Papers of Maj Gen Robert Clive Bridgeman, 2nd Viscount Bridgeman, KBE, CB, DSO, MC (1896-1982)
[BRIDGEMAN: 1] Papers relating to
despatches by Gen John
Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort,
of the operations of the British Expeditionary Force in
France and Belgium, Sep 1939-Jun 1940, including maps,
commentary and narrative accounts, 1941.
Printed proof copy of 'Despatches of the Operations of the British Expeditionary Force', from Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, describing the military operations of the British forces in France and Belgium previous to and during the Battle of Flanders. The text is corrected for printing [by Bridgeman] and divided into three; the period from 1 Feb 1939 to 31 May 1940, the period from 1 Feb to 31 May 1940, and the operations of 1 Corps from 31 May to 2/3 Jun 1940. 92pp.
Map of the Lille-Ghent area of North-West Europe, printed by the War Office. Scale 1:250,000. Area around Lille, from Bethune to Tournai and Menin to Douai, marked in pencil.
Proofs of 'Map VI: Situation as known at G H Q', used to illustrate the printed despatches (1/1) of Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, and showing the relative positions of the British Expeditionary Force, the French 1 Army, and the German forces (4, 6 and 18 Armies and Panzer Group) on 28 May, following the Battle of Flanders, and immediately preceding the evacuation from Dunkirk, May 1940. Each version of the map has differing handwritten additions [by Bridgeman]. Printed by the War Office in 1940, on a scale of 1:250,000.
1941 Mar 7
Proofs of 'Map VII: Situation as known at G H Q' showing the relative positions of the British Expeditionary Force and the French 1 Army on 30 May 1940, in the process of evacuation from Dunkirk, following the Battle of Flanders. Each version of the map has differing handwritten additions [by Bridgeman]. Printed at the War Office in 1940, on a scale of 1:250,000.
1941 Apr 8
Proofs of 'Map A', showing the defence works in the British Expeditionary Force sector on the Belgian border, on 9 May 1940, immediately previous to the Battle of Flanders, including details of the front line, brigade reserve lines, divisional reserve lines and the G H Q reserve lines. Each version of the map has differing annotations [by Bridgeman], including a note on an anti-tank obstacle and pill-boxes. Printed by the War Office in 1941, on a scale of 1: 250,000.
1941 Mar-1941 May
Notes and papers on the content and layout of the proposed publication of despatches from Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort on the operations of the British Expeditionary Force in France, previous to and during the Battle of Flanders, 1939-1940. Mainly comprising correspondence between Bridgeman and the War Office concerning the publication; also details of comments on the despatch by AF Roger John Brownlow Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes, and Special Liaison officer to the King of Belgium in 1940.
The Army at War: the Battle of Flanders (Issued by the War office, His Majesty's Stationary Office, London, 1941), a pamphlet by Ian Hay (Maj Gen John Hay Beith, Director of Public Relations at the War Office). With some typewritten notes [by Bridgeman] on an earlier draft. 1 vol and 1p.
Notes [by Bridgeman] on a [draft] copy of a book (The Nine Days Wonder - the Operation Dynamo, William Heinemann, London, 1941) by John Edward Masefield. 2pp.
Newspaper cuttings concerning the role of the British Expeditionary Force in the surrender of the French and Belgian armies following the Battle of Flanders in 1940.
1951 Dec 5-1952 Jan 8
Correspondence between Bridgeman and Major Lionel Frederick Ellis, concerning Ellis' official history of the 1939-1940 campaign in France and Flanders, and Bridgeman's commentary on the first draft, notably Ellis' assessment of Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort.
[BRIDGEMAN: 2. File] created by
'Notes on the BEF and the Flanders campaign' (1940),
containing details of lessons learnt from operations and
recommendations for improvements, 1940-1943.
Report entitled 'Notes on the operations in Belgium and Flanders 10th May-3rd June 1940. Compiled by the General Staff of GHQ, BEF', notably on necessary improvements in defence tactics, training methods, equipment and weapons, transport, and employment of troops. 11pp and covering letter.
Report entitled 'Notes on the operations in Flanders and Belgium, 10-31 May, with particular reference to the present problem of home defence', notably on the German use of tanks and methods of combating them with road blocks, anti-tank weapons and troops; the military command structure in the event of invasion; the possible problems caused by refugees and traffic congestion. 4pp.
Text of speech by Bridgeman on 'The campaign of the BEF May 1940', giving a personal narrative of events during the Battle of Flanders, some of the reasons for the German success, and his personal view of the lessons learned. 21pp
Text of telegrams sent from 11-30 May, 1940, during the course of the Battle of Flanders and the subsequent evacuation from Dunkirk, notably between General Headquarters British Expeditionary Force, the War Office, (Robert) Anthony Eden, AF Roger John Brownlow Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes, Gen Sir William Edmund Ironside, Gen Georges, Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, Gen Weygrand, Rt Hon Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, Gen Sir John Greer Dill, and King George VI. 9pp.
