1940 Paris Soir Map of World War II in Europe

Europe en Guerre 1939-1940. - Main View

1940 Paris Soir Map of World War II in Europe


A French map from early in World War II during the Phoney War - features paste downs of the flags of the warring nations.


Europe en Guerre 1939-1940.
  1940 (dated)     23.5 x 29.5 in (59.69 x 74.93 cm)     1 : 8000000


This is a 1940 map of Europe at the beginning of World War II during what is known as the 'phoney war' or the 'drôle de guerre' and depicts continental Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Aral Sea and from the Arctic Ocean to North Africa. Pastedowns of the French, British, Soviet, and Nazi flags are present, most likely to easily differentiate the four belligerent powers from one another and from the other countries in the region that were either neutral, a possession or mandate of one country or another, or allied with one of the combatting nations. Presumably these flags could have been moved about the map, allowing the owner to follow the war's progress and know how each side was faring.

A key situated along the left border explains how the different colors identify the various alliances invasions. Nazi Germany is shaded dark green, with all of the territory it has annexed/invaded shaded a lighter green, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, and western Poland. The Soviet Union and eastern Poland are shaded two different shades of yellow, illustrating how Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland between themselves. The Baltic states and Finland are colored so that the viewer knows that these states are under the influence of the Soviet Union, while countries and protectorates affiliated with Britain are striped purple and pink. All the pink nations are neutral in some way or another, which includes Italy, since Italy did not declare war on France and Britain until June 1940, when Mussolini believed that the war would be over in a few weeks and he simply wanted a seat at the peace table in the hopes of collecting French and British possessions in North Africa.
The Phoney War or the Drôle de Guerre
The Phoney War was a period of about eight months lasting from September 3, 1939, when Great Britain and France declared war on Germany, and May 10, 1940, when Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. During these eight months, almost no fighting occurred in western Europe, with only small skirmishes taking place between French and German troops when French troops moved to occupy the Saar region of Germany. Even though this was a relatively easy accomplishment, the French did not deem it necessary to move any further into Germany. There were several other events, including the Soviet invasion of Finland and the German invasion of Denmark and Norway, but neither France nor Britain put up much opposition to either of these invasions. Both nations were nearly completely caught by surprise when Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

This map was created and published by Paris-soir in 1940, most likely in the early spring.


Very good. Even overall toning. Wear along original fold lines. Verso repairs to fold separations. Blank on verso.