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British Escape & Evasion Map of North Africa

SKU: 9849

British Escape & Evasion Map of North Africa

Date of publication:

  • c.1942
  • Place of publication:


  • original
  • Mapmaker:

  • M19
  • Sheets K1/K2: Cyrenacia and Crete (no coverage of Cyprus)

    This map is concealed in a sleeve inside a British khaki drill tropical uniform belt, of the pattern typically worn with service dress by both Army and RAF officers in the desert theatre. Only accessible from the reverse side, the map might have been expected to go unnoticed if the wearer was captured. Read more

    Cyrenacia – eastern Libya, then a colony of fascist Italy – was the scene of heavy fighting during the North African campaign.  

    For the highly classified production of Escape & Evasion maps like this one, MI9 approached British games manufacturer Waddington’s through the Ministry of Supply as the firm already had a proven track record of printing on silk. Bond suggests that the maps were then folded and hemmed in nearby Macclesfield. The base-maps for this series were supplied by John Bartholomew and Sons, Ltd. 

    Our example was lot 545 in the Muggeridge Collection, sold by East Bristol Auctions, 20 November 2020. Arthur Muggeridge (1919-2010) served in the Royal Artillery during the war. He was wounded during the Dunkirk evacuation and during Operation Claymore, a 1941 commando raid on Norway. He collected clandestine and espionage material used by SOE and similar organisations and prepared for escape and evasion purposes.

    Condition & Materials 

    Double sided Escape and Evasion map, sheet size 45 x 50 cm, printed in three colours on rayon (man-made fibre), old folds. 


    Barbara Bond, Great Escapes, 2015, especially Appendix 1 (pp.218-224). Read less