[German Manuscript Map of Europe During World War II].
11.75 x 31.25 in (29.845 x 79.375 cm)
This is a two sheet c. 1943 Nazi German manuscript map of Europe during World War II.
A Nazi German MapThe piece is without a doubt German, based on the spelling of the city names (Warschau, Kiew, Charkow), the soldier's uniforms (an unmistakably Nazi officer appears above Berlin), and the insignia on the airplanes and tanks (the Iron Cross). Unfortunately, the piece is both unsigned and undated, so knowing anything more precisely about this piece's authorship or provenance is not possible.
A Closer LookStretching from the Bay of Biscay past the Caspian Sea into Asia, the map presents a shocking level of skill in its execution. Pictorial illustrations of Nazi soldiers and officers firing machine guns, driving tanks, throwing grenades, and parachuting, appear throughout. A wounded soldier even appears near the Sea of Azov east of Mariupol. Arrows highlight German advances through France to Vierzon, (divided between the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones), into the Balkans as far south as Sarajevo, and east as far as Krasnystaw, Poland. Crossed swords identify cities where battles were fought.
Leningrad and StalingradThe Siege of Leningrad appears in the upper left quadrant of the right sheet. Intriguingly, the advance toward Leningrad is marked by an arched line instead of an arrow. 'Barbed wire' encircles the Leningrad region, with bright search lights illuminating the whole area. Several smaller towns around Leningrad are marked as well. A dashed line (again, no arrow) follows the German advance east to Stalingrad, with numerous battles marked along the way and Kyiv (Kiew), Kharkiv (Charkow), and Stalingrad in flames. A shell shot from Stalingrad appears aimed at a German plane. Of anywhere on the map, the brutality of war is most apparent on the way to Stalingrad.
No Battle of MoscowIntriguingly, the occupation of Sarajevo, the Siege of Leningrad, and the Battle of Stalingrad are all illustrated here. Sarajevo was occupied in 1941, the Siege of Leningrad began in September 1941, and the Battle of Stalingrad began in June 1942. The Battle of Moscow fits in with all these events, beginning in October 1941 and continuing until January 1942. However it is notably absent. This leads us to believe that this piece was meant to glorify Nazi German successes and may have even been created for propaganda purposes. Moscow is labeled, but it is noticeably unscathed by the fighting.
A Wartime ProductWhile it is impossible to date this map to a certain year, we believe it to be almost certainly a wartime product. The glorification of the Nazi German army and its successes, alongside the use of Nazi German insignia and the German spellings of place names all lend credence to this thesis, since the use of German place names in Ukraine, Poland, and France (Dunkirchen) likely would not have happened in non-German speaking countries. In post-war Germany, glorification of the Nazi regime in this manner would have been extremely unlikely, particularly since Nazi insignia became illegal in 1960.
Publication HistoryThis map was created by an unknown hand c. 1943 likely in Nazi Germany. As it is a manuscript piece, it is one of a kind.
Very good. Two sheets. Closed tears extending one (1) inch into map from right edge on both sheets professionally repaired on verso. Edge wear.