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World War II Maps

World War II maps - Stories, collectibles, discoveries and map collections.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Nazi photos, Nazi Tanks, Mystery of Amelia Earhart, WW2 Interviews, Nazi Daggers.

42 maps that explain World War II
42 maps that explain World War II
(vox.com)

D-Day Weather Map Is Most Important in History
The forecast for northwest France on June 6, 1944 stands as history`s most important weather forecast. Conditions at Omaha Beach and the other landing zones within 50 miles of Normandy had to be just right so as to allow troops to parachute to their landing zones, as well as maneuver their way onshore via amphibious vehicles. With so many military assets being deployed — more than 5,000 ships, 13,000 aircraft and 160,000 Allied troops — the weather forecast, at a time when modern meteorology was still in its infancy, was crucial to the success of the mission.
(mashable.com)

Animated map of World War II campaigns in European Theater
This video shows the changing front lines of the European Theater of World War II every day from the German invasion of Poland to the surrender of Germany.
(youtube.com)

Animated map of the World War II Pacific Theater
See how World War II went down in the Pacific Theater. This video shows changing front lines for every three days from December 7, 1941 to the Japanese surrender.
(youtube.com)

Japanese WWII maps of cities damaged by Allied bombers on exhibit for first time
Maps of Japanese cities that were devastated by Allied air raids are on display at the National Archives of Japan in Tokyo`s Chiyoda Ward. Covering 131 municipalities stretching from northern Hokkaido to southern Kagoshima Prefecture, most of the maps are being shown to the public for the first time. The maps were completed in December 1945 to provide information to military personnel, as well as civilian workers for the military, on their way home from overseas battlefields. Records show the maps were displayed in ships bringing back demobilized soldiers to Japan, according to officials.
(asahi.com)

Map showing the huge bombardment endured by London in the Blitz goes online
A map that shows in never-seen-before detail the huge bombardment endured by London in the Blitz has gone online. Each red dot shows a site where incendiary devices landed during 57 nights of non-stop bombing by the Luftwaffe between October 1940 and June 1941. Bomb clusters appear close to the River Thames and the docks, which were targeted by German generals to squeeze supplies of food and household necessities and the economy. Many streets were hit repeatedly, homes were destroyed and fires raged for days.
(ibtimes.co.uk)

Mapping the destruction of 65 Japanese cities - Focus changed from military targets to urban populations after 1943
In an issue of the Journal of Historical Geography, researchers David Fedman and Cary Karacas present visual evidence of the systematic destruction of 65 Japanese cities by U.S. military bombers. Shortly after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the American military mobilized several units of mapmakers that had a central role in the planning of air assaults on Japanese cities. The Map Division of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) alone produced 8,000 maps. In their work, Fedman and Karacas use this wartime cartography to show how U.S. bombing of Japanese cities shifted from military targets to urban populations in general after 1943.
(theatlanticcities.com)

Ipswich Museum acquires Nazi maps which show Hitler`s bombing targets in Ipswich
Nazi Germany targeted Ipswich docks and the surrounding area for bombing raids, according to WWII maps acquired by Ipswich Museum. The two maps were part of a haul of intelligence about the UK exported from a Nazi library in Austria in 1946. The family of Squadron Leader HCK Henderson, who led the mission, sold the maps at auction in August. The maps were part of Operation Sea Lion - the plan for the invasion of Britain. Jayne Austin, collections manager at Ipswich Museum, said Britain feared the information would fall into the hands of the Russians unless they acted quickly.
(bbc.co.uk)

Iwo Jima WWII map returns to battleship USS North Carolina (includes large photo)
A rare rubber relief map of Iwo Jima has been returned to the Battleship USS North Carolina after a six month conservation project at East Carolina University. The 1:12,500 scale intelligence map - created by the Naval Photographic Interpretation Center to train military personnel and depict the island with air strips and topographic features - consists of cardboard, plaster and foam rubber.

Click here for a direct link to the map.

(raleightelegram.com)

Leonard Fisher recalls WWII service as secret army mapmaker: Mistakes and misleading German maps
Leonard Everett Fisher recalls how Germans created maps with errors and arranged for them to fall into American hands to lure them into ambushes, while sometimes mapmakers just made mistakes: Aerial photography taken at high noon, when no shadows are cast, led to an aqueduct near Naples being mapped as a line. In reality, the aqueduct was a 3-tiered structure, hiding German tanks.
(westport.patch.com)

Maps exploring the possible Nazi invasion of North America
The March 2, 1942 issue of Life magazine pondered the possible Nazi invasion of America after the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a follow-up science fiction author Philip Wylie created several maps with diagrams exploring the potential invasion routes.
(io9.com)

Dunkirk evacuation in maps
See how the evacuation of 340,000 troops from Dunkirk under "Operation Dynamo" unfolded 27 May - 4 June 1940.
(bbc.co.uk)

