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COCKERILL, Sir George, Brig.-Gen.

What fools we were.

Published: London, Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., [1944]

Stock code: 47461

Price: £125

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First edition. Interesting and uncommon autobiographical account. Cockerill (1867-1957) was a long-time intelligence officer, and one of the most innovative thinkers in British intelligence in World War I. Head of M. O. 5 – which became M.I.5 – the Special Intelligence Section of the General Staff at the outbreak of the War, he organized postal censorship, and carried out “a revolution at the lower and middle levels of the military bureaucracy. Despite great opposition from traditionally-minded generals, Cockerill effected the first extensive use of propaganda by the War Office at any time in the country’s history. Cockerill’s chief contribution was a refinement of the art of mass propaganda. He conducted this mainly through the propaganda leaflet, smuggled behind enemy lines and dropped over enemy troops from aeroplanes and large balloons. It became an increasingly potent weapon as the Great War proceeded.” (Messenger – “An inheritance worth remembering: The British approach to official propaganda during the First World War,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television; 1993) Here he reviews his career, the political and command errors of the Great War and the hubris of the post-war settlement.

Octavo, original black cloth, title gilt to spine. A little rubbed, whitening at the extremities, small snag to the spine, light toning, fairly typical War Economy Standard book production, about very good.

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