Notes entitled 'The withdrawal of the BEF', explaining the reasons for the successive withdrawals of the British Expeditionary Force in Flanders, leading to the embarkation at Dunkirk 5pp.
Report entitled 'Summary of events: Flanders campaign, 10 May-3 June, 1940', a narrative of operations of the British, French and Belgian forces during the Battle of Flanders. 6pp.
1940 Jul 1
Folder containing standing orders of the Advanced General Headquarters, First Echelon, detailing the duties of each officer and giving the ideal layout of an office. 12pp.
1940 Jul 10
Folder containing report entitled 'The organisation of G H Q and H Q services with recommendations', stating the difficulties faced during the Battle of Flanders, and giving a plan for reorganisation. 38pp.
1943 Nov 23
Notes by Bridgeman entitled 'Lessons of the B E F 1940', an overview of the withdrawal of British troops to the coast during the Battle of Flanders, highlighting the need for flexible organisation of divisions, the use of infantry and armour in conjunction, the need for effective intelligence gathering, and the importance of properly maintained transport vehicles. Sent to Brig James Malcom Leslie Renton, Commandant of the Senior Officers School at Oxford. 6pp
[BRIDGEMAN: 3. Official] documents
relating to the British
Expeditionary Force, mainly relating to training and
1940 May 7
Report entitled 'Training instructions for the B E F', circulated by Lt Gen Henry Royds Pownall, Chief of the General Staff, British Expeditionary Force on 10 Nov 1939, and amended [by Bartholomew] at a later date. Includes appendices on existing training facilities, points singled out for particular attention by the Commander in Chief (such as man management, reality in training, mobile warfare, mechanical transport, and night training), training for the artillery and the Royal Armoured Corps, signal training, training for units recently converted into divisional cavalry regiments, and rules for the acquisition of training grounds and ranges in France. 35pp.
1940 Jan 7
Memorandum from General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force, entitled 'Front line duties and patrolling', and consisting mainly of translations of recent French army memoranda concerning the importance of methodical observation of the enemy front before raids or patrols are undertaken, and the psychological effects on young soldiers of their first tour of duty. 13pp
Report by the War Office Committee on Repair in the Field, investigating the system and organisation for the repair of army equipment in the British Expeditionary Force, and making recommendations for improvement. 16pp.
Appendices to the report by the War Office Committee on Repair in the Field, including lists of people interviewed and places visited, the present system of repair in the British Expeditionary Force, details of the system for providing spares, transport and communications, workshops, staff organisation, and numerous recommendations to improve the service. 102pp.
Index to the report by the War Office Committee on Repair in the Field. 7pp.
1940 Apr 5-1940 Apr 8
File created by Bridgeman entitled 'Examples of deficiencies in equipment of fighting units within the B E F', and containing newscuttings and a report.
1940 Apr 5
Newspaper cutting from the Daily Express, reporting an interview with Gen Sir William Edmund Ironside, Chief of Imperial General Staff, concerning the state of readiness of the British Expeditionary Force in the event of a German attack through Holland and Belgium. 1p.
1940 Apr 8
Note and report by Bridgeman in response to an interview given to the Daily Express by Gen Sir William Edmund Ironside, Chief of Imperial General Staff, giving details of the actual reserves of major items of equipment in the British Expeditionary Force, and highlighting the numerous deficiencies. 5pp.
Booklet entitled 'Army Training Memorandum No. 32: War', notably on the officer and morale, leadership skills, tactics including the use of tanks and the advance, the possible landing of parachute troops, and unit administration. 1 vol.
Booklet entitled 'Army Training Memorandum No. 33: War', notably on the need for training, anti-aircraft action in France, the collection of intelligence, defence against tanks and attacks, the conduct of the defence, and notes on arms. 1 vol
1940 Jul 24
Memorandum from Bridgeman concerning the disbandment of General Headquarters, First Echelon, British Expeditionary Force, and the disposition of personnel. 2pp.
Notes for the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force on the preparation and execution of the proposed counterstroke on the continent. 5pp.
[BRIDGEMAN: 4. Papers] relating to
a 'Study of the Italian Campaign
of May-Aug 1915', undertaken by Bridgeman whilst at
Staff College, 1928.
Study on the 'Operation of the Third Italian Army from outbreak of war with Austria, 24 May 1915, to end of Second Battle of the Isonzo, 4 Aug 1915, on front (incl) Monfalcone-(excl) Gorizia' by No. 7 Syndicate, of which Bridgeman was a mamber), as part of studies at Staff College, Camberley. 66pp.
