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LIDDELL HART, Capt Sir Basil Henry (1895-1970)

Papers dated 1917-1972 on the inter-war years, 1919-1939, including British armed forces, imperial defence, British fascism, League of Nations, and foreign and domestic policies of countries including China, Japan, Italy and Spain

References on this page: LIDDELL HART: 15/3/1-49

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/1-17 Papers dated 1917-1968 on the British Army,including tactics and strategy, conditions of service, modernisation and uniform, 1914-1939



Journal articles and memoranda relating to conditions of service in the army particularly as a cause of low recruitment levels, including notes on military law by Col H A A May, 14 May 1917; 'Military housekeeping' author not named in The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 4 Jul 1929; 'A case for a court of appeal' by 'Legalis' reprinted from The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 16 Jul 1936, and 'The case of Mr H R Sandford, late Lt Col in Royal Engineers' by Lt Col Sir William Allen, MP, 8 Apr 1937, on denial to soldiers of right of appeal against conviction by a court-martial; proof of 'The army to-day, why it is not' by Capt John R J Macnamara, MP, for The Nineteenth Century and After, Aug 1937. 1 file



Journal articles relating to role, tactics and organisation of infantry units, including 'Tactical qualities of the infantry' by Maj G E Bertrand, 6 Alpino Chasseurs, French Army, in The Volunteer Force Gazette, 16 Nov 1918; 'Infantry, its role, capabilities, limitations and relation to other arms' by Col Robert McCleave, Infantry Journal, Nov 1920; 'Machine gun carriers or light tanks?' by Col Ernest G Hamilton and 'The platoon and its guns' by Lt Col L V Stewart Blacker in The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 19 Sep 1929 and 1 Sep 1932; article on British, French and German infantry organisation and tactics, by Maj George Ellenberger (source unknown) Feb 1938. 1 file



Journal articles relating to development of army tactics and strategies for warfare, including 'Methodism in tactics, new conceptions of war' and 'A century of tactics, Mollwitz to the Crimea' by Maj G W Redway, and 'The strategical concentration of armies' by Maj Stanley Woodburn Kirby, The Army Navy and Air Force Gazette ,5 Feb and 22 Oct 1931 and 18 Feb 1932. 1 file


1925 Oct

Memorandum by the Mechanical Transport Sub-Committee of the Executive Committee of the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation (London, 1925), on the most cost-effective forms of mechanical transport, other than railways, for conveying cotton and its rotational crops, including a section on the 'Caterpillar' track system for vehicles. 1 booklet



Papers relating to army supply and maintenance in the field, comprising diagrams of the system of maintenance for supplies and ammunition and organisation for repair and replacement of damaged transport vehicles used in army training exercises, 1925-1926, issued by the War Office, Apr 1926; diagrams of small arms ammunition, field artillery ammunition and divisional supply systems [1925-1935]; 'Some aspects of the vital question of the divorcement of the supply and transport services', author not known, probably 1930s; text of a lecture to officers on supply of food in war, author not known [1930s]. 1 file



Papers relating to army officers, comprising newspaper cuttings, journal articles and letters on recruitment and promotion prospects; Committee on the Supply of Officers for the Army, set up in May 1937 to inquire into the officer shortage, system of promotion and to recommend reforms; conditions of service; retirement schemes; control by the Staff College, Camberley over senior staff appointments; system of promotion of officers in the Italian, French and German armies. Including 'Why General Officers do not retire' by the editor, and 'The pay of the junior army officer' author not named in The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 21 Dec 1933 and 27 Jun 1935; Principles governing the promotion of officers in the army, (issued by the War Office, HMSO, London, 1926). 1 file



Journal articles relating to army supply and maintenance in the field, including 'Some suggestions regarding supply in war against an uncivilised enemy' by Maj and Brevet Lt Col Eric F Falkener, The Royal Army Service Corps Quarterly [1925-1930]; 'Organisation and transportation, the co-relation of strategy and supply' by Maj Gen John Cartwright Harding-Newman, The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 29 Sep 1932; 'Spares and repairs' by Maj George C Shaw in The Army Quarterly, Jul 1932. With newspaper article by Hon Sir John William Fortescue, Oct 1927, on history of military supplies, 1642-1918. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to the role, condition, requirements and reform of the British Army during the 1920s and 1930s, particularly modernisation, re-organisation, mechanisation, rearmament, expenditure, recruitment, expansion in 1939, training and strategies for deployment and operations of forces in event of war. 1 file



