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Tag: Official History (page 1 of 2)

The official Russian History of the First World War

The young Soviet Union, like any other major power, undertook great efforts to learn from “Great War”. A military comission started publishing a military history of the First World War aimed at the training of Red Army officers. The resulting seven-volume work called Стратегический очерк войны 1914-1918 гг. (Strategic Outline of the War 1914-1918) focuses on strategy and operations and contains a lot of documents, orders and reports. the obvious disadvantage for English speakers is that the work is available in Russian only so far.

The links here lead to HTML versions of the books, including the maps, available at http://www.grwar.ru/library/index.html. Additionally, DJVU versions of all volumes are available at http://www.runivers.ru/lib/book3171/.

Part 1. From the declaration of war to the beginning of September 1914: The first invasion of the Russian armies into East Prussia and the Battle of Galicia. Edited by Tsikhovich Ya. 1922

Part 2. From September 15th to November 25th 1914: The August battle. Warsaw-Ivangorod, Cracow and Łódź operations, operations in Galicia and the Carpathians. Hyrovskoe battle. Edited by G. Korolkov. 1922

Part 3. From November 25th, 1914 to March 28th, 1915. Edited by A. Neznamov. 1922

Part 4. From October 1915 to September 1916: Mackensen’s breakthrough at Gorlice, the struggle for Przemysl and Lviv. The long retreat of the russian Army. Edited by A. Neznamov. 1922

Part 5. October 1915 – September 1916. Trench warfare and attempts to break the Austrian South-Western Front. Edited by VN. Klembowski. M. 1920

Part 6 May 1916 to the end of 1916: Breakthrough of the South-Western Front in May 1916 and operations until the  end of the year. Edited by AM. Zayonchkovsky. M. 1923

Part 7. The Campaign of 1917. Edited by AM. Zayonchkovsky. M. 1923

The Official History of India in the First World War

The large Indian participation in the First World War was covered in a single volume entitled India’s Contribution to the Great War published by the Government of India in 1923. The book is available to read on the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts collection, albeit there is no PDF download so far.

The Official History of the US Military in World War II

The number of studies and books published by the US military on the Second World War alone fills a small library. Official histories do not only exist for the Army and the Navy, then the two arms of the US military, but also for the nascent forces of the Air Force and the Marines, and of course for countless other organisations like the Corps of Engineers or the Coast Guard. For brevitys sake, we will limit this bibliography to the classic trio of Army, Navy and Air Force. For further research have a look at hyperwar, the not always up-to-date, but always useful collection of links about military history.

The US Army in World War II

Better known as “The Green Books,” The U.S. Army in World War II consists of 79 volumes plus a reader’s guide. Unlike the official histories of some countries, these volumes were often written by professional historians, such as Robert R. Palmer, Forrest Pogue, or Bell I. Wiley, rather than staff officers.

As with official histories, every campaign is covered in great detail, often starting with descriptions from the front lines rather than with strategic plannings and the big picture. But the really valuable volumes are the ones dealing with what usually only gets experts exited.  That is to say, the volumes on to/e, logistics, medical service, and more.  The detail in these is often extraordinary, as  they delve into matters that, although largely invisible in most histories, were essential to shaping an army that could fight and win.

The US Army in WW 2 – Reader’s Guide

The War Department

Chief of Staff- Prewar Plans and Preparations, Mark Skinner Watson
Washington Command Post – The Operations Division. Ray S. Cline
Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare – 1941-1942, Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell
Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare – 1943-1944. Maurice Matloff
Global Logistics and Strategy 1940 – 1943, Richard M. Leighton
Global Logistics and Strategy 1943 – 1945, Robert W. Coakley and Richard M. Leighton
The Army and Economic Mobilization
, R. Elberton Smith
The Army and Industrial Manpower, Byron Fairchild and Jonathan Grossman

The Army Ground Forces

The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, Ken Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer and Bell I. Wiley
The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley and William R. Keast

