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Secret RAF Bomber Command Targets Manual (1939)

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S.D. 125, Copy No. 18


An extremely rare, original, WW2 Bomber Command bomb targets manual, marked 'Secret', produced by the Intelligence section of Bomber Command Headquarters in 1939. A massive, large-format, volume (weighing around 3kg), this is an operational manual which includes details of virtually every military, industrial and strategic target in Germany. Divided into alphabetically arranged sections, the entries include operational numbers, locations, target names, areas, and Air Ministry codes for every target. Targets covered include oil refineries, power stations, dams, chemical works, munitions and explosives factories, naval armaments, naval bases, army bases, airfields, aircraft factories, mines, steel works, railways, and everything else that could be relevant to the German war effort. (For some unknown reason the introductory page has the word 'German' crossed out in pencil and replaced with 'Italy', but all the information in the manual relates solely to German targets, with no further mentions of Italy anywhere in the text).

A distribution list at the front of the manual shows that it had a very restricted circulation, with a maximum of only 300 copies being produced. (this is copy number 18). These would presumably have been distributed to the Air Ministry, General Staff, and all Bomber Command stations engaged in the air offensive against Germany. Very few copies are likely to have survived outside museum collections.
It was clearly a very important and sensitive document at the time, and the cover is marked with additional warnings relating to penalties under the Official Secrets Act. A unique insight into the operational workings of Bomber Command during WW2, this book would be an invaluable resource and reference work for anyone interested in the bomber offensive against Germany during the Second World War. 

In good condition. The boards are in good condition, with general signs of wear and use, some wear at the edges and corners, and some marks. The binding is good and secure. The text is in very good condition, with a few marks. With Imperial War Museum 'Withdrawn', stamps on the front endpapers
Published: 1939
Pink Boards with black titling
Dimensions: 200mm 340mm
Pages: 300 (approx)