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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 6: PREM 3/239-276 (Subject files cover Italy, Japan, Joint Intelligence Committee, Labour Supplies, Landing Craft, Malta and the Mediterranean)

In Part 6 the main focus is on:

Italy, for instance, the Armistice Control Commission, July-September 1943; the Administration of Italy and British representation on the Advisory Council; the Administration of the Allied Commission in Italy and Operations in Italy: in particular: Baytown (Straits of Messina) and Avalanche (Salerno) operations, August-October 1943; the Build-up in Italy, September-December 1943; Air support for operations; policy following Italian collapse in September 1943; German forces in Italy; Disposition of LSTs in March 1944; Plans for operations in support of Overlord (Normandy) in March-April 1944; Operation Shingle (the Anzio Landings): Telegrams exchanged between Prime Minister and others, December 1943-January 1944; Planning for the Anzio landings; Progress and setbacks with Anzio landings, January-February 1944; Italian surrender and proposed Italian declaration of war on Japan.

The Mediterranean and North African Campaigns
From Egypt and the Middle East to Libya and Tunisia, including some famous actions such as Beda Fomm, Operation Battleaxe, Compass, Crusader, Sidi Rezegh Gazala, Bir Hacheim, Tobruk; the First and Second Battles of El Alamein; the Torch landings in North Africa and the Battle of Tunisia including Kasserine Pass and Mareth, Churchill's files contain an extraordinary amount of detail, comment and analysis crucial to any understanding of these operations and their overall influence on strategic planning. Featuring Australian, New Zealand, British, Indian and South Afican Divisions with US Divisions from Torch onwards, these files allow researchers a daily or week by week view of the decision making process. There are also important files on the Balkans, including Greece and Yugoslavia; on Gibraltar, Cairo and Alexandria as well as on vital bases in the supply chain such as Malta; on operations against the Italian fleet; on Crete, Sicily and the Dodecanese (the latter of particular interest to Churchill stemming from events in 1915). The entirety of the Italian campaign is well documented.

The files include Correspondence with Mr Matsuoka and interviews with Japanese ambassador, February-March 1941; the Prime Minister’s message to Mr Matsuoka, April-September 1941; Japanese losses at sea, March 1942; Notes on the Strength of the Japanese fleet, August-October 1941 and Japanese oil stocks in the Philippines, 1942. Much detail on the War in the Pacific is to be found under other relevant subject headings (for instance: see under Far East).

The Joint Intelligence Committee (see PREM 3/254) including Report on French African colonies, August-September 1940 and Report on internal position in Germany and Italy, October 1941.

Labour Supply Files cover the situation in 1940.

Landing Craft Material covered here includes beach protection vessels (anti-aircraft) early on in the war; Churchill’s Correspondence with the President of the United States on Tank Landing Vessels and Craft, July 1941-June 1942; the Chiefs of Staff Report on Assault Shipping and Craft, January 1943 ; files on Amphibious vehicles, June-July 1943; Floating piers for flat beaches, July 1943 and an assembly of documentation prepared in advance of D-Day (see also files on Operations in Western Europe and Overlord for further documentation on D-Day planning and the implementation of Operation Overlord).

Subject files also cover Italian Colonies, Italian Fleet, Jaguar - operation to despatch fighters to the Middle East in April-May 1941, Jibuti, Jubilee, Jupiter, Kettledrum, Liberia, Libreville, London -defence of, Lucid, Madagascar and Menace.

Digital Guide
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