BERNAL, Professor John Desmond (1901-1971)

Scope and Content

Account of his work as Scientific Adviser, Combined Operations, in relation to D-Day, covering the period 5-8 June 1944.

No date. Covers events in 1944.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in 1907; educated at Stonyhurst College, Bedford School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge; research at Davy Faraday Laboratory, 1923-1927; lecturer and later Assistant Director of Research in Crystallography at Cambridge University, 1934-1937; Professor of Physics, 1937-1963; Professor of Crystallography, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1963-1968; Emeritus Professor, 1968-1971; died in 1971. Publications: The world, the flesh, and the devil (Kegan Paul and Co, London, 1929); The social function of science (G Routledge and Sons, London, 1939); The freedom of necessity (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1949); The physical basis of life (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1951); Marx and science (Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1952); Science and industry in the nineteenth century (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1953); Science in history (Watts and Co, London, 1954); World Without War (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958); A prospect of peace (Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1960); The extension of man: a history of physics before 1900 (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1972).


single item

Access Information

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Centre in 1994 by Dr Brenda Swann.

Other Finding Aids

Summary Guide entry available on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Separated Material

Cambridge University Library holds a substantial collection of Bernal's papers (Ref: Add 8287) and his correspondence relating to the Organisation for Intellectual Liberty (Ref: Add 9369/B1-3). The papers of William Thomas Astbury at the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Brotherton Library, Leeds University, include correspondence with Bernal, 1941-1954. The Department of Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, holds correspondence with Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin (Ref: NCUACS 47/3/94) and correspondence relating to the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, 1936-1967. Papers relating to the World Peace Council are held by the British Library of Political and Economic Science, London University (Ref: BERNAL, COLL MISC 537). The Marx Memorial Library holds the J D Bernal Peace Collection of books.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Related Material

Papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart contain correspondence with Bernal, 1937-1940 (Ref: GB 99 KCLMA Liddell Hart 1/65).