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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA MF 866-869
Title
US NAVAL OPERATIONS IN EUROPE, THE MEDITERRANEAN, AND THE MIDDLE EAST, 1940- 1955
Date(s)
1940-1955
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
4 reels

Context

Name of creator(s)

Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy; Commander, [US] Naval Forces in Europe (COMNAVEU); Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM); Adm Harold Raynsford Stark, Commander, [US] Naval Forces in Europe (COMNAVEU).

Administrative / Biographical history

This collection includes microfilmed documents acquired by Peter Nash, a post-graduate student in the Department of War Studies, King's College London, from the Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, concerning US naval operations in Europe and the Mediterranean, 1940-1955. During World War Two, an effective US naval establishment in Europe was achieved by gradually combining pre-war naval attaché duties within those of the newly-developed Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe. In 1941, the US Navy created the Support Force of the Atlantic Fleet, which was to operate over the Northwest convoy route to Britain. With the ABC-1 Plan, Jan-Mar 1941, American, British, and Canadian representatives agreed that if the US entered the war a joint strategy would be pursued in which Germany would be the prime target. The Plan also provided for a US Northwest Escort Group and for US submarines for Gibraltar. Anglo-American naval strategy unified further still with the Navy Basic War Plan, or Rainbow 5. This plan envisaged the US working closely with Britain to effect the decisive defeat of Germany and Italy, while a defensive strategy would be maintained in the Pacific until success against the European Axis powers had been assured. Advanced by US Rear Adm Kelly Turner, the plan also formulated the Atlantic-first argument and thus ensured a close US co-ordination with Britain. In addition, Rainbow 5 gave detailed directions for the deployment of US forces to their respective military stations if the US entered the war against Germany. Gradually, a series of Special [US] Naval Officers were posted throughout Britain to liase with British naval officers on matters of naval co-operation and security. Throughout 1942, Anglo- American discussions decided the policy control and command structure for the Allied powers in the common struggle against Germany. The Combined Chiefs of Staff would be established in Washington, DC, to determine grand strategy, and high ranking officers would represent the US whilst stationed in London. On 17 Mar 1942, Adm Harold Raynsford Stark was detached as the Chief of Naval Operations and assigned as Commander, [US] Naval Forces in Europe (COMNAVEU). As Chief of Naval Operations since 1939, he had taken the initiative in bringing about the military staff conversations between the US and British Chiefs of Staff in 1941 and was therefore considered by Adm Ernest King, Commander in Chief, US Fleet (later Commander in Chief, Atlantic Command), the most logical choice for liaison duties in Britain. His diary details the establishment of a strong Anglo- American naval working relationship. When the war in Europe ended in May 1945 there was a massive reduction of US naval forces in Britain. There was however, a wide dispersal of US occupation and naval forces to Germany, Italy, the south of France, and other former Axis territories. US Naval Forces in Europe, and later US Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, exercised administrative and operational command over all US naval forces in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatre and was responsible for US task forces, logistics support, and naval supporting operations in this theatre, 1940-1959. US Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, was established as a command under the US Joint Chiefs of Staff on 30 Oct 1947 and gradually assumed many of the duties previously assigned to COMNAVEU, but with an expanded range. Duties included the conduct of naval operations in the Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Middle East, the support of US occupation forces in this theatre of operations, the support of US policy in these theatres, and the planning of naval and air missions in the event of a general emergency in this theatre. In February 1960, CINCNELM was dissolved and the present command of Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe, (CINCUSNAVEUR) was established.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, via Peter Nash.

Content & structure

Scope and content

This microfilm collection contains copied official documents relating to US naval operations and administration in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, 1940-1955. Many of the microfilmed documents were official reports sent to the Historical Section, US Navy, in 1971, for the purposes of compiling an official history. The collection includes US Navy command papers relating to the planning for naval co-operation between the United States and Great Britain, 1940-Dec 1941; microfilmed copies of Adm Harold Raynsford Stark's typescript diaries during his command of COMNAVEU, including passages relating to the establishment of a combined naval command with Britain 29 Apr 1942-31 May 1944; microfilmed copies of draft chapters of an administrative history of US naval forces in Europe, including an official narrative of US Naval Forces in Europe, 1 Sep 1945-1 Oct 1946, compiled by the Commander, US Naval Forces Europe; an official draft of an administrative history of US naval forces in Europe, Aug 1945-Mar 1947, compiled by the Commander, US Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean; quarterly summaries of US Navy operations issued by the Commander, US Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1 Apr 1947-31 Mar 1949; chapters submitted by the Commander, US Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, to the Director of Naval History, US Navy, relating to the transition of US naval forces to a post-war status and the reduction of US forces in the region; microfilmed copies of official reports sent by the Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM), to the Chief of Naval Operations, relating to operations, communications, logistics, personnel, and condition of command of Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM), 30 Oct 1947-1 Jul 1955.

System of arrangement

Arranged in sections according to subject matter and chronologically therein.

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. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, 901 M Street SE, Washington, DC, 20374-5060.

Language/scripts of material

English

Finding aids

This Summary Guide, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC

Related units of description

The Liddell Hart Centre for military Archives also holds microfiche copies of documents relating to Operations of the US Navy in Europe, 1941-1946 (Ref: GB KCLMA MFF 17).

Notes

Note

Compiled Oct 1999

Description control

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.

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Subjects

  • Armed forces
  • Diaries
  • Documents
  • East West relations
  • History
  • Information sources
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Maritime warfare
  • Military engineering
  • Military history
  • Military operations
  • Military organizations
  • Nonfiction
  • Organizations
  • Primary documents
  • Prose
  • Seas
  • State security
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Stark, Harold Raynsford, 1880-1972, US Admiral

Corporate names

  • RN, Royal Navy
  • US Navy

Places

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Mediterranean Sea, Seas
  • Middle East
  • Oceans
  • Western Europe

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