Papers relating to modernisation of the British Army in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly mechanisation and re-organisation, including article 'The need for change' on update of artillery organisation by Capt Richard Hilton, Journal of the Royal Artillery, Jul 1927; text of 'The army of the future', by "Juniper" [1936]; 'The military and the machine, an analysis of the controversy over mechanisation in the British Army, 1919-1939 (précis)' by Barton C Hacker, 1968; 'Four decades of mechanisation, our record of combat-vehicle development' by Robert J Icks, in Army Ordnance, May-Jun 1937; notes on movement of troops by motor transport. 1 file



Text of three lectures on the function, methods and importance of military survey in warfare, delivered at King's College London by Col Malcolm Macleod, Geographical Section, General Staff, War Office, and printed in The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 27 Nov and 4 and 11 Dec 1930, covering survey methods, methods of fixing the location of a target, problems of hitting mobile targets and use of aerial photography to produce maps. 1 file



Papers relating to LIDDELL HART's visit to the Army School of Cookery, Aldershot, 17 Aug 1932, comprising programme for visit, sample diet sheet and menu. 1 file



Programme for British Legion Festival of Empire and Remembrance, Royal Albert Hall, 11 Nov 1932 (British Legion Press, Kent). 1 booklet



Papers relating to army ceremonial, including printed transcript of lecture, 'Old military customs still extant', by Maj Clement T Tomes, covering the salute, sentry duties, tattoo, ceremonial drill, funeral exercises, trooping the colour, drummers' call, officers' mess, military band, bugle calls and uniform, and following discussion, 5 Nov 1924; 'The making of a tattoo' by Maj Gen John Cartwright Harding-Newman, The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette, 7 and 14 Jul 1932; newspaper cuttings on displays planned for 1937 notably at the coronation of King Edward VIII. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings relating to army infantry uniform, particularly 19th century origins of British khaki; proposed new uniform and equipment, featuring lighter, more comfortable and hygienic equipment, dress and deer-stalker pattern cap, for trial in 1933; blue uniforms to be worn at planned coronation of Edward VIII; experimental uniforms in 1938 and new design adopted in 1939 for active service and training, ceremonial occasions and 'walking-out', including new loose fitting trousers buckled at the ankles. 1 file



Papers relating to British Army estimates and expenditure, 1925-1939, comprising newspaper cuttings; extracts of 1935 and 1939 estimates; extracts from Parliamentary debates over increases in Army estimates, in Mar 1937; statistics of expenditure on reserve stocks of weapons, ammunition, vehicles and equipment, 1925-1935; details of army pay and allowances scales [1937]; text of 'Some reflections of army expenditure by ex-regular (infantry)', with suggestions for reform of organisation of the infantry, artillery, cavalry, tank and other corps in the Regular and Territorial armies and cost effective spending, by Lt Col George Julian Scovell, 8 Dec 1937 (see also 15/3/101). 1 file



Extracts and copies of official papers relating to senior military and government views in the 1930s on the role of the British Army particularly in event of a major European war, including extracts from speeches in the House of Commons by Rt Hon (Alfred) Duff Cooper, Financial Secretary to the War Office, 21 Mar 1933; extracts from Cabinet records containing views of Neville Chamberlain, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Duff Cooper, Secretary of State for War, Dec 1936; photocopy of Report by Chiefs of Staff Sub-Committee to the Cabinet, Jan 1937. 1 file



Artists' Rifles Gazette, and Regimental Orders, Nos 41 and 43, Feb and Apr 1937. 2 booklets

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/18-29 Papers on the Territorial Army,including organisation, finance, recruitment, training, modernisation and conditions of service, 1924-1939



Conditions of Service for Territorial Army Officers issued by the War Office (HMSO, London, 1924). 1 booklet


