Papers of Maj Gen Francis Henry Norman Davidson CB DSO MC (1892-1973)
Lecture to the Swiss Officers' Society, 1935 on the war effort of the British Empire in the World War 1914-1918 by Davidson. (War Office, 1935) 1 Pamphlet.
1935 May 2- 1957 Apr 5
His Majesty's Regiment de Meuron. Pamphlet written by Davidson, reprinted from the Army Quarterly, Oct 1936. With letters from French Capt Max de Meuron and M Pierre de Meuron expressing their approval of Davidson's article and two other letters relating to the work.
Manuscript diary relating to the Allied Military Mission to Moscow, USSR in Jul 1939 which attempted to form an alliance with the USSR against Adolf Hitler, comprising details of the journey to Moscow and personalities of members of the mission, the arrival at Moscow and subsequent events and meetings, press cuttings of the arrival in Moscow and the return from Moscow, photographs of French Maj Pichon, Group Capt (Alfred) Conrad Collier, Davidson and Russian Marshall Kliment Efremovich Voroshilov, Soviet Commissioner for War and chief Soviet delegate. 1 file, photographs
[DAVIDSON: 3] Papers relating to
Davidson's service as Commander of
Royal Artillery, 1 Corps, BEF 1939-1940
Davidson's account of the adoption of the white spearhead flash worn by 1 Corps, BEF on the arms of their tunic; including his clash with the British Intelligence over use of the flash, the effect of the flash on esprit de corps and its value in the retreat of 1 Corps at Dunkirk in 1940. With an example of a flash. Manuscript 1p and 'flash'
Davidson's account of the arrival of the 52 Light Anti-Aircraft Regt (Territorial Army) with the 1 Corps, BEF, whose training and performance in 'plan D', the advance to the river Dyle, Belgium to face the approaching German army and at the retreat to Dunkirk, he saw as indicative of defects in organisation in the Army and particularly the Territorial Army in 1939. Manuscript 3pp.
Davidson's account of the transfer of 1 Corps, BEF to France via Cherbourg; the 'Phoney War'; the deficiencies of the French 3 Corps in terms of supplies, organisation and morale. With photographs of the visit to 1 Corps by George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland and French Gen Alphonse Georges, Commander in Chief of the French armies in the field. 1 file, photographs
1940 May 10-16
Davidson's account of the German offensive of 10 May 1940 and the retreat of the BEF to Dunkirk. Includes description of the execution of 'plan D', the advance to the river Dyle, Belgium to face the approaching German army by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and French, the fighting on the Dyle, the British withdrawal to the River Lasne, Belgium and the withdrawal of 2 Div BEF to the Brussells-Charleroi coast . With maps: 'A','France 1940, BEF in France and Flanders, situation of BEF 1200 hrs 15 May 1940'; 'B', of the area south of Brussells, Belgium, scale 1:50,000 marked to show the situation on 16 May with the positions of 2 Div BEF and 48 (South Midland) Div; 'C', tracing to accompany map 'B', showing dispositions of 2 Division and 48 Div and the withdrawal roads taken by 4, 5 and 6 Infantry brigades. 1 file
1940 May 26 - [Jun 4]
Davidson's account of the withdrawal of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) to Dunkirk, starting on 26 May 1940 and the problems caused by the French troops blocking routes that the BEF had been allocated for the retreat to the coast. With map of Lille-Ghent area, GS 4042, War Office 1942, scale 1 inch to 3.945 miles, and two tracings illustrating the stages of the withdrawal. 1 file
Folding map used by Davidson in the move of Royal Artillery, 1 Corps, BEF to the River Dyle and their subsequent withdrawal. Consists of overlapping maps marked 1-5, featuring parts of sheet numbers 53, 54, 55, 56, 64, 65, 66, 67 featuring Tournai, Renaix, Leuze, Lessines, Ath, Grammont, Ninove, Hal, Brussels, Louvain, Overyssche, Wavre, Ottingnies. Scale 1:50,000. 1 map
[DAVIDSON: 4] Papers relating to
Maj Gen Francis Henry Norman Davidson's service
as Director of Military Intelligence 1940-1944, and as Deputy head of the British Army Staff in Washington in the year before his retirement in 1946.