Maps imagine post-war Europe without Germany
During World War Two, some unconventional thinkers recommended the total dissolution of Germany. They left us with maps that show an alternate Europe where Germany ceded all land to its neighbors. In 1941, Theodore Kaufman self-published his manifesto "Germany Must Perish!", which urged the sterilisations of Germans and dismemberment of Germany. Contrary to expectation, his work got its greatest exposure from the Nazis themselves, as Nazi propaganda claimed that Kaufman`s book was the Allies` actual plan. The Nazis reprinted the map on fliers next to images of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin to scare the German people.
(io9.com)

Winston Churchill`s large scale wall map that led to D-Day plan for sale
A large scale wall map that helped Winston Churchill to make key decisions that led to D-Day is for sale at Mullock`s auction of Historical Documents. The map, laminated and linen backed, shows a large amount of territory in western Russia with the German and Russian front line marked in black crayon. Historians think it is the map which was taken by Churchill to a meeting with Stalin in 1944 to discuss the activity of the Wehrmacht in Russia. The map shows a substantial presence of German troops occupying large parts of Western Russia. Churchill decided to invade Normandy on June 6, 1944 as the Germans were stuck fighting in the Eeastern Front at the time.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Huddersfield town map for Nazi invasion - Germans knew everything
The Germans were all ready to seize strategic points in Huddersfield if they had invaded Britain in 1940. For a map has been bring to light which shows the Germans knew exactly where all the mills and factories were along with key railway and canal bridges, viaducts and tunnels. The map dates back to 1938 and has been purchased by John Garside, curator of the Bullecourt Museum, which features military memorabilia which includes all the major conflicts involving the Duke of Wellington`s Regiment. "I`ve been collecting military memorabilia for 40 years and I`ve only ever seen one other map like this before... It`s a real coup to get this map for the museum."
(examiner.co.uk)

New map reveals locations of unexploded Luftwaffe bombs
Up to 10% of bombs delivered by the Luftwaffe failed to detonate - historians think many were sabotaged by workers in Nazi occupied area - leaving a grim legacy which still lies under the UK streets and fields. The new map will be used by builders to reveal the risks from unexploded bombs. Public will also be able to access the map, which shows 21,000 locations where there could be unexploded bombs. Experts have examined postwar aerial photos taken by the RAF and maps of insurance companies to evaluate the extent of the bombing damage. The cities with most sites are London, Plymouth, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.
(telegraph.co.uk)

World War II veteran left behind rare heirloom: D-Day invasion map [pic]
On D-Day, Karl Sensmeier crossed the English Channel with the Allied invasion force and landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy. For years, memories of the D-Day made him wake up screaming in the middle of the night. He died Feb. 16 2008, aged 89. A top secret piece of paper that he had that frightening morning lives on, and his 84-year-old widow couldn`t be prouder. The much-folded document is a map of the Allies` plans to create a beachhead after pushing the Germans away from the shore. The map is framed on a wall in Donna Sensmeier`s living room beside a plaque of her late husband`s medals and ribbons.
(courierpress)

Nazi maps reveal bomb targets
In August 1940 a Luftwaffe plane flew over the West Midlands taking pictures of sites they hoped to wipe out with their bombs. For 60 years, these photos, showing many important sites, have been concealed under the bed of Birmingham man Ron Cowdrill - but now they have been unveiled and donated to the RAF Museum at Cosford. "The maps belong to my Uncle Ron who was stationed in Berlin in 1945... My uncle will soon be 85 years old ... so he told me he didn`t want his war memorabilia lying around," says Keith Cowdrill.
(expressandstar)

Maps: Antique, military history and heritage - Or as art, educational tools   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Maps can be used as art on walls, as part of a still life on a desk, or as an educational tool. Wilkes also has hundreds of maps in mats, frames and kits ready to take home, priced from $27.50 to thousands of dollars. "Everybody loves maps," Wilkes says, and he gets all kinds or requests, which he nearly always can fulfill. Mary Lies says many customers buy maps to signify heritage. One husband and wife display a 7-by-6-foot map of Europe in the dining room, tracking his father`s tour of duty in World War II based on his diaries.
(kansas)

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) acquires rare POW escape maps
The Australian War Memorial has acquired rare WW2 escape maps made by an Australian POWs interred in Nazi Germany. The maps were drawn by Lieutenant Jack Millet who was caught in Crete in 1941 and sent to the Oflag IV-C high security camp after escape attempts. Oflag IV-C was a castle in Colditz near Dresden that was used to hold high risk POW`s. Two of the maps in the collection are hand-drawn masters used to create copies. "As the main map maker, he would have been a key person... encouraged not to escape because his skills... they would have preferred for him to remain in the camp to assist others in escaping," said map expert Dianne Rutherford.
(abc)

Historic silk map donated to Lufkin Veterans of Foreign Wars post   (Article no longer available from the original source)
During World War II, many American aircrafts went down and surviving soldiers often found themselves lost in a foreign land they knew nothing about. To help these lost soldiers, the military created a special type of map for them to keep on their person at all times. The map was made out of silk and an image of the country was printed in special ink on it with neutral territories marked so that they could make their way to a safe place and be rescued. Thanks to Curtis L. Cotton, a gunner engineer for a B25 plane, one of these historical maps now resides at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post in Lufkin.
(lufkindailynews)

