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Philp (William R.) collection
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: William Russell Philp collection
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1952
    Collection Number: 68007
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English and German
    Physical Description: 8 manuscript boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders, 3 folios (11.3 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.
    source: Philp, William Russell, 1892-1970
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Boxes 10-13 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1968.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Russell Philp collection, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    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
    1944-1945 Served with V Corps Headquarters through end of World War II.
    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.
    1952 August 31 Retired
    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.
    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

    World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany
    Germany -- History -- 1933-1945
    National socialism
    Reconstruction (1939-1951) -- Germany
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns
    Germany. Heer
    Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei
    Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
    Philp, William Russell, 1892-1970