The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

The Official British History of World War One

Note: The earlier volumes of this work are available on archive org, we will ad the links as as time permits, and as the volumes become available online.

Military Operations

Between 1923 and 1949, the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence under the auspices of Sir James E. Edmonds published the History of the Great War based on Official Documents: Military Operations covering Britain’s roll in the war on land, including fourteen volumes of narrative covering the Western Front and eleven dealing with other fronts.

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1914

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1915

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1916

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1917

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1918

Military Operations: Gallipoli

Military Operations: Italy, 1915-1919, Brigadier-General Sir James E. Edmonds and H.R. Davies, 1949

Military Operations: East Africa, 1914-1916

  • Volume I, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Nordern, 1941
  • Volume II, unpublished

Military Operations: Togoland and the Cameroons, 1914-1916, Brigadier-General F.J. Moberly, 1931

Military Operations: Macedonia

  • Volume I: From the Outbreak of War to the Spring of 1917, Captain Cyril Falls, 1933
  • Volume II: From the Spring of 1917 to the End of the War, Captain Cyril Falls, 1935

Military Operations: Egypt and Palestine

Military Operations: Mesopotamia

Naval Operations

Published under the title “History of the Great War Based on Official Documents: Naval Operations”, five volumes were written by the official Royal Navy historian Sir Julian S. Corbett (1854-1922). Sir Julian died when he was completing Volume III and before he had agree to the corrections to this volume. The remaining works were completed by the writer and poet Sir Henry J Newbolt (1862-1938).

  • Naval Operations Volume I: The events leading up to war, organization of three fleets in Home Waters, coastal Destroyer Flotillas, opening movements on the outbreak of war in Home Waters and the Mediterranean, the passage of the British Expeditionary Force to France, Heligoland Bight action, operations off the Belgian coast October 1914,. Cameroons Expedition, Far East, Battle of Coronel and the Falklands. By Sir Julian S. Corbett, April 1920
  • Naval Operations Volume I: Maps
  • Naval Operations Volume II: Dardanelles Campaign, German raid on Yorkshsire coast December 1914, Dogger Bank action, by Sir Julian S.Corbett, November 1921
  • Naval Operations Volume III: Spring 1915 to the Battle of Jutland 31 May/1 June 1916, events in Home Waters, the Dardanelles, Salonika, Mesopotamia (to November 1915), the destruction of the Koenigsberg, the Battle of Jutland. By Sir Julian S. Corbett, 1923
  • Naval Operations Volume III: Maps
  • Naval Operations Volume IV: From Jutland to February 1917 – Home Waters, East Africa, Cameroons, Mesopotamia, the Baltic, Salonika campaign (January – June 1916 and January 1917), German introduction of unrestricted submarine warfare. By Henry Newbolt.
  • Naval Operations Volume IV: Maps
  • Naval Operations Volume V: Early 1917 to the end of the war, German submarine campaign in Home Waters, the Mediterranean and off the American coast, the convoy system, blocking Zeebrugge and Ostend. By Henry Newbolt.
  • Naval Operations Volume V Maps

Merchant Navy

  • The Merchant Navy, Volume I, by Sir Archibald Hurd, London 1921
  • The Merchant Navy, Volume II, by Sir Archibald Hurd, London 1924
  • The Merchant Navy, Volume III,by Sir Archibald Hurd, London 1927
  • Seaborne Trade, Volume I – The Cruiser Period, by C. Ernest Fayle
    The Cruiser Period covers from the outbreak of the War in 1914 through to about February 1915. It chronicles the operations of German surface raiders and submarines in European waters, the North and South Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. There is a heavy emphasis on naval operations and how they affected merchant ships.
  • Seaborne Trade, Maps
  • Seaborne Trade, Volume II – Submarine Campaign (from the Opening of the Campaign to the Appointment of a Shipping Controller) by C. Ernest Fayle.
    Covers the early period of the German submarine campaign from Feb. 1915 to Dec. 1916. It covers the impact of increased German submarine operations, the higher demands made for food and material, not only in the United Kingdom, but for France and the Allies and in support of overseas operations.
  • Seaborne Trade, Volume III, – The Period of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare by C. Ernest Fayle.
    This final volume covers the period from January 1917 to the end of the war in November 1918, a period which saw the onslaught of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Imperial German Navy.

World War I Naval Staff Monographs

A good companian to the Naval Operations are the Admiralty Staff monographs, which were compiled during the Interwar period and cover various engagements and campaigns of the Royal Navy. You can download all 19 Naval Staff Monographs from the website of the Australian Navy.

