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Literary: "The Second World War", Volume 2 "Their Finest Hour": Notes and comments by Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pownall., 02 Mar 1941 - 16 Jun 1949

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CHUR 4/196A-C

Scope and Contents

Includes notes and comments by Pownall on subjects including: factual and printing errors throughout Volume 2; the build-up to the German attack on the Soviet Union; the build-up to "Dynamo" [codename for the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk, France]; the British Expedition Force; the meeting between 6th Lord Gort [Commander-in-Chief of British Field Force, earlier John Vereker] and General Maxime Weygand [Commander-in-Chief, French Army], May 1940; British casualties; the defence of Somaliland [later Somalia]; the Italian advance into Egypt, September 1940; difficulties faced by the British forces in Egypt and the Middle East; the despatch of tanks to the Middle East; air losses in the Battle of Britain; the overland Africa air route; the possibilities of a French advance into Germany; home defence; Operation "Catapult" [codename for the seizure or disabling of the French fleet]; naval anti-invasion measures; French forces cut off from Dunkirk; the loss of the 51st Division in France; auxiliary units of the Home Guard; naval operations in the Mediterranean, June - December 1940; the Fleet Air Arm attack on Taranto, Italy; comparative strengths of the RAF and German Air Force; the co-ordination of the German army and defence; the "sticky bomb"; anti-aircraft guns; operations at Calais and Boulogne, May 1940; RAF operations during the Dunkirk evacuation; Operation "Sea Lion" [codename for planned German invasion of Britain]; the Greek campaign in Albania, 1940 - 1941.Also includes notes and correspondence from: Arthur Cornwall- Jones [Senior Assistant Secretary (Military) to the Cabinet] (2); 1st Lord Ismay (2); Brigadier Henry Latham, Cabinet Office Historical Section, on subjects including Pownall's diary of events in France, the use of tanks in France, and in the Middle East, December 1940 - February 1941, the British Expeditionary Force, the attitude of Cameroon to the Allies, the battle of Arras and losses of equipment at Dunkirk (20); William Deakin (6); Sir Desmond Morton; 1st Lord Alanbrooke [earlier Field-Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Commander of Second Army Corps, British Expeditionary Force], commenting on chapters in Volume 2 relating to his command (2); General Alphonse Georges on French troops cut off from Dunkirk, and those forced to surrender at Armentieres; 1st Lord Dowding on his "prayer" after the French surrender; General Roton (2); Denis Richards, RAF Historian, on subjects including the first line strength of the RAF (4); Sir Colin Gubbins.Also includes: covering letters from Pownall; extracts from the War Cabinet minutes on the Munich Crisis and naval operations off the French coast, May - June 1940; table of British and German aircraft losses in the Battle of Britain; typescript draft of Chapter 5 "The Deliverance of Dunkirk"; list of WSC's minutes, July - December 1940; map of German deployments in Lille and Ghent [Belgium], May 1940; chart of forces in fighting contact with the enemy, 1940; copies of telegrams on the threat in North Africa (March 1941); galley proofs of telegrams used in Volume 2; extract from Pownall's diary on the meeting between Lord Gort and General Georges Blanchard [Commander-in-Chief, French First Army] (May 1940); extracts of Belgian press articles defending King Leopold of Belgium's surrender to Germany; graphs of comparative British and United States forces in contact with the enemy, 1942 - 1945; maps showing the Allied and German forces at the battle of Arras; notes by Sir Martin Gilbert [1960's].The majority of documents in the file date to 1946 - 1949.


  • Creation: 02 Mar 1941 - 16 Jun 1949

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3 file(s) (3 files (623 loose folios))

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