Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
Exterior of state library of south australia

Rare Books Group

WW2 Intelligence Handbooks

Phyl Twigg and Eugene Abraham

This presentation, by Eugene Abraham and Phyl Twigg, will reveal the wealth of information on Japan and some Pacific islands on topics ranging from black and white aerial maps, communication and coastal landing sites, food and water supplies, medical problems, meteorological conditions and more.

From 1943 to 1945 over 80 Military Terrain Handbooks were published to provide basic topographical information of interest to Allied Forces in Japanese-occupied areas in the Pacific. At the time, they represented the best information available, especially in remote areas which had not been occupied by Allied Troops. Hence, they were marked “restricted” as the information they contained was considered so valuable that they were ordered to “be destroyed if in danger of falling into enemy hands.”

At the time, from July 1941 to July 1942, Australia was experiencing the threat of Japan occupying and dominating the entire Pacific Region, with Pearl Harbour, the fall of Singapore, the bombing of Darwin, the attacks on Sydney Harbour, the Kokoda Track, and the bombing of many other Australian towns, all within a few months of each other.

 Published by the Australian Government, the Handbooks in the RGSSA collection provide a special opportunity to examine rare material which has not seen the light of day for many years.

A full copy of the SLSA map can be found here.

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To help advance the Society’s objectives will you also consider making a tax deductible donation to the Society’s Trust Funds to promote geographical learning?

The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc. Trust Funds are to support, sponsor, encourage or promote projects or other activities for scientific study of any or all aspects of geography and/or the educational applications or dissemination of the findings thereof. The funds either provide for growth in our geographical Library knowledge and information services; or are applied to more general geographical activities, awards and scholarship.

Date and Time

22 February 2024
10:30 am

Jervois Room, Ground floor, Mortlock Wing, State Library of South Australia

Members: $Gold coin
Non members: $5

NOTE: This session is now being held in the usual location