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Hi Guys, this item came into work as part of a stunning group of items to a Royal Flying Corps Pilot.

 

I thought that it was interesting and wanted to share it with you here.

 

Cheers, Ade.

20200110_112848.jpg

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Posted (edited)

That looks interesting as it appears to be a hand drawn copy.  Do you know how this was used?  E.g. was there a ban on taking 'real maps' in aeroplanes in case they found their way into German hands - just take a copy with salient details - reporting grids, railways and towns to help navigation but no unit locations or intelligence.  The date is interesting being so close to the end of the war, by then much of the stalemate was broken and things were much more fluid.

 

There are quite a number of trench maps and aerial photographs for Flanders published on-line by McMaster University which help make unit diaries and field visits come to life, especially when viewed side-by-side with contemporary imagery and mapping.  I never investigated their extent but there were enough to cover the areas I was interested in at the time.

Edited by Adam88
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I presume it was done for ease of use.

 

The whole group of items belonging to the Pilot sold for £2,500 back in March.

 

Cheers, Ade.

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The map is dated 21.iv.18 which is just over a week before Ludendorf ended operation Georgette, part of the German spring offensive of that year. The map appears to cover an area that the Germans had taken in that operation plus some adjacent territory that they had held since the front settled down in the autumn of 1914.

Given its "intelligence" annotation it would appear to show the "new" German network of 60 cm railways, some of which would have been German in origin but some British, the two being linked quickly by German field engineers to help overcome supply issues with the German advance. It was in the Spring offensive that the Germans introduced their "stormtrooper" concept, crack troops whose job was just to advance and to do so quickly, leaving the follow up troops to consolidate the gains made. In the face of lightly defended areas, this was initially highly successful but quickly ran into problems of keeping the fighting front edge supplied, hence the need to rapidly link and repair light railway systems.

I imagine that the main purpose of the map, which could only have been compiled from the air, was to identify potential supply line targets for long-range allied artillery.

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11 hours ago, bécasse said:

The map is dated 21.iv.18 which is just over a week before Ludendorf ended operation Georgette, part of the German spring offensive of that year. The map appears to cover an area that the Germans had taken in that operation plus some adjacent territory that they had held since the front settled down in the autumn of 1914.

Given its "intelligence" annotation it would appear to show the "new" German network of 60 cm railways, some of which would have been German in origin but some British, the two being linked quickly by German field engineers to help overcome supply issues with the German advance. It was in the Spring offensive that the Germans introduced their "stormtrooper" concept, crack troops whose job was just to advance and to do so quickly, leaving the follow up troops to consolidate the gains made. In the face of lightly defended areas, this was initially highly successful but quickly ran into problems of keeping the fighting front edge supplied, hence the need to rapidly link and repair light railway systems.

I imagine that the main purpose of the map, which could only have been compiled from the air, was to identify potential supply line targets for long-range allied artillery.

 

I think it's 21. IX 18. The grid is a print off grid copy, (Gestetner?) where the grids are already superimposed. If you look at the numbers, they are all the same style. Spotters would circle the target they were interested, and allow the Royal Artillery to do the rest.  

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