The History of the Second World War is the official history of Britain’s contribution to the Second World War and was published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO). The immense project was sub-divided into areas to ease publication. Military operations are covered in the United Kingdom Military Series, the United Kingdom Civil Series covers aspects of the civilian war effort and the Foreign Policy series; the Intelligence series and the Medical series are eponymous. There are other volumes not under the aegis of the series but were published by HMSO and may be read as adjuncts, as they cover matters not considered in great detail or in one case at all in the main series. Further volumes, published after the privatisation of HMSO or in the series about the Special Operations Executive, are also useful.

The original works lacked references to unpublished sources when published before 1970. Government archives were opened to an extent by the Public Records Act 1958 and the Public Records Act 1967. The works were published with only references to published sources.

United Kingdom Military Series

  • Grand Strategy
  • The War at Sea
  • The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany
    • Volume I: Preparation, Sir Charles Webster and Noble Frankland, 1961
    • Volume II: Endeavour, Sir Charles Webster and Noble Frankland, 1961
    • Volume III: Victory, Sir Charles Webster and Noble Frankland, 1961
    • Volume IV: Annexes and Appendices, Sir Charles Webster and Noble Frankland, 1961
  • 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 I: Battle of Normandy, Major L. F. Ellis et al., 1962
    • Volume II: Defeat of Germany, Major L. F. Ellis et al., 1968
  • War against Japan
    • Volume I: The Loss of Singapore, Major-General Stanley Woodburn Kirby et al., 1957
    • Volume II: India’s Most Dangerous Hour, Major-General Stanley Woodburn Kirby et al., 1958
    • Volume III: The Decisive Battles, Major-General Stanley Woodburn Kirby et al., 1961
    • Volume IV: The Reconquest of Burma, Major-General Stanley Woodburn Kirby et al., 1965
    • Volume V: The Surrender of Japan, Major-General Stanley Woodburn Kirby et al., 1969
  • The Mediterranean and Middle East
    • Volume I: The Early Successes Against Italy, to May 1941,
      Playfair, I.S.O. et al. London: HMSO, 1954
    • Volume II: The Germans Come to the Help of Their Ally, 1941,
      Playfair, I.S.O. et al. London: HMSO, 1956
    • Volume III: British Fortunes Reach Their Lowest Ebb, Major-General I. S. O. Playfair et al., 1960
    • Volume IV: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa, Major-General I. S. O. Playfair, Brigadier C. J. C. Molony et al., 1966
    • Volume V: The Campaign in Sicily, 1943 and the Campaign in Italy, 3 September 1943 to 31 March 1944, Brigadier C. J. C. Molony et al., 1973
    • Volume VI, Part 1: Victory in the Mediterranean: 1 April to 4 June 1944, General Sir William Jackson et al., 1984
    • Volume VI, Part 2: Victory in the Mediterranean: June to October 1944, General Sir William Jackson et al., 1987
    • Volume VI, Part 3: Victory in the Mediterranean: November 1944 to May 1945, General Sir William Jackson et al., 1988
  • Civil Affairs and Military Government
    • Central Organisation and Planning, Frank Donnison, 1966
    • North-West Europe, 1944–46, Frank Donnison, 1961
    • Allied Administration of Italy, Charles Harris, 1957
    • British Military Administration in the Far East, 1943–46, Frank Donnison, 1956