The Army Service Forces

The Organization and Role of the Army Service Forces, John D. Millett

The Western Hemisphere

The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild
Guarding the United States and Its Outposts. Stetson Conn. Rose C. Engelman and Byron Fairchild

The War in the Pacific

Strategy and Command- The First Two Years, Louis Morton
The Fall of the Philippines, Louis Morton
Guadalcanal- The First Offensive, John Miller, jr.
Cartwheel – The Reduction of Rabaul, John Miller, jr.
Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, Philip A. Crowl and Edmund G. Love
Campaign in the Marianas, Philip A. Crowl
The Approach to the Philippines, Robert Ross Smith
Leyte: The Return to the Phillippines, M. Hamlin Cannon
Triumph in the Philippines, Robert Ross Smith
Okinawa: The Last Battle, Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, John Stevens

The Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Sicily and the Surrender of Italy, LTC Albert N. Garland and Howard McGaw Smyth. Assisted by Martin Blumenson
Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West, George F. Howe
Salerno to Cassino, Martin Blumenson
Cassino to the Alps, Ernest F. Fisher, Jr.

The European Theater of Operations

The Supreme Command, Forest C. Pogue
Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol I, May 1941 – September 1941, Roland G. Ruppenthal
Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol. 2, Roland G. Ruppenthal
Cross Channel Attack, Gordon A. Harrison
Breakout and Pursuit, Martin Blumenson
The Lorraine Campaign, Hugh M. Cole
The Siegfried Line Campaign, Charles B. MacDonald
The Ardennes – Battle of the Bulge, Hugh M. Cole
The Last Offensive, Charles B. MacDonald
Riviera to the Rhine, Jeffrey J. Clarke, Robert Ross Smith

The Middle East Theater

The China-Burma-India Theater

Special Studies

Pictorial Record

The US Navy in World War II

Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Morison, already convinced of the value of personal involvement as a result of sailing experience while writing his biography of Christopher Columbus, wrote to President Roosevelt suggesting the preparation of an official history of the Navy in the war, and volunteering for the task. Both President Roosevelt and the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox agreed, and in May 1942 Morison was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, and assigned a staff of assistants, with permission to go anywhere and to see all official records. Morison’s reputation as a knowledgeable sailor (based on his analysis in the biography of Christopher Columbus) preceded him, and he was welcomed on a number of ships, eleven of them in all by the end of the war.

The result was a normal historical work, not a prescribed official history. Limitations of the History of U.S. Naval Operations are mostly due to its shortened period of publication. Some material, especially related to codebreaking, was still classified, and later in-depth research into particular occurrences in the war did clarify points that had been passed over rather lightly. Some rewriting was incorporated in the later printings of this series. This History of U.S. Naval Operations also intentionally avoided a certain amount of analysis, for instance deferring to other works for the causes of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. The intended audience for the work, to quote from the preface, was “the general reader rather than the professional sailor.”

The books can be downloaded free of charge for 14 days at archive.org.

Vol. I: The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939–May 1943
Vol. II: Operations in North African Waters, October 1942–June 1943
Vol. III: The Rising Sun in the Pacific, 1931–April 1942
Vol. IV: Coral Sea, Midway and Submarine Actions, May–August, 1942
Vol. V: The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942–February 1943
Vol. VI: Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942–1 May 1944
Vol. VII: Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942–April 1944
Vol. VIII: New Guinea and the Marianas, 1944
Vol. IX: Sicily, Salerno and Anzio, 1943–1944
Vol. X: The Battle of the Atlantic Won, May 1943–May 1945
Vol. XI: The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944–1945
Vol. XII: Leyte, June 1944–January 1945
Vol. XIII: The Liberation of the Philippines, 1944–1945
Vol. XIV: Victory in the Pacific
Vol. XV: Supplement and General Index

The US Airforce in World War II

The US Airforce became an independent combat arm in 1947. Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was divided between the Army (for land-based operations) and the Navy, and Marine Corps, for sea-based operations from aircraft carrier and amphibious aircraft.