1924, 1929

'Statement showing the financial position of Territorial Army County Associations', for 31 Mar 1923, 1924 and 1929, presented to Parliament (HMSO, London, 1924 and 1929). 3 booklets



Territorial Army and Air Force Association of the County of London official information pamphlets for 1925 and [1935], with names of members, committees and committee members; commanding and staff officers within 56 (1 London), 47 (2 London) Divs, London 26 and 27 Air Defence Bdes and HQ 1 Air Defence Group, Royal Air Force; list of units with names of commanding officers and unit HQ addresses; unit establishment statistics; rules and regulations. 4 booklets



Papers, mainly on statistics, relating to peace establishment and strength of units in the Territorial Army, 1925-1939, notably 56 (1 London) Div in 1929, 1933 and 1935, 47 (2 London) Div in 1927-1931 and 1933, 132 (Middlesex and Kent) Infantry Bde in 1927, 1933 and 1935 and 162 (East Midland) Infantry Bde in 1925-1927 and 1929, including transcript of memorandum by Territorial Army and Air Force Association of the County of London, citing inadequate pay and allowances as impediments to successful recruitment, Jul 1925. 1 file



Extract from minutes of a meeting of Council of County Territorial Associations on 10 Feb 1926, on War Office reduction in Territorial Army finance for 1926-1927, and report on proceedings of a 'special' meeting held on 1 Mar 1927, to receive the report of the Council sub-committee on War Office reductions in Territorial Army finance for 1927-1928. 1 file



Papers relating to military opinions on the Territorial Army in the 1920s and 1930s, mainly proposals for change and improvement, particularly its role in national defence, organisation, recruitment, training, cost effectiveness, and need for reform; notes for lectures on importance of the Territorial Army by unnamed author [1933]; letter from Col Hanbury Pawle, Hertfordshire Regt, to the editor of The Times, on ways of improving the quality of the Territorial Army, Aug 1935; Territorial Army Finance and Organisation Committee questionnaire for county associations on composition, finance, geographical organisation and administration, completed by Gloucester Territorial Army and Air Force Association, 1938. 1 file



Agenda, meeting papers including annual financial statements and minutes of the bi-annual Territorial Army and Air Force Association of the County of London meetings, 1927-1938. (Incomplete). 1 file



Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to the Territorial Army, particularly role in national defence policy, recruitment levels and expansion in 1939, organisation of units, administration and command, training resources and standards, equipment, mechanisation and motorisation, collaboration with Regular Army and terms of service in peace and war time, including 'Territorial Army finance' and 'Territorial Army administration' by Col Geoffrey Ronald Codrington, in The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette (Nov 1932 and Nov 1934) and 'Wastage in the Territorial Army' by Brevet Col R A E Voysey, in The Army, Navy and Air Force Gazette (Jun 1933). 1 file



Standing Orders and References to Committees, issued by the Territorial Army and Air Force Association of the County of London, including rules of committees (W W Sprague and Co Ltd, London, 1934). 1 booklet



Territorial Army and Air Force Association of the County of London, minutes of meeting on 1 May 1935, and agenda and meeting papers for meeting on 12 Jun 1935 including reports of Chairman, General Purposes Committee, Finance Committee, County Controller and Secretary. 1 file



Papers issued by the Council of County Territorial Associations, London, and the Territorial Army Joint Publicity and Recruiting Committee for London and the Home Counties, Duke of York's Headquarters, London, comprising booklet The Defence of Britain, the Importance of the Territorial Army, leaflet Defend England, join the anti-aircraft units of the Territorial Army including list of units in 1 Anti-Aircraft Div and abridged conditions of service and leaflet Join the Territorial Army containing abridged conditions of service with list of units comprising London Div, 44 (Home Counties) Div and 1 Anti-Aircraft Div, (W W Sprague and Co Ltd, London, Jan and Feb 1937); 1 file



'Report of the Committee on the Territorial Army Finance and Organisation', issued by the War Office (Aug 1938), incorporating criticisms and proposals for improvement of organisation, finance and administration received from all Territorial Army associations in response to a Committee questionnaire (see also 15/3/76). 1 vol