United Kingdom Civil Series

  • Introductory
    • British War Economy, Hancock, W. K. & Gowing, M. M. London: HMSO and Longmans, Green, 1949
    • Statistical Digest of the War, Central Statistical Office, 1949
    • Problems of Social Policy, Richard M. Titmuss, 1950
    • British War Production, Postan, Michael M. London: HMSO, 1952
  • General Series
    • Coal, William B. Court, 1951
    • Oil: A Study of Wartime Policy and Administration, D. J. Payton-Smith, 1971
    • Studies in the Social Services, Sheila Ferguson, 1978
    • Civil Defence, T. H. O’Brien, 1955
    • Works and Buildings, C. M. Kohan, 1952
    • Food
      • Volume I: The Growth of Policy, R. J. Hammond, 1951
      • Volume II: Studies in Administration and Control, R. J. Hammond, 1956
      • Volume III: Studies in Administration and Control, R. J. Hammond, 1962
    • Agriculture, Keith A. H. Murray, 1955
    • The Economic Blockade
      • Volume I, William N. Medlicott, 1952
      • Volume II, William N. Medlicott, 1957
    • Inland Transport, Christopher I. Savage, 1957
    • Merchant Shipping and the Demands of War, C. B. A. Behrens, 1955
    • North American Supply, H. Duncan Hall, 1955
    • Manpower: Study of War-Time Policy and Administration, H. M. D. Parker, 1957
    • Civil Industry and Trade, Eric L. Hargreaves, 1952
    • Financial Policy, 1939–45, Richard S. Sayers, 1956
  • War Production
    • Labour in the Munitions Industries, P. Inman, 1957
    • The Control of Raw Materials, Joel Hurstfield, 1953
    • The Administration of War Production, J. D. Scott, 1955
    • Design and Development of Weapons: Studies in Government and Industrial Organisation, M. M. Postan, 1964
    • Factories and Plant, William Hornby, 1958
    • Contracts and Finance, William Ashworth, 1953
    • Studies of Overseas Supply, H. Duncan Hall, 1956

British Foreign Policy in the Second World War

  • Volume I, Sir Llewellyn Woodward, 1970
  • Volume II, Sir Llewellyn Woodward, 1971
  • Volume III, Sir Llewellyn Woodward, 1971
  • Volume IV, Sir Llewellyn Woodward, 1975
  • Volume V, Sir Llewellyn Woodward, 1976
  • Abridged Version, Sir Llewellyn Woodward, 1962

British Intelligence in the Second World War

  • Volume I: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations, F. H. Hinsley et al., 1979
  • Volume II: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations, F. H. Hinsley et al., 1981
  • Volume III, Part 1: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations, F. H. Hinsley et al., 1984
  • Volume III, Part 2: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations, F. H. Hinsley et al., 1988
  • Volume IV: Security and Counter-Intelligence, F. H. Hinsley et al., 1990
  • Volume V: Strategic Deception, Michael Howard, 1990
  • Abridged Version, F. H. Hinsley, 1993
  • SOE in France, Michael R. D. Foot, 1966 and 2004

Medical Volumes

  • The Emergency Medical Services
    • Volume I: England and Wales, edited by Cuthbert L. Dunn, 1952
    • Volume II: Scotland, Northern Ireland and Principal Air Raids on Industrial Centres in Great Britain, edited by Cuthbert L. Dunn, 1953
  • The Royal Air Force Medical Services
    • Volume I: Administration, edited by S. C. Rexford-Welch, 1954
    • Volume II: Command, edited by S. C. Rexford-Welch, 1955
    • Volume III: Campaigns, edited by S. C. Rexford-Welch, 1958
  • The Royal Naval Medical Service
    • Volume I: Administration, Jack L. S. Coulter, 1953
    • Volume II: Operations, Jack L. S. Coulter, 1955
  • The Army Medical Services
    • Administration
      • Volume I, Francis A. E. Crew, 1953
      • Volume II, Francis A. E. Crew, 1955
    • Campaigns
      • Volume I: France and Belgium, 1939–40, Norway, Battle of Britain, Libya, 1940–42, East Africa, Greece, 1941, Crete, Iraq, Syria, Persia, Madagascar, Malta, Francis A. E. Crew, 1956
      • Volume II: Hong Kong, Malaya, Iceland and the Faroes, Libya, 1942–43, North-West Africa, Francis A. E. Crew, 1957
      • Volume III: Sicily, Italy, Greece (1944–45), Francis A. E. Crew, 1959
      • Volume IV: North-West Europe, Francis A. E. Crew, 1962
      • Volume V: Burma, Francis A. E. Crew, 1966
  • The Civilian Health and Medical Services
    • Volume I: The Civilian Health Services; Other Civilian Health and Medical Services: The Colonies, the Medical Services of the Ministry of Pensions, Sir Arthur A. MacNalty, 1953
    • Volume II: Public Health in Scotland, Public Health in Northern Ireland, Sir Arthur A. MacNalty, 1955
  • Medical Services at War: The Principal Lessons of the Second World War, Sir Arthur A. MacNalty, 1968
  • Cope, Sir Zachary, ed. (1952). Medicine and Pathology. History of the Second World War United Kingdom Medical Series. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. LCCN 53017268. OCLC 458306589.
  • Cope, Sir Zachary, ed. (1953). Surgery. History of the Second World War United Kingdom medical series. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. LCCN 54001119. OCLC 459817464.
  • Medical Research, edited by F. H. K. Green and Major-General Sir Gordon Covell, 1953
  • Casualties and Medical Statistics, edited by William M. Franklin, 1972
  • Medical Research, edited by F. H. K. Green and Major-General Sir Gordon Covell, 1953
  • Casualties and Medical Statistics, edited by William M. Franklin, 1972