1928 Sep 12
Commentary by Col W P H Hill and Lt Col Henry Osborne Curtis, Staff College, Camberley, on No. 7 Syndicate's report on the Italian Campaign of 1915. 7pp.
Translation [by Bridgeman] of chapters 1-4 of La Guerra Suli Isonzo nel 1915 by Francisco Zingales, on the period from the outset of the war to the end of the Second Battle of Isonzo, undertaken for the Staff College study of the Italian Campaign, 1915. 67pp.
[BRIDGEMAN: 5. File] created by
Bridgeman, entitled 'Armoured
support for infantry', and mainly comprising papers by
Maj Gen George Mackintosh Lindsay, on the creation and
use of a mobile armoured division, 1933-1934.
1932 Jul 18
Translation of an article on 'The homogenous group (Rifle and Light Automatic) from Militar Wochenblatt Vol 117, No. 3. 7pp.
Precis of lecture on 'Military Evolution' given by Brig George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, at the Southern Command Staff College candidates course, with emphasis on the importance of weaponry. 5pp.
Paper by Brig George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, (in conjunction with his Bde Maj Bridgeman) setting out his proposals for the creation of a Mobile Division consisting of a tank bde, a motorised infantry bde and a motorised 'cavalry brigade', and its value to the army. With an unaddressed covering letter. 16pp
1934 May 11
Text of address by Brig George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, to officers assembled at Cambridge for the War Office Tank Brigade Exercise, notably on the purposes of the exercise and the history of the Tank Brigade. 6pp.
1934 Jul 24
Notes by Maj Gen George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, entitled 'Some notes on the support battalion and kindred subjects', including the historical background, post war experience, and the offensive power of the machine gun. 10pp.
Notes on the Southern Command's 'Mobile Force exercise, 18-21 Sep 34', by Maj Gen George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, giving an overview of the preparations for this exercise using a combined tank and infantry force, and the conclusions drawn. 9pp.
Text of lecture by Maj Gen George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, entitled 'Armoured support for infantry', notably on the possible creation of a tank brigade as part of a mobile division, and the benefits of increasing the offensive power of the British army in this way; lessons learnt in World War One regarding the use of machine guns, tanks and other weaponry, and the present position, and the need for a sustained programme of tank development. 20pp.
Notes for lecture by Maj Gen George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, on 'Anti-tank problems from the weapon point of view', describing the development of weapons with which to combat tanks. 4pp.
Draft 'Memorandum on the Training of Infantry M T Personnel' by [Maj Gen George Mackintosh Lindsay, Commander 7 Infantry Bde, and Bridgeman], regarding methods of providing increased mechanical training in the army. 10pp.
1934 Mar 20
Copy letter to Bridgeman from Brig George Mackintosh Lindsay, on a debate in the House of Commons which had some bearing on his proposal to create a mobile division. 3pp.
[BRIDGEMAN: 6. Papers] relating to
Bridgeman's post as Director
general of the Home Guard and Territorial Army, including
maps of exercise SPARTAN, undertaken in preparation
for the invasion of Europe in 1944, 1943-1944.
Maps used during exercise SPARTAN, undertaken by British 2 Army on the south coast in preparation for the invasion of Europe, notably a narrative of events from the British and the 'German' army, and a map showing demolition and bridging work.
1944 Aug 17
Narrative by [Col Alexander George] Victor Paley of the experience of a Bn of Infantry near Hamars, Normandy, during the invasion of Europe, 1944.
[BRIDGEMAN: 7. Correspondence] between
Bridgeman and Martin Alexander, mainly on
Franco-British military relations 1939-1940, 1977-1978.
1977 Sep 20-1978 Aug 21
Correspondence between Bridgeman and Martin Alexander, a second year research student at St Anthony's College, Oxford writing a thesis entitled 'The Maginot Line and the defence of France in British and French strategy in the 1930s'. Includes Alexander's questions and Bridgeman's replies on Franco-British military relations in 1939-1940, when Bridgeman was General Staff Officer Grade 1 at the Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force, and a copy of a paper by Alexander comparing the pre-war mechanisation in the French and British armies.
1977 Sep 20-1978 Aug 21
[BRIDGEMAN: 8. Correspondence] by
Dr A W J Houghton concerning a
conversation with Bridgeman on the Dunkirk evacuation
of 1940, 1975 and 1987.
1975 Oct 10
Letter from Dr A W J Houghton to his son, describing a conversation with Bridgeman in which he answered questions on his role in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940, notably the writing of the evacuation orders, difficulties in communication with the French, an assessment of Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, Maj Gen Bernard Law Montgomery, and other commanders. Includes a covering letter from Houghton on depositing the letter at the Centre, explaining his reasons for doing so, and giving an account of the circumstances in which it was written, and a copy reply. 7pp.