King's College London
Archive Catalogues

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

Papers on the inter-war years, 1919-1939

References on this page: LIDDELL HART: 15/3/119-150

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/119-129 Papers dated [1921]-1939 on the Royal Air Force, including history, armament, gunnery and bombing, training and civil aviation, 1914-1939

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/119


Papers relating to air forces, comprising notes and statistics from publications and official records on relative strengths and composition of British and overseas air forces, notably German and Italian, 1930s; growth of aircraft production; rising profits of aircraft companies; use of aircraft in Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939; role of air power in British defence policy including protective measures against air attack; battleship defences against air attack; air warfare in France, Belgium, Italy and Palestine during World War One, 1914-1918. Also extracts from 'Report of the joint board' [United States War and Navy departments], Washington, by Gen John Joseph Pershing, on experiments in aerial bombing of sea vessels and effectiveness of aircraft in search operations at sea, Jun 1921 and list of RAF stations in Britain in 1937. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/120


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to the development of civil aviation in Britain, USA, France and Germany, particularly expansion of commercial air transport over Europe, USA and the British empire; new inventions, designs and trials of aircraft; effect on development of trade and communication in British colonial territories; growth of air mail services; co-operation between military and civil aviation organisations; advances in air safety and speeds; state direction, promotion and subsidy of air transportation; introduction of ocean air services in the Atlantic and Pacific; expansion of civil airline companies notably Imperial Airways and British Airways. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/121


Newspaper and journal articles relating to the RAF, particularly expansion in the 1920s and 1930s; defences against aerial attack; development of anti-aircraft guns; air exercises notably in 1939; comparison with other national air forces notably of Germany, USA, Russia and Japan; development of the Fleet Air Arm; air expenditure estimates; effect of air power on defence policy of Britain and the empire; development, role and function of the Air Ministry; RAF co-operation with the Army; training of pilots; expansion of the air reserve force; growth of the aircraft industry. 2 files

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/122


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to RAF armament and equipment, including fighter and bomber planes notably Spitfire and Hurricane; increase of speed and range capabilities; development of twin-engined fighter planes in 1939, notably Blenheim bomber; mass production of aircraft in 1939; machine guns, bombs and torpedoes for aircraft; pictures and technical details of British and French military aircraft including torpedo, fighter and interceptor fighter planes, amphibian biplanes and troop carriers. With memorandum by the Society of British Aircraft Constructors Ltd, Jan 1926, on importance of air defence, personnel for the air industry, government policy since 1922 and implications of reduction in air estimates for 1926-1927. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/123


Text of a lecture for flying training schools on history of the RAF by AVM Sir (Henry) Robert (Moore) Brooke-Popham, 1927, covering formation of the Balloon Company of the Royal Engineers, 1879, Air Battalion, 1911, and Royal Flying Corps including naval and military wings, 1912; air force participation in army manoeuvres, 1912; replacement of naval wing by Royal Naval Air Service, 1914; developments and operations during World War One, 1914-1918, including attacks on London by German Zeppelin air ships and airplanes, 1915-1917, and formation of the RAF, 1918. With a bibliography of publications on air power held in the library of the RAF Staff College, Andover [1928]. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/124


Statistics on number of civil and military aircraft in Europe, USA, USSR and Japan and principal European air transport companies and their capital, compiled by the Air League of the British Empire from official sources published 1928-1932. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/125


Notes on the development of air forces in France, Germany, Italy, USSR, Poland and Spain, sent to LIDDELL HART by Sir Christopher (Llewellyn) Bullock, permanent secretary, Air Ministry, covering administrative organisation, co-ordination with land and sea forces, new aircraft and equipment, growth of aircraft industries, national air policies and pilot training facilities. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/126

1936 Mar

Memorandum by Gp Capt Lachlan L Maclean, RAF Station, Northolt on air combat and points raised by the Air Fighting Committee, particularly factors affecting air gunnery, speed of aircraft, firing ranges of fighter and bomber planes, firing skills of gunners, density of fire, striking energy of bullets and accuracy of fire in combat, including Maclean's criticism of the Committee's policy on development of gunnery and proposals for improvements. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/127


Memorandum by Gp Capt Lachlan L Maclean, Senior Air Staff Officer, No 3 (Bomber) Group, 14 Jun 1937, entitled 'Some consideration of the problem of bombing at high speed', with particular reference to identifying, aiming and bombing targets. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/128


Copy of secret report by Gp Capt Lachlan L Maclean, Senior Air Staff Officer, No 3 (Bomber) Group to Air Cdre Arthur A B Thomson, Air Officer Commanding, No 3 (Bomber) Group, 11 Oct 1938, on mobilisation operations of the Group in Sep 1938, including deficiencies and unpreparedness, lack of aircraft, unsuitability of equipment, inadequately trained or experienced pilots and gunners, insufficient security of air bases and defective organisation notably in links with the engineering works services. With letter and memorandum, dated 11 Nov 1938, from Maclean to LIDDELL HART, repeating criticisms of RAF. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/129


