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Inventory of the William Russell Philp collection
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: William Russell Philp collection
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1952
    Collection Number: 68007
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of the Material: English and German
    Physical Description: 8 manuscript boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 3 folios (11.1 linear feet)
    Abstract: The William Russell Philp collection consists of intelligence reports, interrogation reports, maps, and photographs relating to Adolf Hitler, the German military structure, national socialism, various aspects of German society during and immediately after World War II, various military campaigns of World War II (particularly preparation for the invasion of Normandy), denazification, and post-war reconstruction in Germany.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Collector: Philp, William Russell, 1892-1970


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Russell Philp collection, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1968.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    1892 August 24 Born, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    1916 Graduated, University of Nebraska
    1916-1917 Served on the Mexican border
    1917 Commissioned Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery, Regular Army
    1917-1919 Served in France during World War I with the 17th Field Artillery, Second U.S. Infantry Division
    1919-1942 Served in various commissioned grades at various stations, including three years in Hawaii
    1942 Appointed Colonel, U.S. Army
    1943 Reported to U.S. Headquarters, London
    1944 Assigned as Assistant Corps Artillery Officer, V Corps. Helped plan artillery support for D-Day landings on Omaha Beach, Normandy, and landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day with the V Corps.
    1944-1945 Served with V Corps Headquarters through end of World War II.
    1945-1952 Assigned to organize and command the European Command Intelligence Service Center at Oberursel, Germany. Completed two assignments for duty with the CIA and two with Army Intelligence.
    1952 August 31 Retired
    1970 January 9 Died, San Francisco, California
    Colonel William Russell Philp was a career military officer, serving in the first and second world wars. Philp was largely responsible for recreating the counter-intelligence corps of the West German government after World War II. Awarded decorations include the U.S. Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal, French Legion of Honor, French Croix de Guerre with bronze star of World War I and Croix de Guerre with palm of World War II, Knights of Malta Cross of Merit, Knights of St. John Cross of Merit, and eight U.S. Campaign medals.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William Russell Philp collection includes a variety of materials, largely produced by the U.S. Army, that depict German society before, during, and immediately after World War II. Collection inlcudes interrogation reports produced by the Military Intelligence Service Center which document the July 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life. Additionally, there are reports on World War II military operations and post-war life in Germany, that cover such topics as denazification efforts, refugees, and prisoners of war. Related to the latter are two volumes of signatures and photographs of German individuals held in Allied custody for trial at Nuremberg.
    The collection also contains a significant amount of material related to Philp’s involvement with planning the landings at Normandy, including aerial reconnaissance photos and an original annotated waterproof map of Normandy beaches showing the invasion strategy, as well as other maps and landing diagrams.
    Also of note are albums depicting Hitler’s visit to Italy in May of 1938 and Joachim von Ribbentrop’s 1939 trip to Moscow that resulted in the signing of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact, as well as copies of Hitler’s marriage license and private and political testaments and photographs of Eva Braun and others at Hitler’s mountain retreat.
    The original order, numbering, and naming of the items in the collection has been maintained.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Germany. Heer.
    Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
    Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei.
    National socialism.
    Reconstruction (1939-1951)--Germany.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns.
    World War, 1939-1945--Germany.
    World War, 1939-1945.