Naval Intelligence Handbooks

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The British Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series was produced between 1941 and 1946. At 31 titles, encompassing 58 volumes, this is the largest single body of geographical writing ever published. The books were written to provide information for the Allied war effort. They were written by academics in two teams, one based in Cambridge and the other at Oxford. As lives depended on the information presented in the Handbooks, speed of production and accuracy of content were paramount. After the war, many of these handbooks were re-published, in modified form, as textbooks.

The Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence Division, Naval Staff, Admiralty, also produced a series of Handbooks from 1917 to 1922 covering the same Geographical topics as World War II series above. They are listed below;

Content[edit]

Although entitled Naval Intelligence Handbooks, the Handbooks were intended for use by all of the British Armed Forces, and covered whole countries, not just the coastal regions. Topics included relief, coasts, climate, peopling, history, administration, population geography (trends and migration), economic geography and transport geography. Additional information, such as vegetation zones and medical notes, was given in appendices.

The published Handbooks, year of publication and location of team[edit]

(30 volumes produced at Cambridge; 28 at Oxford. All were published by HMSO in London)

  • Albania 1945 (Oxford)
  • Algeria (2 vols: volume 1 1944, volume 2 1944) (Oxford)
  • The Belgian Congo 1944 (Oxford)
  • Belgium 1944 (Cambridge)
  • China Proper (3 vols: volume 1 1944, volume 2 1945, volume 3 1945) (Cambridge)
  • Corsica 1942 (Cambridge)
  • Denmark 1944 (Cambridge)
  • Dodecanese 1943 (Oxford)
  • France (4 vols: volume 1 1942, volume 2 1942, volume 3 1942, volume 4 1942) (Cambridge)
  • French Equatorial Africa and Cameroons 1942 (Oxford)
  • French West Africa (2 vols: volume 1 1943, volume 2 1944) (Oxford)
  • Germany (4 vols: volume 1 1944, volume 2 1944, volume 3 1944, volume 4 1944) (Cambridge)
  • Greece (3 vols: volume 1 1944, volume 2 1944, volume 3 1944) (Cambridge)
  • Iceland 1942 (Cambridge)
  • Indo-China 1943 (Cambridge)
  • Iraq and the Persian Gulf 1944 (Oxford)
  • Italy (4 vols: volume 1 1944, volume 2 1944, volume 3 1944, volume 4 1944) (Oxford)
  • Jugoslavia (3 vols: volume 1, Physical Geography, 1944; volume 2, History, Peoples and Administration, 1944; volume 3, Economic Geography, Ports and Communications, 1944) (Cambridge)
  • Luxembourg 1944 (Cambridge)
  • Morocco (2 vols: volume 1 1942, volume 2 1942) (Oxford)
  • Netherlands 1944 (Cambridge)
  • Netherlands East Indies (2 vols: volume 1 1944, volume 2 1944) (Cambridge)
  • Norway (2 vols: volume 1 1943, volume 2 1943) (Oxford)
  • Pacific Islands (4 vols: volume 1: General Survey 1945, volume 2: Eastern Pacific 1943, volume 3: Western Pacific (Tonga to the Solomon Islands) 1944, volume 4: Western Pacific (New Guinea and Islands Northwards) 1945 (Cambridge)
  • Palestine and Transjordan 1943 (Oxford)
  • Persia 1945 (Oxford)
  • Spain and Portugal (4 vols: volume 1 1945, volume 2 1945, volume 3 1945, volume 4 1945 (Oxford)
  • Syria 1943 (Oxford)
  • Tunisia 1945 (Oxford)
  • Turkey (2 vols: volume 1 1942, volume 2 1942) (Oxford)
  • Western Arabia and the Red Sea 1946 (Oxford)


World War I series (all published by HMSO);