Copy of letter from Gp Capt Lachlan L Maclean to Air Cdre Arthur A B Thomson, Air Officer Commanding, No 3 (Bomber) Group, Mildenhall, 17 Nov 1938, submitting his application to retire and stating his reasons, including the unpreparedness of the RAF in event of war in Europe, inadequate training provisions in the air force, absence of plans for improvement and rejection of proposals to reform the organisation of bomber squadrons. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/130-135 Papers on air force policy in the British Empire, 1921-1938

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/130


Papers relating to policing of the British empire by air operations, comprising letters from Sir Christopher (Llewellyn) Bullock, permanent secretary at the Air Ministry, memoranda, notes, statistics, and extracts of official accounts and reports, particularly on operations in North West Frontier Province of India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Aden, Sudan and British East Africa; justification of use of air forces for tribal control; views on ethical aspects of RAF bombing villages of tribes; development and expansion of the RAF resulting from imperial operations, notably new aircraft, tactics, weapons and ammunition. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/131


'Despatch on the disturbances on the North West Frontier of India from 23 April to 12 September 1930' by FM Sir William Riddell Birdwood, Commander in Chief in India, drawn up by the Air Officer Commanding in India and the Chief of the General Staff, covering land and air operations against Mohmands, Afridis, Utman Khel, Mahsuds, Massozai (Orakzais), Chamkannis and Afghan tribesmen, including summary of air operations with total number of attacks, airplanes employed, types, weights and number of bombs dropped and hours flown. 1 booklet

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/132


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to control of the British empire by air operations, particularly RAF bombing and machine-gunning of insurgent armies and villages in the North West Frontier Province of India and in Iraq, including article 'To bomb or not to bomb' by A G Lias and article on ethical aspects of air control by LIDDELL HART in The Spectator, 21 Jun and 2 Aug 1930. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/133


Text of lecture 'The work of the Royal Air Force at Aden' by Sqn Leader the Hon Ralph Alexander Cochrane, delivered 12 Nov 1930, and following discussion, reprinted from the Royal United Services Institution Journal, Feb 1931, covering history of the protectorate up to World War One, operations against the Imam, 1928, peacetime operations of the RAF between 1929 and 1930 and including picture of an RAF attack on Dala Fort. 1 booklet

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/134


'Air operations on the North West Frontier, 1930' by Air Cdre Henry Le Marchant Brock, reprinted from the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society Vol 19, Jan 1932, covering bombing operations against villages of Mohmands, Utman Khel, Afridis, Wazirs, Mahsuds, Massozais (Orakzais) and Chamkannis, and highlighting the effectiveness of air power. 1 booklet

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/135


Text of lecture 'Air control' by the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff to the Officers of the Northern Command, India, Dec 1934, on use of air operations in border incursions, control of administered and unadministered territory and punitive missions; facilities required for effective air power including secure air bases, accurate topographical information and good intelligence services; principles of air control including evacuation of villages before bombing, minimum loss of life and property and constant propaganda; ethical justification of air control. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/136-144 Papers on anti-aircraft defence, 1926-1939

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/136


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to air exercises by the RAF Home Defence Force and Coastal Area units mainly over London, Cranwell in Lincolnshire, the south east coast of England and the North Sea Scottish coast, particularly mock air raids on London; night time operation; joint exercises by the RAF and Home Fleet; weather, ground observation and bomber and fighter planes; problems of defence against air raids; effect of air power on overall defence policy. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/137


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to anti-aircraft defences, particularly development of anti-aircraft guns; coastal searchlights notably in Portsmouth and Southampton area; significance of British weather patterns; air defence training and exercises; London's defences against air raids; development of anti-aircraft units of the Territorial Army. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/138


Newspaper cuttings relating to government provisions and plans, including Home Office instructions to local authorities for air raid precautions in event of war, particularly public shelters; warning signals in air raids; evacuation schemes; air raid precaution measures, equipment and regulations; recruitment, notably women volunteers, including air raid wardens, first-aiders, decontamination squads and auxiliary firemen; casualty clearing stations and accommodation in hospitals; road and rail transport during air raids; lighting restrictions; issue of gas masks or respirators. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/139


Papers relating to anti-aircraft defences, comprising memoranda on role of Territorial Army anti-aircraft engineers in London, author not known, 29 May 1933; conversion of Territorial Army field units into anti-aircraft units, by Lt Gen Sir Charles Bonham-Carter, Director General of Territorial Army, 29 May 1935; increase in recruitment to anti-aircraft units by adoption of local training schemes, the 'village green method', by Maj Gen Reginald Harry Dalrymple Tompson, commander of 1 Anti-Aircraft Div, Territorial Army, 17 Oct 1936; shortage of guns and equipment for defence of London, author not known, Dec 1937; training problems caused by shortage of guns and instruments, by Maj Richard Barrow, instructor in gunnery, 1 Anti-Aircraft Div, Sep-Oct 1938. With notes for spectators on 1 Anti-Aircraft group exercise at Littlehampton, Sep 1936. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/140