Volume Publication Date Monograph(s)
1 Nov 1920   1 – Coronel, 1914
2 – German cruiser squadron in the Pacific, 1914
3 – Falklands, 1914
4 – Goeben and Breslau, 1914
2 Jan 1921   5 – Cameroons, 1914
10 – East Africa to July 1915
3 July 1921   6 – Passage of the British Expeditionary Force August, 1914
7 – The Patrol Flotillas at the Commencement of the War
11 – The Battle of Heligoland Bight, August 28th 1914
8 – Naval Operations connected with the Raid on the North-East Coast, December 16th, 1914
12 – The Action of Dogger Bank, January 24th, 1915
4 July 1921 15 – Naval operations in Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf, to April 1916
5 Apr 1922 The Eastern Squadrons, 1914
14 – The first Australian convoy, 1914
16 – The China Squadron, 1914, including the Emden hunt
17 – The East Indies Squadron, 1914
20 – The Cape of Good Hope Squadron, 1914
6 Mar 1922 18 – The Dover Command, Vol 1, to December 1917
7 Sep 1922 19 – Tenth Cruiser Squadron, Vol 1, 1914-1916
25 – The Baltic, 1914
8 Mar 1923 21 – The Mediterranean, 1914-1915 (excluding Dardanelles and Gallipoli)
9 Oct 1923 Volume 9 is a slightly abridged version of Monographs 22, 26 and ?27. See 1914-1916 volume at end of this list:
22 – Atlantic 1, 1914
26 – Atlantic 2, 1915
27 – Battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands, 1914 (in more detail in Monographs 1 and 3)
10 Apr 1924 23 – Home waters, Part 1, from the outbreak of war to 27th August 1914
11 Dec 1924 24 – Home waters, Part 2, September and October 1914
12 May 1925 28 – Home waters, Part 3, from November 1914 to the end of January 1915
13 Oct 1925 29 – Home waters, Part 4, from February to July 1915
14 Apr 1926 30 – Home waters, Part 5, from July to October 1915
15 Sep 1926 31 – Home waters, Part 6, from October 1915 to May 1916
16 Mar 1927 32 – Lowestoft Raid, 24th-25th April 1916
17 Oct 1927 33 – Home waters, Part 7, from June 1916 to November 1916(excluding Jutland)
18 May 1933 34 – Home waters, Part 8, December 1916 to April 1917
19 Aug 1939 35 – Home waters, Part 9, 1st May 1917 to 31st July 1917

 

Air Operations

Six volumes of The War in the Air. Volume I was written by Walter Raleigh, who died after its completion. H A Jones wrote the next six volumes.

  • Volume I: Air operations of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign; the Western Front in 1915/1916; naval air operations. By Walter Raleigh.
  • Volume II: Gallipoli Campaign in 1915; the Western Front from the winter of 1914-15 to the end of the Battle of the Somme in November 1916; naval operations in Home Waters to the end of 1916; naval air operations from Dunkirk in 1915 and 1916 and bombing operations from Luxeuil in the latter part of 1916. By H A Jones, 1928.
  • Volume III by H A Jones
  • Volume III Maps
  • Volume IV: Naval air operations in 1917 and early 1918, Western Front from June 1917 (Battle of Messines) to German Spring offensives in March 1918. By H A Jones
  • Volume V: German air attacks on Britain in 1917-1918. By H A Jones.
  • Volume V Maps
  • Volume VI: Events leading to the creation of the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 1st April, supply and manpower, the RAF in Palestine 1918, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Persia, Mesopotamia, russian Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Italy. Actions in India throughout the war, naval aircraft co-operation in 1918 in Home Waters and the Mediterranean, Allied offensives on the Western Front in 1918. By H A Jones
  • Volume VII: Appendices

Medical History of the War

The medical history of the First World War was written by the Colonel-Commandant of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) Major General Sir William Grant Macpherson KCMG, CB (1858 – October 1927).

Misc Topics

In addition to the volumes covering operations during the war, the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence also published a number of series relevant to historians of the war. The Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War, 1914-1920, published in 1922, provides an invaluable source of all manner of topics related to the British involvement in the war, from casualties to size of the armed forces at different points in the war. Principle Events, 1914-1918 gives a useful chronology of the war from the British perspective. A.M. Henniker’s Transportation on the Western Front, which was published in 1937, also provides important information about the British logistical effort during the war.

3 Comments

  1. Christopher Archer

    September 8, 2017 at 22:56

    ‘History of the Great War,’ Cyril Falls, ‘Military operations in Egypt and Palestine’ has only got Part I, up to Chapter VII. Part two starting from page 395, is missing completely except for the Glossaries starting from page 553. Is there another site that would have this e-book?

    • Hey Christopher,
      sorry, I did a quick search and didnt find any other copy around. Plus archive.org has quite a lot of file versions available, are they all broken? If I find a better link, I will update!
      Regards

    • Hi Christopher,
      I finally got around to take another look at Volume I of the Palestine Campaign history. I downloaded the “PDF with text” from https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.210672, and the PDF looks complete to me – no missing pages after p. 398. Alas, the book only seems to have 552 pages. Are we talking about the same book, or what am I missing here?

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