Supplementary HMSO works

Other official departmental histories

A number of official histories were produced by government departments. The authors worked under the same conditions and had the same access to official files but their works did not appear in the History of the Second World War.

  • Britain and Atomic Energy 1939–1945 Margaret Gowing, 1964.

Supplementary works from other publishers

  • SOE Histories
    • SOE in the Far East, Charles Cruikshank, 1983
    • SOE in Scandinavia, Charles Cruikshank, 1986
    • SOE in the Low Countries, M. R. D. Foot, 2001
  • Secret Flotillas
    • Volume I: Clandestine Sea Operations to Brittany 1940–44, Sir Brooks Richards, 2004
    • Volume II: Clandestine Sea Operations in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Adriatic 1940–44, Sir Brooks Richards, 2004
  • Army Series, printed by the War Office, 30 volumes
    • Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
      • Volume I Organisation and Operations, Rowcroft, E. Bertram (1951)
      • Volume II Technical, Bloor, F. R. (1951)
    • Supplies and Transport 2 volumes, Boileau, D. W. (1954)
    • Works service and Engineer stores, Buchanan, A. G. B. (1953)
    • Fighting, support and transport vehicles and the War Office provision for their provision
      • Part 1 Common Problems, Campagnac R. & Hayman P. E. G. (1951)
      • Part 2 Unarmoured Vehicles, Campagnac R. & Hayman P. E. G. (1951)
    • Maintenance in the field 2 volumes, Carter, J. A. H. (1952)
    • Maps and Survey, Clough, A. B. (1952)
    • The Auxiliary Territorial Service, Cowper, J. M. (1949)
    • Movements, Higham, J. B. & Knighton, E. A. (1955)
    • Signal Communications, Gravely, T. B. (1950)
    • Quartering, Magnay, A. D. (1949)
    • Miscellaneous Q services, Magnay, A. D. (1954)
    • Mobilization, McPherson, A. B. (1950)
    • Discipline, McPherson, A. B. (1950)
    • Transportation, Micklem, R. (1950)
    • Army welfare, Morgan, M. C. (1953)
    • Ordnance services, Officers of the directorate (1950)
    • Airborne Forces, Oatway, T. B. H. (1951)
    • The development of artillery, tactics and equipment, Pemberton, A. L. (1950)
    • Manpower problems, Pigott, A. J. K. (1949)
    • Army Radar, Sayer, A. P. (1950)
    • Morale, Sparrow, J. H. A. (1949)
    • Personnel selection, Ungerson, B. (1952)
    • Military Engineering (field), Pakenham-Walsh, R. P. (1952)
    • Administrative planning, Wilson, H. W. (1952)
    • Special Weapons and types of warfare 3 volumes, Wiseman, D. J. C. (1951–53)
      • Volume I Gas Warfare
      • Volume II Screening smoke, signal smoke, flame warfare insecticide & insect repellent & special common use equipment
      • Volume III Visual & Sonic warfare
  • Royal Air Force Series, printed by the Air Ministry
    • Airborne Forces (1951)
    • Air/Sea Rescue (1952)
    • Air Support (1956)
    • Armament
      • Volume I Bombs & Bombing Equipment (1952)
      • Volume II Guns, Gunsights, Turrets, Ammunition and Pyrotechnics (1954)
    • Maintenance (1954)
    • Signals
      • Volume I Organisation and Development (1958)
      • Volume II Telecommunications (1958)
      • Volume III Aircraft Radio (1956)
      • Volume IV Radar in Raid Reporting (1950)
      • Volume V Fighter Control and Interception (1952)
      • Volume VI Radio in Maritime Warfare (1954)
      • Volume VII Radio Counter-Measures (1950)
    • Works (1956)