ALBANIA Basic Handbook. Box 99, Western Central District Office, New Oxford Street, W.C.1, August 1943 to January 1944.
Five parts within printed card wrappers in Navy shoestring-bound original cloth folder with lettering on front cover; highly illustrated with folding maps, charts and diagrams; near-fine.
This extremely rare top secret publication gives in its first part information on Albania 'pre-invasion', and outlines the country 'post-invasion' (issued in August 1943) in the second part. The third part is the Map Section, which is followed by two supplements, the last of which with the sub-title Political and Local Directory. All we were able to find out about this perfectly disguised publisher is that they used the same street address as for the Who's Who in Nazi Germany. In June 1940, the newly created British Special Operations Executive (SOE) was given the task of encouraging resistance movements in Italian-occupied areas. Albania was of foremost interest because of its geostrategic position and large, sometimes militant, resistance against the Italian occupants. One of the most eminent local resistance leaders and SOE allies was Major Abaz Kupi. The autobiography of Julian Amery, an operative on the Balkans and in Albania (Approach March, 1973) might shed more light on these operations which led to the liberation of Albania.
COPAC locates five parts at LSE, four parts in the British Library, and three parts only at Oxford.