In March 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget ordering each war agency to prepare “an accurate and objective account”of that agency’s war experience. Soon after, the Army Air Forces began hiring professional historians so that its history could be recorded. An Historical Division was established in Headquarters Army Air Forces under Air Intelligence, in September 1942, and the modern Air Force historical program began. With the end of the war, Headquarters approved a plan for writing and publishing a seven-volume history. In December 1945, Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, Deputy Commander of Army Air Forces, asked the Chancellor of the University of Chicago to assume the responsibility for the publication of the history. Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Frank Craven of New York University and Major James Lea Cate of the University of Chicago, both of whom had been assigned to the historical program, were selected to be editors of the volumes. Between 1948 and 1958 seven were published.

Volume One: Plans and Early Operations January 1939 to August 1942
Volume Two: Europe: Torch to Pointblank August 1942 to December 1943
Volume Three: Europe: Argument to V-E Day January 1944 to May 1945
Volume Four: The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan August 1942 to July 1944
Volume Five: The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki June 1944 to August 1945
Volume Six: Men and Planes
Volume Seven: Services Around the World

Further Reading:

United States Army Air Force (“Craven and Cate”)
http://www.afhso.af.mil/booksandpublications/conflictindex.asp

United States Marine Corps

http://www.usmcu.edu/content/publications-0

(scroll down to bottom of page)

The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War

This fifty volume series covers all areas of New Zealand’s involvement in the Second World War, from detailed accounts of particular battalions, to the political and economic background and consequences, to full accounts of particular episodes and campaigns. This series was first published as part of the Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War, produced under the auspices of the War History Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Unit Histories

Campaign Histories

Air Force and Navy

Medical Service

Misc

Official History of Japan in the Second World War

The transcribed name of the official Japanese history of the Second World War is “Senshi Sosho”. Its a monumental work, covering virtually all aspects of the war except the Japanese war crimes. The Senshi Sosho totals 102 volumes that consist of 34 volumes on the Imperial General Headquarters, 37 volumes on the Army, 21 volumes on the Navy, nine volumes on the aerial war the Army and one volume of chronology. Each volume has 600 pages on the average.

Sadly, so far only excerpts have been translated, for example an excerpt from volumes 14 and 28 found here.

List of Volumes:

1 Advance into Malaya. (1966)
2 Occupation of Philippines. (1966)
3 Occupation of Dutch East Indies. (1967)
4 Ichi-go Operation (pt. 1): Campaign in Honan (China). (1968)
5 Occupation of.Burma. (1967)
6 Army Operations in Central Pacific (pt. 1): Before the Loss of the Mariana Islands. (1967)
7 Tobu Nyuginia homen rikugun koku sakusen: Army Air Operations on the Eastern New Guinea Front. (1967)
8 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (pt. 1): To August 1942. (1967)
9 Industrial Mobilization of War Supply Production (1): Program. (1967)
10 Hawai sakusen: Hawaii Operation. (1967)
11 Army Operations in Okinawa Area. (1968)
12 Marianas oki kaisen: Sea Battles off the Marianas. (1968)
13 Army Operations in Central Pacific (pt. 2): Peleliu, Anguar and Iwo-Jima. (1967)
14 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Pooruto Moresubi – Ga shima shoki sakusen (pt. 1): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Port Moresby to the First Phase of Guadalcanal (pt. 1). (1968)
15 Imphal Operation: Defense of Burma. (1968)
16 Ichi-go Operation (pt. 2): Campaign in Hunan (China). (1967)
17 Okinawa homen kaigun sakusen: Okinawa Area Naval Operations. (1968).
18 Hokushi no chiansen (pt.1): The security fights in North China
19 Hondo boku sakusen: Homeland Air Defense Operations. (1969)
20 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (pt. 2): To August 1942. (1969)
21 Army Operations in Northern Pacific Area (pt. 1): Loss of Attu. (1968)
22 Seibu Nyugineya homan rikugun koku sakusen: Army Air Force Operations on the Western New Guinea Front. (1969)
23 Army Operations North of Australia. (1969)
24 Philippines-Marei hoomen kaigun shinkoo sakusen: Philippines-Malay Area Naval Attack Operations. (1969)
25 The Irrawaddy Campaign: Collapse of the Defense of Burma. (1969)
26 N.E.I.-Bengaru wan hoomen kaigun shinkoo sakusen: N.E.I.-Bengal Bay Area Naval Attack Operations. (1969)
27 Kwantung Army (pt. 1): Military Disposition Against USSR and Nomonhan Incident. (1969)
28 Minami taiheiyoo rikugun sakusen: Gadarukanaru – Buna sakusen (pt. 2): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Guadalcanal – Buna Operations (pt. 2). (1968)
29 Hokutoo hoomen kaigun sakusen: Northeast Area Naval Operations. (1969)
30 Ichi-go Operation (pt. 3): Campaign in Kwangsi (China)
31 Kaigun Gunsembi (pt. 1): The Navy’s Armaments Program (pt. 1): Up to November 1941. (1969)
32 Defeat on Burma Front and Defense of Indo-China Peninsula. (1969)
33 Industrial Mobilization of War Supply Production (pt. 2): Execution. (1970)
34 The Army Air Force’s Drive to South Pacific Area. (1970)
35 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (pt. 3): To August 1942. (1970)
36 Army Air Operations in Okinawa, Formosa and Iwo-Jima. (1970)
37 Kaigun Sho-Go sakusen (pt. 1): Taiwan oki kokusen made: Naval Sho-Go Operations (pt. 1): Up to Air Battle off Taiwan. (1970)
38 Chuubu taiheiyoo hoomen kaigun sakusen (pt. 1): Central Pacific Naval Operations (pt. 1): Before May 1942. (1970)
39 Daihonei kaigunbu – rengoo kantai (pt. 4): Imperial General Headquarters – Combined Fleet (pt. 4). (1970).
40 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Munda Saramoa (pt. 3): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Munda Salamaua (pt. 3). (1970)
41 Shogo rikugun sakusen: Reite kessen (pt. 1): Sho-go Ground Operations: The Decisive Battle of Leyte (1). (1971)
42 Operations by China Expeditionary HQ in 1945 (1): To March 1945. (1971)
43 Midooei kaisen: Midway Sea Battle. (1971)
44 Operations in the Northern Pacific (2): Kuriles, Sakhalin and Hokkaido. (1971)
45 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (1): Before Outbreak of Pacific War. (1971)
46 Kaijo boei sen: Surface Defensive Actions. (1971)
Also translated as The Maritime Protection War, and Naval Operations for Convoy Escort.
47 Assault on Hong Kong and Chang Sha (1941). (1971)
48 Sho-go Army Air Operations in Philippines. (1971)
49 Nantoo hoomen kaigun sakusen: Southeast Area Naval Actions Until Guadalcanal Reinforcement. (1971)
50 Hokushi no chiansen (pt.2): The security fights in North China
51 Plan and Preparation for Defense of Japan’s Homeland (1): Defense of Kanto District. (1971)
52 Armament and Employment of Army Air Force (1): To the Initial Phase of 1934. (1971)
53 Army Air Operations in Manchuria. (1972)
54 Nansei homen kaigun sakusen: Dai Ni-Dan sakusen irai: Southwestern Area Naval Operations: From Second Phase Operations Onwards. (1972)
55 Operations by China Expeditionary HQ in 1942 and 1943. (1972)
56 Kaigun Sho-go sakusen Fuirippin oki kaisen (1): SHO-Go Naval Operations: The Naval Battle of the Philippine Sea (1). (1970)
57 Hondo kessen jumbi: Kyushu no boei (2): Preparations for the Decisive Battle of the Homeland: Defense of Kyushu (2). (1972)
58 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Fuinshehaahen-Tsurubu-Tarokina (4): Army Operations in South Pacific: Finschhafen-Tsurubu-Tarokina (4). (1973)
59 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (4): To August 1942. (1972)
