacity - or research skills.
  13. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    That's OK Brian, I'm not trying to gazump Drew. If you usually work with him then please continue to do so.
  14. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    Borneo is notably tricky due to the secrecy of Claret ops, actions don't seem to be stated as such and give the impression that they are all in Malaysia. You need the relevant map to see which side of the border they were.

    Last time I looked at Borneo there were actually 2 units that seem to have completed 'WDs', 22 SAS and 40 Lt Regt. In the former case presumably a tac HQ not the proper one. 40 is potentially interesting, they did 10 months in theatre and were 'Ubique'.
  15. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    It was a joke mate, I haven't actually asked him to do anything yet as I like going myself, particularly for 'personal' material like that but I was mildly disappointed at my own inability to find that file, so thank you very much. It's usually the case that I get home, read over what I made notes on and wish I'd photographed/read more, so Drew (or yourself) would come in handy as I can't afford the time to go down more than a few times a year.
  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'd be more than happy to have more discussion of Korea here, as I'm sure many others would.
    Massive business which sort of sits in the shade of WW2 in popular memory.

    (Other conflicts welcome too, naturally. We have pre-war & postwar sections which I'd be pleased to add subs to.)
    dbf likes this.

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