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Anthony Noble Frankland CB, CBE, DFC, (born 4 July 1922, Westmorland), is a British historian and a former Director General of the Imperial War Museum.[1][2]

Anthony Noble Frankland
Born (1922-07-04) 4 July 1922 (age 96)
Westmorland, England
Alma materTrinity College, Oxford



Frankland attended Trinity College, Oxford from March 1941 to May 1942, and then from October 1945 to November 1947.[citation needed]

World War II serviceEdit

He served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1941 to 1945, as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. He left the RAF in 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.[3] Subsequently awarded Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur for his involvement in the liberation of France in 1944.

Post-war careerEdit

From 1948 until 1951 he worked at the Air Historical Branch of the Air Ministry, and received his DPhil from Oxford in April 1951. He was an Official Military Historian to the Cabinet Office between 1951 and 1958. During this time he and his co-author Sir Charles Webster wrote a four volume official history of the RAF's strategic air offensive against Germany. This was part of the official History of the Second World War series. In 1963, he was invited to give the Lees Knowle Lecture and lectured on The Strategic Air Offensive.

From 1960 to 1982 he was Director of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) and transformed it from a failing institution into one of the world's leading historical centres for the study of the conflicts of the 20th century. During 1971–74, he was historical advisor to the Thames Television series The World at War (as well as being interviewed for the series) and completed several books on historical subjects.[1][4][5]


  • Documents on International Affairs, 1956. (assisted by Vera King 1960?)
  • The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany. 4 volumes. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1961. official British history and co-authored with Sir Charles Webster.
  • The Bombing Offensive Against Germany: Outlines and Perspectives (1965)
  • Aspects of War (Imperial War Museum. (1969) ASIN B001BMRATA
  • Bomber Offensive: the Devastation of Europe (1970)
  • The Politics and Strategy of the Second World War (joint editor, 8 vols. 1974–78)
  • Encyclopedia of 20th Century Warfare (general editor, 1989)
  • Nicholas II: Crown of Tragedy (1960)
  • Bomber Offensive: The Devastation of Europe (Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II. Campaign Book no. 7, 1970)
  • Decisive Battles of the Twentieth Century (editor with Christopher Dowling 1976)
  • Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1980)
  • Witness of a Century: the Life and Times of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1850–1942) (1993).
  • History at War: The Campaigns of a Historian (pbk 1998)
  • The Unseen War (novel) Book Guild Ltd (2007)
  • Fighting Naked on the Beaches (novel) Book Guild (2007)

Other worksEdit

  • Noble Frankland (1981). Preface to The Imperial War Museum Duxford Handbook
  • Noble Frankland (1981). Introduction to A Concise Catalogue of Paintings drawings and Sculpture of the first World War 1914–1918, Second Edition