The Somerville Papers

Sir James Somerville (1882-1949) was one of the great influences on the 20th-century navy, both as a commander of fleets and a pioneer of radio and radar. The Admiral’s extensive correspondence, diaries and reports are deposited in the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge.

These edited selections reveal much of the background about major naval operations in the Second World War. The loneliness of high command is clearly revealed in these highly personal documents, almost 500 of which are reproduced in the book. In particular they show Somerville’s frequent disagreements with Churchill – a feature common to all senior British commanders during the war.

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About Michael Simpson

Michael Simpson was educated at Cambridge, Ohio State and Glasgow Universities and was lecturer
in History and American Studies at Swansea University since 1966. He was General Editor for the
Navy Records Society between 1994 and 2000.
His publications include

People and Planning: A History of the Ohio Planning Conference, 1919-1969 (1969)

Anglo-American Naval Relations 1917-1919 (Navy Records Society, 1991).

The Somerville Papers (Navy Records Society, 1995).

The Cunningham Papers 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1999 and 2006).

Cunningham: A Life of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham (Ashgate, 2004).

Anglo-American Naval Relations 1919-1939 (Navy Records Society, 2010).

Anglo-American-Canadian Naval Relations, 1943-1945 (Navy Records Society, 2021)