The Naval Historical Branch provides historical perspectives on current issues for Naval Staff, the Ministry of Defence and Central Government.
The Admiralty Library collection has been built up over the last two hundred years. It contains at least 160,000 volumes and is possibly the best collection of naval books in the country.
The archive dates back to the founding of the Historical Section by Winston Churchill in 1914. The official repository for the Royal Navy’s Corporate Memory (including Royal Marine and RFA papers), it is made up of around 120,000 records.
The records held in the collection include the Second World War Admiralty War Diaries.
The diaries for 1939 can be accessed in a digital format below. The accompanying essay by historian Dr Edward Hampshire of the Naval Historical Branch outlines further reading that will help people continue to explore the issues, actions and debates recorded in the War Diary.
We are presently working to publish all other diaries
and these will be available as soon as possible.
>> Scroll below to explore <<
Essay by Dr Edward Hampshire of the Naval Historic Branch.
The diary format was introduced and instructed to be used by all senior personnel to preserve the history and events of World War Two.
A warning telegram for war went out and relationships with Germany and Italy are strained; Germany was in a state of war with Poland.
The arrangement of the diary changed and restructured to now include detailed information of home commands, foreign station updates and shipping losses.
245 page entry gives the extensive impact of World War Two – providing detailed information on enemy intelligence, submarine activity and weather in all regions.
Further details are now provided in the diary, from coast watchers, economic warfare to tracking of suspicious vessels.
Jordan/Lebanon – 1958, Kuwait - 1961
This volume includes histories of two separate crises in the Middle East: the first in 1958 across the whole region as well as north Africa, and the second in 1961 as a result of an Iraqi threat on the sovereignty of the recently independent Gulf state of Kuwait.
1939 - 1945
History of the second world war.
1950 - 1953
The Korean War, fought between South Korean forces and their Allies on one side and Communist North Korean and Chinese forces on the other, was the first serious conflict of the Cold War. In its early stages the United States and its allies feared that it might herald the start of a new World War between communist and capitalist states. Described in many accounts of the Cold War as a ‘limited war’, it was only really ‘limited’ in the sense that no nuclear weapons were used, and it did not spread beyond Korea and its coastal waters. The fighting itself was often brutal and bloody, and included substantial naval forces from the very start of the conflict to the final ceasefire in 1953.