Papers relating to anti-aircraft defences particularly equipment, recruits and training, comprising letters, notably from the War Office, on the air defence training exercise held in the Portsmouth and Southampton area in Aug 1935; statistics on manpower and anti-aircraft guns in the 1930s; information leaflet [1939] concerning recruiting requirements, conditions of service, training and work of 26 Anti-Aircraft Bn, Royal Engineers (London Electrical Engineers), Territorial Army. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/141


Papers relating to air raid protection, comprising translation of a pamphlet issued at St Germain-en-Laye, France, on precautions against and during air attacks, [1936-1939], and notes from speech in the House of Commons by Rt Hon Sir Samuel John Gurney Hoare, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, on current provisions for air raids, 2 Jun 1938. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/142


Paper issued by National Peace Council, 3 Dec 1937, on the bill on air raid precautions, Nov 1937, including assertion that it promotes an 'offensive' war strategy, endangers civil liberties and contains inequitable protection and burdens for richer and poorer households and districts; technical criticisms of the scheme for gas protection, shelters and evacuation; recommendations for local opposition to the bill. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/143


Newspaper cuttings relating to provisions for air defence, mainly of London, by balloon barrage, particularly explanation of the balloon barrage method; recruitment for balloon squadrons; training exercises over London in 1938 and 1939; views on utility and effectiveness in deterring enemy bombers. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/144


Memoranda, dated 1937-1938, by Maj Gen Frederick Alfred Pile, commander of 1 Anti-Aircraft Div, Territorial Army, on anti-aircraft defences, including provisions for London; scheme for air defence of Britain; training achievements and requirements of 1 Anti-Aircraft Div; employment of Regular Army units in the Territorial Army anti-aircraft units; defences against low flying attacks. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/145-150 Papers dated 1913-1939 on the Royal Navy, including role in imperial defence, modernisation, anti-aircraft defences, Fleet Air Arm and merchant navy, 1900-1939

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/145


Royal United Services Institution gold medal naval prize essay, 1912, 'What is the influence of overseas commerce on the operations of war? How did it affect our naval policy in the past, and how does it in the present day?' by Cdr Kenneth Dewar (J J Keliher and Co Ltd, London, 1913). 1 booklet

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/146


Papers relating to the Fleet Air Arm, comprising newspaper cuttings on condition and expansion; views, 1935-1937 on dual control by the Air Ministry (administrative) and Admiralty (operational); transfer of control to the Admiralty in 1937. With notes on Rt Hon Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill's support for two separate air services, and pamphlet 'Unity or duality in the air?' by Brig Gen Percy Robert Clifford Groves (1936). 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/147


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles on British imperial naval defence, particularly naval requirements for security of the empire; new naval base at Singapore, 1938; strategy in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and Mediterranean sea; measures for protection of food, raw materials and oil fuel trade routes; acceleration of the naval building programme. Including text of lecture 'Trade defence in war' by V Adm Sir Richard Webb, 22 Oct 1924, and following discussion, and 'Command of the sea' by H Rosinski, reprinted from Brassey's Naval Annual (1939). 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/148


Newspaper cuttings and journal articles relating to the Royal Navy, particularly modernisation and expansion; building programme for destroyers, submarines, torpedo boats, battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers and escort vessels; strengthening of the Fleet Air Arm and transfer of control to the Admiralty in 1937; pay and conditions for officers; training; British naval position and strategy in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Baltic, south-east Asia and Pacific; naval expenditure estimates notably for 1939; mobilisation of the fleet in 1938; mutiny of the Atlantic Fleet at Invergordon, Scotland, in 1931, over by pay-cuts and living conditions. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/149


Newspaper cuttings relating to the merchant navy, particularly decline in ships built in 1938; insufficient state subsidy; decline in the share of British shipping in international seaborne trade; competition from foreign mercantile marines and the rise in shipbuilding costs; role of empire shipping in defence of Britain and measures for protection of merchant navy convoys in event of war. With article 'The shipping crisis, decline in tons and men' by Sir Archibald Hurd, in The Nineteenth Century, Jun 1938. 1 file

LIDDELL HART: 15/3/150


Papers relating to the Royal Navy, including statistics on naval strength, 1914-1939; notes on naval gunnery in the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905, and World War One, 1914-1918; printed booklet 'Report of the Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence on the vulnerability of capital ships to air attack', 30 Jul 1936, being a summary of conclusions in the full secret report. 1 file


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