1940 Dec 11- 1941 Jun 17 and 1972 Jan 7
Manuscript diary kept by Davidson between Dec 1940 and Jun 1941 recording daily activities as Director of Military Intelligence including meetings with the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill MP. Also includes Davidson's comments on the possibility of a German invasion of Britain and the potential difficulties of coping with German prisoners of war; problems with the press; meetings with Polish and Portuguese delegations and with French Gen Charles Andre Joseph Marie De Gaulle; the progress of the war throughout 1941, particularly in Greece and the Middle East. 1 volume
Maps prepared for Davidson as Director of Military Intelligence for visits to to Queen Mary, Mother of George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland at Trowbridge and Badminton 11&12 Dec 1942 to illustrate the progresss of the war. Maps for 1942 visit are of 'Western USSR', GSOR 5462 illustrating the progress of the Axis forces Jul-Oct 1941; 'South West USSR', OR 5742, showing the extent of the Axis forces advance 1941-1942; 'North West Africa', OR 5747, scale 1:5,300,000 'Operations in French North Africa, situation known at 0400 hrs 10 Dec 1942', illustrating concentration of Allied forces; 'Tunisia - situation as known at 0400 hrs 8 Dec 1942 covering operations up to 1200 hrs 6 Dec 1942', OR 8770, scale 1:1,000,000, showing positions of British, American, French, German and Italian forces; 'Libya', 1939, scale 1:6,000,000 with extract marked to show troop movements on the coast; 'Russia and Caucasus', OR 5726 and OR 5518, scale 1:4,000,000 illustrating the positions of Axis forces and the position of Russian thrusts Nov-Dec 1942; 'Stalingrad area', OR 5775, scale 1:1,000,000 showing positions of the German front line and Russian thrusts Nov-Dec 1942; 'Australia and New Zealand', OR5641 scale 1: 23,000,000 and detail of the Pacific islands (no scale shown) marked 10 Dec 1942. With notes on Japanese strategy; Libya and the Australian attack at the Battle of El Alamein, Oct-Nov 1942; correspondence relating to arrangements for Davidson's visit to Trowbridge and Badminton; typescript paper entitled, 'Annex to War Office weekly Intelligence Summary no. 173, 10 Dec 1942, General review of recent events in Axis Europe with reference to the present position in Russia and North Africa'; typescript paper entitled,'Section 6 - French North Africa, Allied Operations'. 1 file
Maps prepared for Davidson as Director of Military Intelligence for visits to to Queen Mary, Mother of George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland in Jul 1943 to illustrate the progresss of the war. Maps for 1943 visit are 'Sicily', OR 5326, scale 1:750,000,000 showing the strengths and dispositions of Axis forces on 9th July 43; 'South East Sicily', OR 5833, scale 1:500,000 showing the Sicily assault plan, Operation HUSKY; 'Sicily' (as before) from assaults (10 Jul) to capture of Palermo (22 Jul) and position 28 Jul; 'Sicily', (as before) situation 26 Jul; 'South Russia', OR 5788, scale 1:2,000,000 illustrating the winter offensive 1942; 'Russia, Leningrad - Crimea', OR 5808, scale 1:4,000,000, illustrating operations between 25 Feb (maximum Russian advance in the Donetz basin) and 25 Mar (stabilisation after German recapture of Kharkov); 'Russia' (as before), marked as 'Cabinet map 26 Jul 1943', illustrates position of the German front line, location of German forces and Russian thrusts in Jul 1943; 'Tunisia', OR 5811, scale 1:350,000, illustrating the period 14 Feb (enemy attack against Americans from Faid) to immediately before final battle for Tunisian tip; 'Central Tunisia' (Gabès area) OR 5819, scale 1:650,000, 'secret map D', illustrating the Battle of Mareth; 'Tunis area', OR 5781, scale 1:500,000; 'Tunis area', OR 5781, 'secret map E', dispositions before final battle for Tunisian tip; 'Southern Tunisia & Tripolitania', OR 5799, scale 1:2000,000, 'secret map A' showing position on 23 Jan 43 the day British forces occupied Tripoli'; 'Tunisia', OR 5811, scale 1:350,000, 'secret map B' showing position in Tunisia at end of Jan; 'Tunisia', OR 5811, scale 1:350,000, 'secret map C' showing position on 19 Mar before Battle of Mareth; Duplicates of 'D' and 'E'. With printed notes on Battle of Tunisia; 1 file
