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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB 0099 KCLMA Pitt B
PITT, Barrie William Edward (1918-2006)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
16 boxes or 0.16 cubic metres


Name of creator(s)

PITT, Barrie William Edward (1918-2006), author and editor of military histories

Administrative / Biographical history

Born, 1918; educated, Portsmouth Southern Grammar School; bank clerk, 1935; served in Army, Second World War; surveyor, 1946; began writing, 1954; Information Officer, Atomic Energy Authority, 1961; Historical Consultant to the BBC series 'The Great War', 1963; editor, Purnell's History of the Second World War, 1964; editor in chief, Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War Two, 1967; editor in chief, Ballantine's Illustrated History of the Violent Century, 1971; editor, Purnell's History of the First World War, 1969; editor, British History Illustrated, 1974-1978; consultant editor, The Military History of World War Two, 1986; died, 2006.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the centre by Barrie Pitt, 1994.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of Barrie Pitt relating to military history, 1940-1991, including draft of book Special Boat Squadron by Pitt, annotated with corrections; draft of book Crucible of War: Western Desert 1941 by Pitt, annotated with corrections; transcripts of radio and television broadcasts on the First and Second World Wars including transcripts of the BBC 1 series 'Grand Strategy' on the Second World War, 1972; scripts and other papers relating to the BBC TV series, 'The Great War', 1964 and transcripts of 'European Service: General News Talk' 26 Jun 1964-20 Aug 1964; correspondence chiefly on the subject of historical research; photographs of Malta during the Second World War; copy photographs used by Pitt to illustrate his books and articles, chiefly photographs of the North African Campaign, to illustrate Pitt's book Crucible of War: Western Desert, 1941, also photographs of Adolf Hitler, Albrecht Kesselring; Sicily, 1943 and aerial warfare, Malta, 1940-1943; papers used for research including press cuttings, magazines and magazine cuttings, offprints of articles and correspondence notably on the subject of Europe 1900-1914 and the Middle East; papers relating to Basil Liddell Hart including photographs, draft articles by Liddell Hart, copies of Liddell Hart's correspondence and press cuttings; draft papers by Eric Dorman O'Gowen and related correspondence and copies of British History Illustrated.

System of arrangement

Original order

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archives and Information Management, King's College London.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Box list available online and in hard copy in the reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London

Description control

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Who's Who

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Jun 2008, updated 2016

Box List(s)

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This catalogue may contain links to external data sources as part of the W3C Semantic Web initiative.


  • Aerial operations
  • Broadcasting
  • History
  • International conflicts
  • International conflicts
  • Military history
  • War
  • War
  • World War One (1914-1918)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • HART, Sir Basil Henry Liddell, Knight, Captain, Military Historian x Liddell Hart (1895-1970)
  • HITLER, Adolf, Chancellor of Germany (1889-1945)
  • KESSELRING, Albert, German Field Marshal (1885-1960)
  • O'GOWAN, Eric Edward, Major General x Smith, Dorman- x Dorman-Smith (1895-1969)
  • PITT, Barrie William Edward (1918-2006)

Corporate names

  • BBC
  • British Broadcasting Corporation


  • Europe
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Sicily
  • UK
  • Western Desert
  • Western Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Western Europe
  • World

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