Catalogue description War Office: Geographical Section General Staff: War of 1914-1918: Mesopotamia Campaign and post-War Maps

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Details of WO 302
Reference: WO 302
Title: War Office: Geographical Section General Staff: War of 1914-1918: Mesopotamia Campaign and post-War Maps

This series consists mainly of topographical maps produced during the spasmodic series of operations in Mesopotamia which involved British, Indian, Russian, Turkish and German forces. Many were produced by the Survey of India and bear TC (Tigris Corps) numbers, a label which continued to be used after the Tigris Corps lost its unique mapping functions.

Maps were also produced by the Home and Indian military departments; the Geographical Section General Staff (War Office), and the General Staff, India, often using the civil map production organisations: the Ordnance Survey in England and the Survey of India.

The series also includes maps produced during post-war operations following the break-up of the Turkish and Russian empires.

The series includes maps formerly held by the Cabinet Office Historical Section.

WO 302/1-37 are graphic indexes and key sheets.

Date: 1902-1936

Imperial scales were represented on maps in terms of inches or miles, both forms being found. Although Representative Fractions (RF) have been used in the catalogue in accordance with current practice, they were infrequently expressed on maps in this series except on those at larger scales. Scales 3.96 inches = 1 mile (1:16 000) and 4 inches = 1 mile (1:15 840) are both used on maps stated to be at the scale of 1 inch = 1/4 mile. The less orthodox scales found in this series tend to be those used by GSO III (Maps), Intelligence Branch, HQ IEF'D', and by troops in the field before Survey of India personnel had assumed responsibility for map compilation and production. The column headed 'MCS map series' shows the scales recommended for different types of map by OC Map Compilation Section, GHQ, IEF'D'/MEF.

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

War Office, Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, Geographical Section, 1922-1939

War Office, Directorate of Military Operations and Plans, Geographical Section, 1939-1943

War Office, Directorate of Military Operations, Geographical Section General Staff, 1908-1922

War Office, Directorate of Military Operations, Topographical Section, 1904-1908

War Office, Military Intelligence and Mobilization Department, Topographical Section, 1901-1904

Physical description: 826 flat sheet(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Publication note:

Survey of India provided most of the survey personnel in Mesopotamia and the most comprehensive account of the survey and mapping operations is to be found in Records of the Survey of India, vol XX: The War Record 1914-1920 published by the Survey of India in 1925.

Unpublished finding aids:

A contents list, an explanation of abbreviations used on the maps and in the catalogue, and a table of Imperial scales with their equivalent representative fractions are in the standard list set.

Administrative / biographical background:

The campaign was the focus of a wider area of military and political interest. This is reflected in smaller scale maps of the area, together with the new productions in the early 1920s which consolidated the cartography in the light of continued military operations caused by the break-up of the Turkish and Russian empires, the need to safeguard British oil interests in Iraq and Persia and a rationalisation of the responsibilities for basic map coverage as between the Home and Indian Governments.

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