Complete classes from the CAB & PREM series in the Public Record Office
Series One: PREM 3 - Papers concerning Defence & Operational Subjects, 1940-1945
Winston Churchill, Minister of Defence, Secretariat Papers
Part 5: PREM 3/199-238 (Subject files cover Gibraltar, Greece, Hess, Holland,
Home Defence, Home Guard, Husky, Hungary, Iceland, India, Invasion, Iran and Iraq)
We continue our coverage of the complete files of Public Record Office class PREM 3 including all recently released material. Some of these files were only opened in 1997.
For the period of Winston Churchill's war-time administration, PREM 3 contains Papers of the Prime Minister's own Secretariat, including details of his discussions with advisers outside the Cabinet, and Churchill's Papers concerning Defence and Operational Subjects, 1940-1945, a period during which he was both Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.
Churchill made it a clear rule that "all directions emanating from me are made in writing." As a result, the PREM 3 series offers a complete record of the war from Churchill's perspective, including his directives, memoranda and general papers submitted to him for discussion. Examples of items featured include Trenchard's views on Air Policy, Mountbatten on MacArthur, Churchill's telegrams to Stalin and other leaders, papers concerning defence plans for Singapore and Australia, records of Anglo-American discussions, papers on Japan, the Soviet Union, Overlord, Torch, Submarine Warfare, SOE and Occupied Europe.
"Churchill's impact was nationwide through his speeches on the radio and in Parliament, which gave comfort and encouragement at critical periods. But in the narrow circle of those who comprised his administration, or who were the heads of Commonwealth or Allied governments, that impact was largely felt through several thousand personal minutes and telegrams; these represent an astonishing output..."
S S Wilson writing in The Cabinet Office to 1945 (HMSO 1975)
Part 5 covers a diverse range of subjects which continue the microfilm coverage of Churchills alphabetically arranged files ("Gi" to "Ir"). This part includes papers on:
- Gibraltar (vital to the British Fleet, a great strategic significance as a repair depot and as a staging post for convoys, and of paramount importance in the control of the Western Mediterranean)
- GL (Anti-aircraft gun detection)
- Gliding Weapons (for Airborne Operations)
- Greece (the Allied Campaign, October 1940-October 1944; German atrocities; OSS activities; the political and military situation in Greece; the Greek King)
- Habakkuk (Reports and Minutes of the Committees; discussions on Mulberry artificial harbours and floating airfields)
- Harriman (Discussions with the Americans)
- Hess (his mission to Scotland to make "peace")
- Holland (participation of Dutch forces in the War against Japan; Relief supplies for Holland; Discussions on Return of Dutch Government to Holland, October-November 1944)
- Home Defence (Details of measures taken between May 1940 and March 1943, with some papers for the last two years of the war)
- Home Guard (Functions, Organisation, Equipment and details of Mobile units)
- Husky (Operation to land in Sicily and plans for exploitation of the landings)
- Hopkins (Mr Harry Hopkins: Personal Telegrams; relations with the United States of America)
- Hungary (Armistice)
- Iceland (American occupation; British Mountain Division)
- India (Defence of India; Principal Telegrams relating to Operations in India, 1942-1943)
- Influx (Operation for the invasion of Sicily, papers for December 1940-February 1941)
- Invasion (Leaflet)
- Iran (British and Russian occupation of Iran; Soviet demand for oil concession; defence of oilfields)
- Iraq (Oil demolition schemes)