  • I.D. 1055 German East Africa 1920
  • I.D. 1096 Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and adjacent parts of Greece 1920
  • I.D. 1114 Macedonia and surrounding territories 1920
  • I.D. 1128 Arabia volume 1 General. more volumes ? date ?
  • I.D. 1129 Turkey in Europe 1920
  • I.D. 1155 Bulgaria 1920
  • I.D. 1161 Portuguese Nyasaland 1920
  • I.D. 1162 Libya 1920
  • I.D. 1168 Belgium and adjoining territories 1918 (see http://www.archive.org/details/manualofbelgiuma00grearich)
  • I.D. 1174 French Guiana 1919
  • I.D. 1177 Mesopotamia and its borderlands 4 volumes; 1. General 2. Iraq, Lower Karun and Luristan 3. Central Mesopotamia 4. Northern Mesopotamia. 1918
  • I.D. 1189 Portuguese East Africa 1920
  • I.D. 1199 A Manual on the Turanians and pan-Turanianism 1920? (see http://www.archive.org/details/manualonturanian00grearich)
  • I.D. 1204 Roumania 1920 (see http://www.archive.org/details/handbookofrouman00grearich)
  • I.D. 1205 Mexico 1919
  • I.D. 1207 Siberia and Arctic Russia Volume 1 General. more volumes ? date ?
  • I.D. 1208 Finland date ?
  • I.D. 1209 Netherlands India (Dutch East Indies) 1920
  • I.D. 1211 Alsace-Lorraine 1919
  • I.D. 1213 Belgian Congo 1919
  • I.D. 1214 Norway and Sweden Possibly 2 volumes. 1920
  • I.D. 1215 Syria 1920
  • I.D. 1216 Kenya Colony (British East Africa and protectorate Zanzibar) 1920
  • I.D. 1217 Uganda Protectorate 1920
  • I.D. 1218 Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1922
  • I.D. 1219 Turkey 1920. Same as I.D. 1129 above ?
  • I.D. 1221 Greece Volume 1 The Mainland of Old Greece and Certain Neighbouring Islands, 1918; vol. 2.1 The Cyclades and Northern Sporades (C.B. 837 A (1)), 1919; vol. 2.2 The Islands of the Northern and Eastern Aegean (C.B. 837 A (2)), 1919; vol. 3 Crete (C.B. 837 A (3)), 1919
  • C.B. 847 A-B Asia Minor 4 Volumes. 1919 (vol. 1, General, at http://www.archive.org/details/handbookofasiami01greauoft; vol. 2, Western Asia Minor, is C.B. 847 B, 1919)
  • I.D. ???? Morocco date ?
  • I.D. 01020? River Danube date ?

Team members (selected)[edit]

  • Stanley H. Beaver (Cambridge)
  • R. P. Beckinsale (Oxford)
  • A. E. P. Collins (Cambridge)
  • J. W. Crowfoot (Oxford)
  • Henry Clifford Darby (Editor in Chief) (Cambridge)
  • Dr J. W. Davidson (Cambridge)
  • Elwyn Davies (Cambridge)
  • Dr Margaret Davies (Cambridge)
  • A. Digby (Cambridge)
  • Raymond Firth (Cambridge)
  • Walter Fogg (Oxford)
  • Idris L. Foster (Cambridge)
  • D. W. Fryer (Cambridge)
  • E. W. Gilbert (Oxford)
  • C. F. W. R. Gullick (Oxford)
  • Dr J. V. Harrison (Oxford)
  • A. H. Hyamson (Oxford)
  • J. R. James (Cambridge)
  • H. A. Jensen (Cambridge)
  • A. F. Martin (Oxford)
  • Professor Kenneth Mason (Oxford)
  • F. J. Monkhouse (Cambridge)
  • F. W. Morgan (Cambridge)
  • Sir John Linton Myres (Oxford)
  • A. C. O’Dell (Cambridge)
  • E. J. Passant (Cambridge)
  • Brian B. Roberts (Cambridge)
  • K. S. Sandford (Oxford)
  • Dr Hugh Scott (Oxford)
  • Eileen Steel (Oxford)
  • Robert Steel (Oxford)
  • J. C. Stuttard (Cambridge)
  • T. G. Tutin (Cambridge)
  • Norman White (Oxford)
  • Brigadier H. St J. Winterbotham (Oxford)
  • Sir James Mann Wordie (Cambridge)

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]