The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Tag: Official Histories

For the Glory of the Fatherland

Today we added a long due work to the library entries: The official history of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945. Research into the historiography of the Second World War in the USSR is still ongoing, so expect additions and corrections.

Spit & Polish

In addition to the Combined Arms index mentioned yesterday, we were also able to add ETO #57 and #58 to the ETO index, thanks to information provided by Edmond (Thank you!). We’ve updated a couple of game pages to include the new references, and this should bring the newletter section indeed to completion – unless I have missed an important newsletter, in which case someone please point that out to me.

Also new are the History of the Second World War and Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, the two official histories of the Second World War from Britain and Germany, respectively. Some of the British volumes are available online at hyperwar.com and archive.org, whereas the German work is too new and not available legally.

I remain fascinated by the Turkish official military history. It seems that the work of the Turkish General Staff on the First World War has been updated since its inception in the Twenties and is still an ongoing project, currently spanning 27 volumes. However, no translations have ever been undertaken, and there are no digital versions available, or at least I was not able to identify any with the limited Turkish available to me. Which is a sordid state of affaird from several angles, not only because the Turkish and Muslim experience of World War One remains underrepresented in historiography, but also since access to the sources for Turkish military history remains limited. Even though the Turkish General Staffs work has a reputation for being nationalist and biased, the same can be said for most of other nations official histories, and in the least it could provide a valuable corrective on the western narrative. A first survey of available (i.e. English and German) literature seems to indicate both German and British sources underrate the Osman contribution to the war. See for example Erickson, Edward J, Ottoman Army Effectiveness in World War I: A Comparative Study, 2007)

The charge of the burning camels

More work done: I’ve enlarged the Academy and created sub-pages for essays and documents. The library now contains links to nearly all available official histories of World War I, while the page about WW 2 is being built. The corpus of links has grown sufficiently I believe to justify converting it into permanent pages.
Also, the title of this post refers – of course, to the victory of the great Timur Tamerlan over the Indian Sultan in 1398.

The Official Histories of New Zealand in the First World War

No full official account of New Zealand’s participation in the First World War was ever published. Only four official volumes were published (1919-1923), and they were written by senior officers who had fought in the campaigns (Gallipoli, Sinai/Palestine, Western Front) but who generally had no training as historians. A useful summary on the genesis of the offical history can be found at Wikipedia.

Although providing detailed accounts of the fighting on the battlefields itself, they did not describe New Zealand during the war, its economy, politics or society, and the home-defence and patriotic efforts, New Zealanders in the naval or air war, and those serving with other British or Australian forces are not included. Despite this, the four official histories became accepted sources for New Zealand’s military effort in the Great War, and have never been updated or superseded.

The official history of the New Zealand Forces was written up in four volumes.

 

Additionally, the following volumes can be found at the New Zealand Electronic Text Foundation as official histories, which I presume constitutes some kind of endorsement as “official” works.