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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 8: PREM 3/326-358
(Subject files cover Netherlands East Indies, Norway, Occupied Countries, Offensive Operations, Oil, Operations in Europe, Overlord, Palestine and Poland)

This next part of Churchill’s wartime papers and subject files covers the alphabetical sequence “Ne” to “Poland”, including Overlord and the D-Day landings.

  • The most important files are on the Netherlands East Indies, Norway, Octagon (the Quebec Four Power Conferences), Offensive Operations, Oil, Operations in Europe, Operation Overlord (the D-Day Landings and subsequent Normandy Campaign), Palestine and Poland.
  • The files on Norway cover operations such as Narvik, Grofter and Claymore, as well as reports on movements of German naval units such as the Tirpitz and the Scharnhorst and U-boats using bases along the Norwegian coast.
  • The files on Offensive Operations include material on a series of reconnaissance raids on the French coast and on the administration of Combined Operations.
  • There is a wealth of detail on Overlord (operational planning, preparations, D-Day Landings, special equipment, command structure, and follow-up to D-Day).  There are also files on the Normandy battles in bocage country, the Falaise Pocket, the Ardennes Offensive and the invasion of the South of France.
  • Finally there are over 70 files on Poland ranging from Polish-Soviet relations, General Sikorski, Polish aircrew, the formation of a Polish Armoured Division, supplies for Warsaw, the Warsaw Rising, the Katyn Wood massacres, the Oder-Neisse Line, through to the Yalta and Potsdim Conferences.

Taken together these files in Part 8 comprise some of the most fascinating material it is possible to compile on the major events and issues of the Second World War.  You cannot study this topic without an understanding of the detailed planning that went into D-Day; you should not neglect to understand the terrible events in Eastern Europe such as the Warsaw Rising; you cannot understand overall strategy without reference to Oil; and you cannot understand the Post-War situation without reference to Yalta and Potsdam.

Churchill with troops

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