Catalogue description War Office: Military Intelligence section 9 (MI9), Escape and Evasion maps, Second World War

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Details of WO 418
Reference: WO 418
Title: War Office: Military Intelligence section 9 (MI9), Escape and Evasion maps, Second World War
Description:

The material represents the UK Ministry of Defence's record set of escape and evasion maps produced by MI9 between 1940 and 1945. The set is the most comprehensive collection of MI9 maps known to exist but in itself is incomplete and copies have been found in the collections of six other institutions and a number of private collections. The set includes sheets from the following MI9 map collections:

  • a. Bartholomew derivatives: a set of escape and evasion maps based on maps produced by John Bartholomew and Son Ltd and maps with similar numbering system.
  • b. GSGS 3982 1:500000 Europe (air): escape and evasion versions of the Europe air 1:250000 map series reduced in scale.
  • c. GSGS 4090: Norway 1:100000 scale maps over an area north of Oslo and adjacent to the Swedish border.
  • d. 43: A group of escape and evasion maps with numbering prefixed with 43 and based on the existing maps of international map of the world (IMW) of the European area.
  • e. 44: A group of escape and evasion maps with numbering prefixed with 44 and based on the existing maps of IMW of the far east area.
  • f. FGS: group with numbering prefixed with FGS (potentially meaning to Finland, Germany and Scandinavia, but not confirmed) and based on the existing maps of IMW in northern Europe.
  • g. Miscellaneous: maps of no known map series designation but produced for operational purposes.

Date: 1940-1982
Related material:

See also

WO 78/5814

MF 1/2

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator:

War Office, Directorate of Military Intelligence, 1939-1964

Physical description: 122 flat sheet(s)
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

in 2018 Ministry of Defence, Defence Geographic Centre

Accumulation dates: 1940-1945
Selection and destruction information: All maps selected
Accruals: Series is not accruing
Publication note:

For information about MI9's escape and evasion mapping programme, see Barbara A Bond, Great Escapes: The Story of MI9's Second World War Escape and Evasion Maps (Glasgow, 2015).

Administrative / biographical background:

MI9 was established on 23 December 1939 as a new branch of British intelligence to provide escape and evasion support, and to facilitate the return of British prisoners of war and others who evaded capture. MI9 Section Z was responsible for the production and supply of escape tools which included maps on fabrics and silk.

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