60 Sho-go rikugun sakusen: Ruson kessen (2): Sho-Go ground operations: The Decisive Battle of Luzon (2). (1972)
61 Offensive of Third Army Air Force in Burma and Dutch East Indies. (1972)
62 Chuubu taiheiyoo hoomen kaigun sakusen (2): Central Pacific Area Naval Operations (2) (after June 1942). 1973)
63 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (5): August to December 1942. (1973)
64 Operations by China Expeditionary HQ in 1945 (2): March 1945 to the End of the War. (1973)
65 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (1). (1973)
66 Daihonei rikugunbu (6): Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial Headquarters (6): Before June 1943. (1973)
67 Daihonei rikugunbu (7): Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial Headquarters (7): From December 1943 to July 1944. (1973)
68 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (2). (1973)
69 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (3). (1973)
70 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (4). (1974)
71 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (5): Middle Part of Third Phase Operation. (1974)
72 Naval Operations in China Area (1): Before April 1938. (1974)
73 Kwantung Army (2): Prewar Preparation Against USSR and Defense at End of War. (1974)
74 Offensive Operations of Army Air Force in China. (1974)
75 Daihon’ei rikugunbu: Showa 19 nen 7 gatsu made (8): Imperial General HQ: to July 1944 (8). (1974)
76 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (5). (1974)
77 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (3): Before February 1943. (1974)
78 Armament and Employment of Army Air Force (2): 1934 to Beginning of 1942. (1974) This volume was co-authored by Masao MATSUDA and Makoto IKUTA – the two volumes give a comprehensive overview of the organizational development of the JAAF, its administrative system, its structure and its relationship to government agencies and schools in both peacetime and wartime. JAAF doctrine, tactics and planning are examined and then related to wartime operations.
79 Naval Operations in China Area (2): After 1938. (1975)
80 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (2): Before June 1942, (1975)
81 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (9): Before January 1945. (1975)
82 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial Headquarters (10): Before August 1945. (1975)
83 Nantoo hoomen kaigun sakusen: Southeast Area Naval Operations Until Guadalcanal Evacuation. (1975)
84 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Aitape-Puriaka-Rabaaru (5): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Aitape-Empress Augusta Bay-Rabaul (5). (1973)
85 Hondo homen kaigun sakusen: Homeland Area Naval Operations. (1975)
86 Army Operations in the China Incident (1): Before January 1938. (1975)
87 Development, Production, and Supply of Army Aviation Weapons. (1975)
88 War Preparations of Imperial Navy (2): After Outbreak of Pacific War. (1975)
89 Army Operations in the China Incident (2): Before September 1939. (1976)
90 Army Operations in the China Incident (3): Before December 1941. (1975)
(Note: volume number in question).
91 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (6): Final Part of Third Phase Operation. (1975)
92 Army Operations in Southern Theater: Defense of Malaya and Dutch East Indies. (1976)
93 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (7): Ending the Pacific War. (1976)
94 Armament and Employment of Army Air Force (3): 1942 Until the End of the War. (1974). This is the second volume co-authored by Masao MATSUDA and Makoto IKUTA – the two volumes give a comprehensive overview of the organizational development of the JAAF, its administrative system, its structure and its relationship to government agencies and schools in both peacetime and wartime. JAAF doctrine, tactics and planning are examined and then related to wartime operations.
95 History of the Naval Aviation Corps. (1976) Authored by Hiroshi TSUNODA, Gentaro MORIYAMA and Hideo MINEMATSU – covers the aircraft, armament, technology, training and operations of the JNAF with special emphasis on its role at the beginning of the Pacific War and the causes behind its subsequent rapid decline.
96 Nanto homen kaigun sakusen (3): Gato Tesshu-Go: Southeastern Area Naval Operations (3): After Withdrawal from Guadalcanal. (1976)
97 Construction and Use of Bases for the Army Air Force’s Operations. (1979) Co-authored by Takeshi KISHI and Shichiro TAKASE – covers the construction of airfields, logistics, maintenance, air transport, intelligence, and communications activities of the JAAF during the Great East Asia War.
98 Sensuikan shi: History of Submarines. (1979)
99 The Army’s Armaments and War Preparations. (1979)
100 Daihonei Kaigumbu: Daitoa Senso Kaisen Keii (1): Imperial General HQ, Naval Section: Circumstances of the Outbreak of the Greater East Asian War (1). (1979)
101 Daihonei Kaigumbu: Daitoa Senso Kaisen Keii (2): Imperial General HQ, Naval Section: Circumstances of the Outbreak of the Greater East Asian War (2). (1979)
102 A Chronological Table of the Army and Navy. (1979)