Former `spy` relives his seceret war - Special Forces map-maker
WWII ex-Special Forces agent Clive Rutledge doesn’t look like a spy. "I suppose that’s what I was, yes, but I never liked that word and it certainly isn’t on my Veteran’s Affairs record." His story is extraordinary. For 5 years he worked covertly to create maps the allied forces used to conduct air raids to defeat the Germans. His work was top secret, he was sworn to silence for 30 years. Until now he has never told the full story of what he did 1941-1945 to anyone. Clive knows his life story is unbelievable, but concealed in his house are the yellowed photos and dog-eared documents to prove it.
(northernstar.com.au)

Germans` desperate quest for fatherland with Army campaign maps   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ever since he was a teenager, Erich Hones has felt the need to know about his father. The only clue was a Florida address scribbled down in 1946 by his German mother who had sought solace in the arms of an American GI in the chaotic aftermath of World War II. He studied US Army campaign maps to find out which units had been in the area and last year, he had enough information to present his data to a search agency. He has become one of the thousands of Germans racing against time to track down their real fathers. Called the Soldatenkinder, they were the product of relationships between Allied soldiers and German women.
(scotsman)

WW2 weapons, grenades and maps cache from 1944 found   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Workers in Lviv uncovered a clandestine weapons cache from the Second World War while working on the roof of a building in the center of the city. The residents were immediately evacuated. They found 18 German grenades and more than 500 German and French-made bullets. Radio equipment was also found in excellent condition. But historians were most excited by the maps and documents found. Based on the documents, researchers believe the roof-top bunker was last used in 1944.
(5tv)

Hobby map where u-boats battled now the definitive source   (Article no longer available from the original source)
He grew up in World War II on the coast watching German U-boats burning in the Gulf of Mexico and went on to research them for the rest of his life. Carl Vought loved U-boat research so much he did a comprehensive map on where they battled and who captained them. It`s so accurate, a copy of the map resides as the definitive source in a German U-boat museum and the World War II Museum in New Orleans. "He wound up tracing all the U-boats in that era, had their courses, who their captains were, logos on their towers, all charted on a map. If you called the Navy archives, they would have referred you to him."
(huntsvilletimes)

Vet recalls battlefields through World War II maps
Frank Maiolini carried the two maps detailing the 8th Corps` history in the European Theater in his duffle bag. The maps - along with his medals, unit patches and service ribbons are on display on an adjacent wall. With the 59th Regiment he landed on Utah Beach one week after the D-Day. He was almost captured in the Ardennes, the Germans chased them through Bastogne before reinforcements helped stop the axis advance. "Patton told us any soldier who digs a foxhole is a coward." Snipers were trying to pick off the signal corps while they set up lines for the infantry. "In Brest, we had to make it on our bellies while the 88s and screaming mimis were coming over."
(pittsburghlive)

Attic relics reveal one of 300 men who had the invasion plans   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Bob Shaw knew that his father, Maj. Leslie A. Shaw, was involved in the Normandy invasion. But what he didn`t know was that Leslie Shaw was one of about 300 men who had the invasion plans in advance. He found that out nearly a decade after his father died, when he let a friend look through the major`s wartime relics and documents tucked away in two trunks in attic. In the trunks, he found about 600 letters; German money from 1914 to 1945; the major`s complete 180-page personnel file; a photographic scrapbook; and maps and drawings of the Normandy invasion. "Then I found overlays with classified information and markings that he made himself during the invasion."
(reflector)

Map may reveal Churchill secrets
Mystery surrounds a map which experts believe may provide new information about plans to defend England from invasion in WW II. Auctioneers want help to verify claims made for the document, thought to have been used by Winston Churchill. A label on the back says it was "reputedly used in 1940 in connection with the defence of SE England". Mullock Madeley, which is selling the map next month, has drawn a blank so far in verifying the map`s history. Experts are appealing for information about the map. The label claims the map was used by Churchill at "Tall Trees" in preparation for the expected German invasion.
(bbc)

Escape maps and stamps for PoWs were hidden in prunes
An extraordinary collection of materials used to help prisoners of war and French Resistance fighters in occupied Europe is to go under the hammer. It includes two prunes of the original thousands used by the Special Operations Executive, Churchill`s secret army of undercover agents, to smuggle miniature documents into PoW camps. The documents included intricate maps of continental railway networks, allowing PoWs to plan their escape. There were also accurate forgeries of official German rubber document stamps and elaborate plates used to forge "camp money" used by PoW officers to buy a limited range of goods.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Luftwaffe maps hold key to hidden UXBs
Original maps of Luftwaffe raids on Britain are being used to protect building workers from unexploded Second World War bombs. Researches revealed a Luftwaffe bomb plot indicating at least 24 bomb strikes on the site, 49 high explosive bombs recorded, and details of some 4,000 incendiary bombs landing within the site boundary. Many German bombs were never found and others were "abandoned" as too difficult to recover and left where they lay. The Luftwaffe maps were used during checks on a site in the Midlands that was heavily bombed in 1940-41.
(telegraph.co.uk)


See also:
Nazi photos
Nazi Tanks
Mystery of Amelia Earhart
WW2 Interviews
Nazi Daggers.