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/30-49 Papers dated 1923-[1955] on Army recruitment and conscription, 1914-1939



Papers relating to recruitment and manpower in the British Army, comprising statistics from official records of the strength of the Regular, Territorial and Reserve armies, 1866-1939; text of Militia Club debate, 'The position of the militia as the constitutional force of Great Britain' with leading lecture by Col the Rt Hon Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill, 3 Bedfordshire Regt, 31 Oct 1923; 'An army without a reserve' by Maj George V Breffit, on need for expansion of the Militia, or Supplementary Reserve (Militia Club, Jul 1934); notes for the press issued by the Army and Home and Empire Defence League, Feb 1938, promoting their policy on expansion of land forces in both men and material. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings relating to recruitment in the Regular and Territorial Army, mainly 1935-1937, particularly War Office recruitment campaigns; failure of army to reach establishment targets; factors adversely affecting recruitment, notably conditions of service; changes in medical categories to allow greater intakes of recruits; comparison with more successful Royal Navy and RAF recruitment; proposals and reforms to change conditions of army life and attract more recruits. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings relating to physical education and national fitness schemes, particularly promotion of compulsory physical education in schools and colleges; support for non-military camps and centres for boys and young men; comparison with physical training in Germany and Italy; reasons for fitness campaigns, notably to foster discipline, health, comradeship, national strength, unity and morale and to provide a good basis for military service. Also papers relating to system of exercise evolved at the Lucas-Tooth Gymnasium, London, and recommended by supporters for Territorial Army training, comprising gymnasium rules, radio broadcast script, articles and memorandum mainly by director of training Maj Walter Keppel Garnier. 1 file



Letters and accounts on reasons for decline in army recruitment and proposals for reform, including letters from Horace E Harris criticising poor pay, deductions and lack of vocational training, Dec 1936; account by Capt Walter P Nicol, commander of a machine-gun battery in Anti-Aircraft Bde, on deterrents to army recruiting from point of view of soldiers in his unit [1937]; account blaming fall in recruitment on popular conceptions of low status of regular soldiers and army parsimony, with suggestions for reforms, author not named [1937]. 1 file



'Army recruiting, a solution from the other end' by F George, ex-sergeant in the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regt) reprinted from The Nineteenth Century and After No 714 (Aug 1936) by Constable and Co Ltd, London. 1 booklet



Papers relating to army recruitment, comprising memorandum of main points of a speech to be made by (Alfred) Duff Cooper, Secretary of State for War, on army expenditure estimates, 16 Mar 1937, including proposals for mechanisation and increasing recruitment in the regular army; recruitment statistics, 1936; and 'Benefits and amenities which a soldier receives FREE' [probably issued by the Army, 1930s]. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings relating to the historical origins and traditional role of the Militia or Supplementary Reserve and recruitment and training for its role in national defence at home and abroad, 1936-1939, particularly formation of a new infantry reserve in 1936 with an initial establishment of 17,000 and training of first contingent of militiamen in Jul 1939. 1 file



The case for compulsory military service by George G Coulton, with particular reference to World War One and the political situation in Europe in the 1930s (published by the author, Cambridge, 1937). 1 booklet


1938 Jun-1939 May

Newspaper cuttings relating to policy of the national Labour Party, Parliamentary Labour Party and Trades Union Congress on conscription, particularly support for voluntary service, opposition to provisions of Military Training Bill, Apr 1939 and efforts to secure amendments, notably concessions for apprentices, students and conscientious objectors, tighter safeguards against loss of employment and adequate welfare and rights for conscripts; Labour Party policy statement on organisation of the defence services, 8 May 1939, covering reform of armed forces, supply and co-ordination of defence. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings relating to mainly political and military views on the compilation of a voluntary or compulsory National Register listing those available for civilian or military duty in wartime, and the introduction of compulsory military service in Britain from Feb 1938 to presentation of the Military Training Bill, Apr 1939. 1 file