 

The Offical Canadian History of the First World War

After the First World War, the Historical Section of the General Staff of the Canadian army began work on  history of the war planned to have eight volumes. However, only one volume of narrative and one volume of annexes and maps edited by Col. A. Fortescue Duguid had been published by the outbreak of the Second World War. After the Second World War, this project was abandoned, but a large, single-volume work entitled Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919 was published in 1964 by Col. G.W.L. Nicholson of the Canadian Army Historical Branch. This volume covers the Canadian army’s participation in the war from mobilisation to demobilisation.

The following body of works constitutes the Canadian historiography for the First World War:

The Official Australian History of the Second World War

Not to be outdone by the detailed and sprawling history of New Zealands involvement in the Second World War, the Australian military undertook one of the longest and largest historical endeavours the nation has ever seen. The enterprise began in January 1943 with the appointment of Gavin Long as General Editor. The 22 volumes, written by 14 authors, were published by the Australian War Memorial over a 25-year period between 1952 and 1977.

Series 1 – Army

Series 2 – Navy

Series 3 – Air

Series 4 – Civil

Series 5 – Medical

The Italian Official History of World War One

The Italian Army published its official history between 1927 and 1988 – interrupted by the Second World War – under the title of “L’Esercito Italiano nella Grande Guerra 1915-1918” (“The Italian Army in the Great War 1915-1918”). The history stretches over seven volumes divided into 37 books and is accompanied by panoramic sketches, topographical maps and task orders, comprising about 17,000 pages. Of particular interest to researchers and scholars is a synthesis of combat unit diaries written during the war.

The first three volumes are availabe at the Italian Ministry of Defense’s website, unfortunately only as a page viewer and not as a PDF:

Le Forze Belligeranti – vol.I – covers belligerent forces

Le Forze Belligeranti​ – vol. I-bis

Le Operzioni del 1915 – vol. II-1 – The 1915 operations

Le Operazioni del 1915 – vol. II-2

Le Operzioni del 1916 – vol. III book 1-1 – The 1916 Operations

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 1-2

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 2-1

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 2-2

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 3-1

Le operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 3-2

Volume IV:  The war in 1917

Volume V: The war in 1918.

Volume VI: Instructions of tactics

Volume VII: Operations outside the national territory: Albania, Macedonia and the Middle East.

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.

The US Official History of World War One

In the spring of 1918 the US Army founded a Historical Section at the Army War College with the explicit task to write a history of the American contribution to the Great War. Budget restrictions initially prevented the Historical Section to make use of the vast drove of documents already collected. It took until 1948 until many of these documents were finally published in a seventeen-volume series.  These are available online both as PDF as well as HTML. We´ve linked to the HTML versions, but you can easily access the PDF versions from the Center of Military History´s Website.

Lacking a narrative, this series is not a history in the normal sense of the word, but  the orders and reports reproduced in these volumes come from US, British, and French units and provide insight into training, lessons, and operations in the last two years of the war.

