King's College London
Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
This subject guide highlights collections held in the
Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives which contain
diaries, reports, correspondence, accounts, photographs
and cuttings relating to the D-Day invasion of France,
the biggest combined operation of World War Two.
Included are materials relating to the background work
which made invasion possible. For example, the problems
of how to make large scale armoured landings possible
was the subject of intensive development by the
experimental 79 Armoured Division under Major
General Sir Percy Hobart's command.
Collections with papers relating closely to D-Day:
- Field Marshal Viscount Alanbrooke (1883-1963)
- As Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1941-1946,
and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee,
Alanbrooke both spearheaded British preparation for
the invasion and served as Churchill's principal
military adviser. His papers include his personal
diaries, 1939-1946, subsequently edited by Sir Arthur
Bryant as The Turn of the Tide and
Triumph in the West.
- Captain E W Bush, RN (1899-1985)
- Senior officer, Assault Group S3, June 1944.
The Centre holds photographs relating to his career, 1912-1944.
- Major General Sir Percy Hobart (1885-1957)
- Raised and commanded 79 Armoured Division, 1942-1945.
This experimental division developed and operated
specially adapted tanks and armoured vehicles for
coastal landing and river crossing. His papers in the
Centre include a long series of correspondence with
Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart, 1932-1968, and reports and
lectures relating to tank theory and development, 1926-1944.
- Commander P D Job (b 1913)
- Served with 30 Assault Unit Reconnaissance Group,
Naval Intelligence. Landed on Utah beach, 10 June.
The Centre holds his memoirs, 'Special Service',
covering his World War Two career.
- Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart (1895-1970)
- Military theorist, writer and publicist. In addition
to his many books and press articles, his papers include
significant correspondence, records of conversations,
files of press cuttings, and the papers of a number of
friends and colleagues who researched topics close to
Liddell Hart's own fields of interest. These last include
the papers of Major General Sir Percy Hobart and Chester Wilmot.
- Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts (1908-1990)
- Commanding officer, 6 Commando, 1944. 1 Commando Brigade,
of which 6 Commando was part, was in the first D-Day landings,
with the task of cutting though the German coastal defences
to join up with the 6 Airborne division, which had landed during
the night. His papers include the narrative account of
Lance Corporal C Morris, who served under him in 6 Commando.
- General Sir Harold Pyman (1908-1971)
- Brigadier General Staff, 30 Corps, one of the D-Day
assault Corps, under General Horrocks, January 1944 -
January 1945. His papers in the Liddell Hart Centre for
Military Archives cover his career 1937-1963 and include
operation orders for Operation Neptune, the plan for the
initial invasion of the Continent, which had the security
classification 'Bigot', a rating so high that the name
'Bigot' itself was secret.
- Chester Wilmot (1911-1954)
- Australian-born war correspondent for the BBC and ABC
radio networks. Reported from the front line of the campaign
in North West Europe from D-Day to the German surrender, and
was on friendly terms with many of the most senior officers,
including FM Viscount Montgomery. These facts helped give
him excellent access to many of the documents he used in his
book The Struggle for Europe (London, 1952).
Wilmot relates how he personally received from Albert Speer
records from the files of the German Ministry of Armaments
and War Production, at Flensburg Castle, May 1945, after
Speer was captured while shaving in his bedroom. Wilmot
duly handed the files to British counter-intelligence
officers, but was allowed access to them in October that
year 'through the kindness of General Eisenhower'.
- Louis Edward Wilson (1884-1973)
- Worked for B B Chemical Co Ltd, manufacturer of Bostik
waterproofing compounds. Devised processes for waterproofing
tanks and armoured vehicles. His papers include notes on the
production and use of Bostik waterproofing, correspondence
with the Ministry of Supply, instruction booklets and
photographs of testing and successful use.
- Colonel A G Woods
- Assistant Director, Mechanical Engineering for waterproofing,
War Office, 1943-1944. His papers chiefly concern the work of
No 1 Experimental Workshop (Wading), Weymouth, which was
responsible for waterproofing wheeled (Class "B") vehicles, guns,
radio, radar and Special Equipment.
A select list of other collections available in the Liddell
Hart Centre for Military Archives which includes material
relating to D-Day and the invasion of France:
- General Sir Ronald Adam (1885-1982)
- Adjutant General, 1941-1946.
- Major General Sir Francis De Guingand (1900-1979)
- Chief of Staff, 21 Army Group, 1944-1945.
- General Sir Miles Dempsey (1896-1969)
- Commander, 2 Army in Normandy and North West Europe, 1944-1945.
- Lieutenant Colonel W A Ebbutt (d 1987)
- Senior Bombardment Liaison Officer, No 2 Combined Operations
Bombardment Unit, 1944-1945. His papers in the Centre include
recollections by other RN Bombardment Unit officers.
- Colonel G G Elliott (1909-1981)
- Papers include accounts of fighting in Normandy and Belgium,
12 June - 27 September.
- Lieutenant General Sir Humfrey Gale (1890-1971)
- Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Administrative Officer,
- Major W A Heal (b 1912)
- RE subaltern, 246 Field Company, Royal Engineers, 6 June 1944.
- General Lord Ismay (1887-1965)
- Chief of Staff to Minister of Defence and Deputy Secretary
to War Cabinet, 1940-1945.
- Brigadier Eric Edward Mockler-Ferryman (1896-1978)
- In charge of SOE operations in North West Europe, 1943-1944.
- Commander Hugh Mulleneux
- Diary covers his involvement in Operation NEPTUNE, May - June 1944.
- Major John North (1894-1973)
- Papers include background material relating to his book
North West Europe, 1944-1945.
- General Sir Richard O'Connor (1889-1981)
- Commander, 8 Corps, France, 1944.
- Brigadier J S W Stone (1895-1983)
- Commander, Royal Engineers, 2 Army 1942-1944.