Newspaper cuttings, mainly reports of proceedings in Parliament, relating to national defence policy and provisions, particularly recruitment campaign, Jan; Military Training Bill introducing compulsory military service and the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces Bill for conscription of certain Territorial Army and non-Regular Army personnel to reinforce anti-aircraft defences, Apr-May; training for skilled professionals for armed forces in war, Apr-May; measures to limit arms profiteering including Armaments Profits Duty; Bill to establish a Ministry of Supply, introduced May 1939, to control and organise Army munitions, transport vehicles and raw materials. 1 file


1939 Jan

Thesis 'A new model army: proposals for the improvement of recruiting and reserves' by G Swayne Thomas of London, Jan 1939, including explanation of the need for reforms; proposed methods, in the context of the political situation in Europe; cost estimates. With covering letter to LIDDELL HART. 1 vol


1939 Jan

National Service, a guide to the ways in which the people of this country may give service-with a message from the Prime Minister (HMSO, London, Jan 1939), covering the navy, army and air force, and the civilian services comprising air raid precautions, police, fire services, nursing and first aid. 1 booklet


1939 Mar-May

Papers relating to views on conscription, comprising letters; leaflet No conscripts, but free volunteers for a collective peace policy (National Youth Campaign, London, Apr 1939); leaflet Young men and women, national service-for what? (The Emergency Youth Peace Campaign, London, [1939]); memorandum issued by National Peace Council summarising action taken or proposed by organisations in opposition to the Military Training Bill, Apr-May 1939; minutes of Dunford House Cobden Memorial Association conference on voluntary service and conscription, 20 May 1939. 1 file


1939 Mar-May

Newspaper cuttings relating to universities and conscription, particularly vote by Cambridge Union Society against conscription, 25 Apr 1939, and subsequent vote in favour of the Military Training Bill after a meeting addressed by Winston Churchill at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, 19 May; vote by Oxford Union Society in favour of conscription, 27 Apr 1939, opposed by LIDDELL HART during the debate; provisions in the Military Training Act allowing current undergraduates and prospective undergraduates for Oct 1939 to postpone their liability for military service until conclusion of their studies. 1 file


1939 Mar-Jul

Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to political, military and general public views on voluntary and compulsory military service, including 'Compulsory service-should it be enacted in times of peace?' a compilation of views stated in national newspapers, in Public Opinion, 31 Mar 1939; 'The spiritual value of volunteering' by Stephen Lucius Gwynn, Time and Tide, 15 Apr 1939; 'Conscription and democracy' transcript of a discussion between Sir Arnold (Talbot) Wilson MP and LIDDELL HART in The Listener, 27 Apr 1939. 1 file


1939 May-Jun

Newspaper cuttings relating to the OTC and conscription, particularly concerns of public schools and university colleges over provisions in the Military Training Act, including failure to exempt senior university OTC members from compulsory service; effective placing of conscript training between school and university education after 1939. 1 file


1939 May-Aug

Newspaper cuttings relating to passing of the Military Training Bill containing provisions for conscription, May 1939, and its operation, Jun-Aug 1939, particularly challenges to the Bill by the Labour Party; public opinion on conscription; anti-conscription public protests; provisions in the Bill for conscientious objectors, pay and allowances for conscripts and training arrangements; registration of first intake of conscripts from 3 Jun; content of training programmes; accommodation, food and site conditions at training camps. 1 file



Papers relating to conscription, comprising copy of circular letter, dated 6 May 1939, from Maj Gen John Hay Beith, Director of Public Relations, War Office, to newspaper editors requesting the press, in view of the provisions of the Military Training Bill, to use the term 'militiamen' rather than 'conscript'; memorandum stating the views of the International Peace Council on the introduction of conscription, May 1939; notes from [150 years of Conscription, 1955], author not known, covering military career of Carnot during French Revolution and under Napoleon Bonaparte, French attitude to compulsory military duty during Napoleonic wars and implications for conscription in the age of atomic weapons. 1 file



Manpower, the story of Britain's mobilisation for war, prepared for the Ministry of Labour and National Service by the Ministry of Information (HMSO, London, 1944), covering national military service, industrial mobilisation, wages and working conditions, welfare provisions, organised mobile labour and safeguards on individual and collective rights. 1 booklet


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