Maps prepared for Davidson as Director of Military Intelligence for visits to to Queen Mary, Mother of George VI, King of Great Britain and Ireland in Mar 1944 to illustrate the progresss of the war. Maps for 1944 visit are of 'Burma', OR 5827, scale1:253,440 'most secret map A' showing the situation at 06.00 hrs 10 Feb 1944'; 'Burma', OR 5827, scale 1:253,440 'most secret map A' showing the situation at 06.00 hrs 18 Feb 1944; 'North West Burma frontier area', OR 5757, scale 1:2,922,000 showing the situation at 0600 hrs 8 Mar 1944' marked with the positions of the British and Indian forces, the Chinese divisions and the Japanese forces; 'New Guinea Solomon Islands Area', OR 5735, scale 1:6,850,000 illustrating current Southern Japanese limit and important operational dates (when landings and occupations took place); 'South Russia and Crimea', OR 5657, scale 1:4,000,000 illustrating the positions of the front lines in Jul and Sep 1943; 'South Russia and Crimea', OR 5657, scale 1:4,000,000 showing the positions of the front lines in Jul, Sep, Dec 1943; 'West Russia and the Baltic States', OR 5942 showing the positions of the front lines in Jul and Dec 1943 and Mar 1944; 1 file
Notes on 'High level intelligence', comprising Davidson's views on neglect of Intelligence in the inter-war years; the composition of the Joint Intelligence Committee and the creation of Future Operations Enemy Section in place of Joint Intelligence Committee; accusations of failures of past intelligence in the German offensive of 1940 and the Norway campaign; praise for FM Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell and his command in the campaigns in the Western Desert. Handwritten notes and copies of typescript. 1 file
 - 1958 Sep 8
Notes on 'USA and Intelligence', comprising Davidson's account of the attempts to integrate USA and UK Intelligence in World War Two as organised between Davidson and American Maj Gen George A Strong, head of USA G 2 (Intelligence); notes on Davidson's tour of the USA in 1945/46 and a copy of the core version of the speech on US and British relations that he gave at various locations on the tour; notes and correspondence relating to the Battle of Midway Island, Jun 1942, the breaking of the Japanese naval code and fears that US security had been breached in an article in the Chicago Tribune Jun 7 1942 which suggested knowledge of the breaking of the code. 1 file
Typescript tribute by Davidson to Gen John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, Commander-in-Chief BEF and his leadership of the BEF during Plan 'D', the advance to the river Dyle, Belgium to face the approaching German army and the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. 1 file
Manuscript and typescript copies of notes comprising Davdison's accounts of meetings with Prime Minister Rt Hon Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill MP. 1 file
Typescript notes from secondary sources on events leading up to the German-Soviet Pact of 23 Aug 1939. With typescript account of the Allied military mission to Moscow, USSR in Jul 1939. 1 file
1971 Dec 8- 1972 Feb 5
Correspondence between E E Thomas of the Cabinet Office Historical Section (researching the Official history of British Intelligence in the Second World War, HMSO, London, 1981) and Davidson relating to the role of the Director of Military Intelligence, the Joint Intelligence Committee and other aspects of Intelligence during World War Two. 1 file