GREAT BRITAIN. ADMIRALTY OFFICE.
[BOUND IN LEAD]. War instructions for British merchant ships (C.B. No. 415)
London : Trade Division, Naval Staff, Admiralty, July 1917. Octavo, crushed morocco with paper labels over lead weighted boards, pp. 100; 15 (Addendum No. 1, with diagrams); illustrations; a good copy.
An extraordinary naval artefact, the official secret war instructions for the British merchant fleet to defend themselves against hostile enemy action from the German forces and their allies. Includes zigzag diagrams for evasive action to be taken in case of submarine attack, silhouette diagrams and photographs of allied and enemy submarines, photographs of types of mines etc.. A printed notice on the front pastedown reads ‘Note : this book is weighted with lead, and if thrown overboard will sink’; a notice on the title page reads ‘Note : Copies of this book, bound in leaded covers, are being issued confidentially to the Masters of British Merchant Vessels, provided the Masters are British Subjects, born of British Parents. Leaded copies are also issued to Auxiliary Patrol Vessels’.
We recommend caution in handling this publication due to the potentially toxic lead content.