Second World War - Despatches
The Society has transcribed several World War Two Official Despatches to inform our understanding of the circumstances facing our casualties overseas and at sea. These documents are less immediate and detailed than War Diaries. However, the "100-year rule" prevents the publication of War Diaries until 100 years after the dates they relate to.
Publication of Official Despatches for WW2 were frequently delayed many weeks and months after the dates they cover. This may have been the result of a desire not to give succour or comfort to the enemy or despondency at home.
|Written||Theatre||Comments (primary focus)|
|Supplement to the London Gazette published on Friday, the 10th of OCTOBER, 1941. [No. 35305]|
|25th April, 1940||Europe||First Despatch. Covering the period from 3rd September, 1939, to 31st January, 1940.|
|25th July 1940||Europe||Second Despatch. Covering the period from 1st February, 1940, to 31st May, 1940.
* Operations - Phase 1 (10th-16th May 1940);
* Operations - Phase 2 (17th-26th May 1940);
* Operations - Phase 3 (26th-31st May 1940);
* Some Lessons of the Campaign.
|Appendix to Second Despatch covering operations of 1st Corps from 6 p.m. 31st May, to midnight 2nd/3rd June.|
|Supplement to the London Gazette published on Wednesday, the 22nd of MAY, 1946. [No. 37573]|
|22nd June 1940||Europe||Covering the period 12th June to 19th June, 1940 - how the decision was reached to withdraw British Forces from France in face of overwhelming German forces and disintegrating French formations. The main focus was on Cherbourg.
Also Summary of BEF from 1st to 18th June, 1940 [Appendix B - written 20th June]
|Supplement to the London Gazette published on Monday, 24th MAY, 1948. [No. 38296]|
|4th August 1941||Mediterranean||The Battle of Crete. Naval evacuation under sustained German attack.
Also a Despatch of 14th September 1941 covering the details of the evacuation of Crete.
|Supplement to the London Gazette published on Wednesday, the 11th of SEPTEMBER, 1946. [No. 38404] [PDF]|
|11th September 1946||Europe||PDF FILE. Not Transcribed but interesting. Covering the period of The Battle Of Britain. (Air Ministry) - 25th November 1940 to 31st December 1941.|
|Supplement to the London Gazette published on Tuesday, the 5th November 1946. [No. 37779]|
|7th June 1943||North Africa||Operation in North West Africa from 8th November 1942 to 13th May 1943 (War Office)|
|Supplement to The London Gazette published on Thursday, 15 January, 1948 [No. 38177]|
|27th January 1943||Middle East||Operations in the Middle East from 1st November 1941 to 15th August 1942. (No.38177, War Office)|
|Supplement to The London Gazette published on Thursday, 5th February, 1948. [No. 38196]|
|23rd May 1947||Middle East||The African Campaign from El Alamein to Tunis, from 10th August, 1942 to 13th May, 1943. (The War Office)|
|Supplement to the London Gazette published on Thursday, 16th SEPTEMBER, 1948. [No.38404]|
|29th February 1948||Home||Air Operations by Fighter Command from 25th November 1940 to 31st December 1941.|