United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919

Volume 1: Organization of the American Expeditionary Forces
Narrative account of the AEF’s participation in major operations

Volume 2: Policy-forming Documents of the American Expeditionary Forces

Volume 3: Training and Use of American Units With the British and French

Volume 4: Early Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Cambrai Nov 20 – Dec 4 1917, Somme Defensive Mar 21 – Apr 6 1918, Lys Apr 9 – Apr 27 1918, Aisne Defensive May 27 – Jun 5 1918, Cantigny Apr 12 – Jun 2 1918, Château-Thierry Jun 6 – Jul 5 1918 (Belleau Wood Jun 6 – 25 1918, Vaux Jun 26 – Jul 3 1918), Montdidier-Noyon June 9-13 1918

Volume 5: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Champagne-Marne July 15 – 18 1918, Aisne-Marne July 18 – Aug 6 1918

Volume 6: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Oise-Aisne Aug 7 – Nov 11 1918, Ypres-Lys Aug 19 – Nov 11 1918, Vittorio-Veneto Oct 24 – Nov 4 1918

Volume 7: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Somme Offensive Aug 8 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 8: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
St-Mihiel Sept 12 – 16 1918, Meuse-Argonne Sept 26 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 9: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Meuse-Argonne Sept 26 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 10-1: The Armistice Agreement and Related Documents

Volume 10-2: The Armistice Agreement and Related Documents

Volume 11:  American Occupation of Germany
Nov 1918 – July 1919;  German Campaign Plans Oct 29 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 12: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 13: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 14: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 15: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 16: General Orders, GHQ, AEF

Volume 17: Bulletins, GHQ, AEF

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War

Volume 1: General Headquarters, Armies, Army Corps, Services of Supply, and Separate Forces,

Volume 2; Divisions

Volume 3, part 1: Organization and Activities of the War Department

Volume 3, part 2: Territorial Departments, Tactical Divisions Organized in 1918, and Posts, Camps, and Stations

Volume 3, part 3: Directory of Troops

Naval Operations

The post war (WW1) situation in the Navy was no different from the Army: Owing to budget cuts the US Navy remained short of funds to compile an official history of its actions. Lacking a large-scale official history, the Historical Section of the Navy Department produced eight short volumes between 1920 and 1923, which are useful sources on US naval activity in the war, some of which are available online:

  1. German Submarine Activities on the Atlantic Coast of the United States and Canada. 1920. 163 pp.
  2. The Northern Barrage and Other Mining Activities. 1920. 146 pp.
  3. Digest Catalogue of Laws and Joint Resolutions, the Navy and the World War. 1920. 64 pp.
  4. The Northern Barrage” (Taking up the Mines). 1920. 79 pp.
  5. History of the Bureau of Engineering. 1922. 176 pp.
  6. The United States Naval Railway Batteries in France
  7. The United States Naval Railway Batteries in France. 1922. 97 pp. (Reprinted 1988 by Naval Historical Center).
  8. The American Naval Planning Section London. 1923. 537 pp.

US Air Force

The US Air Force did not come into being until 1947, long after most other countries had established independent air forces. Nevertheless, the different departments and units tasked with waging air war had left a considerable amount of documents, and in 1978, the Office of Air Force History finally produced a four-volume series, The U.S. Air Service in World War I:

  1. Volume One: Final Report of the Chief of Air Serice, AEF; Tactical History of the Air Service, AEF.
  2. Volume Two: The Aviation Section, 1914-1917. Air Service Plans and Programs, April 1918 –  February 1918. Combat, Feb –  Nov 1918. Postwar Review
  3. Volume Three: The Battle of St. Mihiel, 1918.
  4. Volume Four: Lessens Learned. US Bombing Survey.

Further Official Publications

More ‘official’ information about the US contribution to the war can also be found in Col Leonard P. Ayres’ The War with Germany: A Statistical Summary published by the US Army General Staff in 1919.

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