Morocco
Morocco
Morocco

NAVAL INTELLIGENCE DIVISION. Morocco.

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the director's own copy.

NAVAL INTELLIGENCE DIVISION. Morocco. [Various printers for H.M. Stationery Office], December 1941 [vol. II October 1942].

Two volumes. Original red cloth, spines and front covers lettered in gilt; pp. viii, 292; xi, 346, highly illustrated with plates, maps and plans, four large maps in rear pockets, cloth a little marked, rear endpapers with light spotting; provenance: volume one neatly inscribed by Professor Kenneth Mason, the director of 17 titles of this Naval Intelligence Division series, bookplate of the Library of the University of Oxford School of Geography inside front cover of volume II.
First edition, association copy. B. R. 506 and 506 A. Geographical Handbook Series. - Probably one of the best-researched set of books on the North African country.
'A series of intelligence handbooks produced during the First World War had proved valuable both during the conflict and as subsequent reference sources. Early in the Second World War the Director of Naval Intelligence ordered the preparation of a new and improved series to meet the requirements of the day. The Handbooks were designed to provide, in the words of the Preface, "for the use of Commanding Officers, information in a comprehensive and convenient form about countries which they may be called upon to visit, not only in war but in peace-time; secondly, to maintain the high standard of education in the Navy and, by supplying officers with material for lectures ... to ensure for all ranks that visits to a new country shall be both interesting and profitable"' (Cambridge Archive Editions, who reproduce a few titles of the series, online).
Provenance: Kenneth Mason (1887-1976) was a geographer-soldier, mountaineer and the first statutory professor of geography at Oxford University. Inspired by Younghusband's Heart of a Continent as a child, he conducted intense surveys of the Himalayas and was awarded an RGS medal in 1927 for his surveys of India and Russian Turkestan as well for his leadership of the Shakshagam Expedition. 'Mason also revitalized the links between geography at Oxford and practical service. These had begun with the RGS's involvement in the establishment of the discipline at Oxford and were fostered by Halford Mackinder and particularly his successor, A. J. Herbertson. Under Mason, with his extensive contacts in the military services, government, the city, and the RGS, the school consolidated its practical focus, linked to regional planning, surveying, exploration, teaching, and colonial service. A notable product was the Admiralty handbooks produced during the war when the school became an intelligence unit' (ODNB).

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