King's College London
Online Exhibitions
West of Suez: Britain and the Mediterranean, 1704-1967

The Second World War in the Mediterranean

Colour map showing the locations of SOE personnel in Greece in October 1943Map showing the locations of SOE personnel in Greece in October 1943The Second World War in the Mediterranean

SOE personnel in Greece

Col GF Taylor (1903-79) served as Director of Overseas Groups and Missions in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1942-3.

His correspondence, reports and memoranda chiefly relate to his later service as Director of SOE’s Far East Group in 1943-5, but also include briefing notes on SOE operations in Greece and Yugoslavia in 1943. 

The image of the map shown on the right reveals the locations of SOE personnel in Greece in October 1943.

The first page of a report on Operation WASHING, for the Asopos viaduct bombing, with handwritten annotationsThe first page of a report on Operation WASHING, for the Asopos viaduct bombingOperation WASHING

Brigadier ECW Myers (1906-97) commanded the British Military Mission to Greek guerrillas in German occupied Greece from July 1942 to September 1943.

His collection in the LHCMA includes diaries, correspondence, signals, maps, photographs and reports, notably on two of SOE’s biggest and most successful acts of sabotage, the destruction of the Gorgopotamos railway viaduct in November 1942 and of the Asopos viaduct in June 1943.
  
On the left is a reproduction of  the first page of a report on Operation WASHING, for the Asopos viaduct bombing, written by Captain Keith Scott (‘Kilt’), detailing the plastic high explosive (PHE) used, and the punning code names of the men who did the work.

Cyrenaica (Territory under British occupation, 1942-9)

Map showing the region of Cyrenaica, with an outline of England and Wales superimposed to show scaleMap showing the region of Cyrenaica, with an outline of England and Wales superimposed to show scaleThe area of Cyrenaica forms the eastern coastal region of Libya. Following its capture by British and Allied Forces in the North African Campaign (1940-3) it was administered by the British until 1951.

The book, from which the map on the right comes from, acts as a handbook for the occupying British forces and an editor’s note at the beginning reads: 

This handbook which for convenience is being brought out in parts, has been prepared on the instructions and under the guidance of Brigadier DC Cumming, OBE, deputy chief civil affairs officer, British Military Administration, Cyrenaica.

The book – which came to the Foreign Office Library via the War Office – contains information on anything the British administration might need in dealing with the territory and its people. There is information on the geology and physical features of the land; various tribes and their divisions and the Italian colonial period.

It also includes extensive bibliographies of related literature and fold-out maps. The image here shows an overview of the region with an outline of England and Wales superimposed to show scale.

ARCHIOS™ | Total time:1.1583 s | Source:database