Representing the final campaign volume of the United States Army in World War II series published by the U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) (formerly the Office of the Chief of Military History), this work is based primarily on the official records of U.S. Army units and commands. These sources contain monthly operational reports submitted by each headquarters, from army through regiment and separate battalion, and retired unit records, including journals, message and correspondence files, planning documents and operational orders, maps and overlays, and special reports, studies, and similar memoranda, the volume of which is roughly proportional to the size of the concerned headquarters. Also of vital interest are the personal papers and diaries of leading participants, as well as special after action interview reports done by Army historians in the field and a wide variety of semiofficial unit histories whose distribution has been extremely limited. Most combat records are on file at the National Archives under the numerical military designation of the retiring unit, and citations to such material have been made only when specific reference to them occurs within the text.
Over the years the official records of the U.S. Army during World War II have migrated to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and are currently housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and at the Washington National Records Center in nearby Suitland, Maryland. Under the direct control of the Military Field Branch and the Military Reference Branch, both sections of NARA's Military Archives Division, these records can be found in a few key "record groups" (RG). Most combat unit records are located in RG 338 ("U.S. Army Commands"--records retired by units) or RG 407 ("Unit Records"--required reports such as monthly operational, or after action, reports). Material relating to both the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ is contained in RG 331 ("Allied Operations Headquarters"), while RG 165 ("War Department General and Special Staffs") includes significant message traffic between Washington agencies and the overseas commands.
Naval records cited in the text are still under the control of the Department
of the Navy and managed by the Operational Archives section of the Naval Historical Center. Other official records, or at least copies of them, can also be found at CMH, or at the archives maintained by the U.S. Army's Military History Institute (MHI) at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; the Marshall Library in Lexington, Virginia; the Devers Collection in York, Pennsylvania; and the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas. Records used by the authors from these institutions have been noted in the text citations.
Personal papers and related material of Generals Marshall, Eisenhower, and Devers are held by the institutions noted above. Other papers of participants can also be found at MHI together with a number of transcribed interviews that have proved useful. In addition, large collections of unit histories, of widely varying length and quality, exist at MHI, CMH, and other military libraries. For this volume the most important studies of this nature are the three-volume Seventh Army Report of Operations, prepared by Army historians in Europe using primary documents; the History of the Headquarters Sixth Army Group, a short narrative with many documents appended; and the three-volume "diary" of General Patch, actually an official journal prepared by the Seventh Army staff. Copies of all three works are located at CMH. Also at CMH are a number of supporting files for this project, including smaller monographs, interviews, and other material prepared or gathered by CMH historians. A final but invaluable document extensively used is the three-volume diary kept by General Devers, one copy of which is currently located at CMH and another at the Devers Collection in York. Upon completion of this volume, most of the supporting material at CMH will be retired and the Center's copy of the "Devers Diary" will be transferred to MHI.
The account of German operations in this volume is based primarily on monographs prepared within CMH by Charles V. P. von Luttichau and several other German-language historians, as cited in the text. These authors, in turn, based their studies on official German records captured or seized during the war and on a series of postwar manuscripts written by former German commanders under the auspices of the U.S. Army. Copies of the monographs prepared by Mr. von Luttichau and his colleagues are available at CMH and MHI. The official German war records have been returned to Germany, but microfilm copies are held at NARA and are available to researchers. Also on file at NARA are the German-authored manuscripts, numbering over two thousand studies, cataloged and indexed in the Guide to Foreign Military Studies, 1945-54, and under the supervision of the Military Reference Branch.
ULTRA documents, including the raw transcripts of decoded and translated German message traffic during World War II, are located in the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Documents Collection in RG 457 ("National Security Agency/Central Security Service")
at NARA. Copies of the intercepts and associated studies are also available at MHI, where their significance can be further clarified by Col. Donald S. Bussey, the former Seventh Army ULTRA officer who retired to the Carlisle area.
French records include a nearly complete collection of daily journals, situation reports, and operations orders for all French divisions, corps, and higher headquarters for the campaigns in Tunisia, Italy, France, and Germany. These documents, together with large numbers of French Army plans, reports, and other special studies were microfilmed by CMH historians in 1948 and later supplemented by additional records and information supplied by the Service Historique de l'Armee. The microfilm has now been retired and is in the custody of NARA's Military Reference Branch in RG 319 ("Army Staff").
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