Spain and Portugal


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NAVAL INTELLIGENCE DIVISION. Spain and Portugal. [Various printers for H.M. Stationery Office], December 1941 - January 1945.

Four volumes, 8vo. Original orange cloth, spines and front covers lettered in gilt; highly illustrated with plates, fold-out maps and plans, large colour map in rear pocket of volume I; This book is for official use of persons in H. M. Sevice only and must not be shown, or made available, to the Press or any member of the public; bindings a little marked to varying degrees, otherwise very clean and fresh; the British writer Alan Sillitoe's set with his name on front fly-leaves.
First edition. Restricted Geographical Handbook Series. - The complete four volume set, with the last volume being the rarest. Probably one of the best-researched books of the time on the peninsula, including the Atlantic isles (volume IV). Volume one is on the peninsula as a whole, volume two is on Portgal, volume three on Spain and the fourth is on the rarely dealt with Atlantic islands with very good maps. '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 on the series, online).