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A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps

 
The First World War was marked by an exceptional expansion in the use and production of military cartography. But World War II took things even further, employing maps, charts, reconnaissance, and the systematic recording and processing of geographical and topographical information on an unprecedented scale. As Jeremy Black—one of the world’s leading military and cartographic historians—convincingly shows in this lavish full-color book, it is impossible to understand the events and outcomes of the Second World War without deep reference to mapping at all levels. In World War II, maps themselves became the weapons.

A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps traces how military cartography developed from simply recording and reflecting history to having a decisive impact on events of  a global scale. Drawing on one hundred key maps from the unparalleled collections of the British Library and other sources—many of which have never been published in book form before--Jeremy Black takes us from the prewar mapping programs undertaken by both Germany and the United Kingdom in the mid-1930s through the conflict’s end a decade later. Black shows how the development of maps led directly to the planning of the complex and fluid maneuvers that defined the European theater in World War II: for example, aerial reconnaissance photography allowed for the charting of beach gradients and ocean depths in the runup to the D-Day landings, and the subsequent troop movements at Normandy would have been impossible without the help of situation maps and photos. In the course of the conflict, both in Europe and the Pacific,  the realities of climate, terrain,  and logistics—recorded on maps—overcame the Axis powers. Maps also became propaganda tools as the pages of Time outlined the directions of the campaigns and the Allies dropped maps from their aircraft.

In this thrilling and unique book, Jeremy Black blends his singular cartographic and military expertise into a captivating overview of World War II from the air, sea, and sky, making clear how fundamental maps were to every aspect of this unforgettable global conflict.

256 pages | 150 color plates | 8-1/2 x 11 | © 2020

Geography: Cartography

History: European History, General History, Military History

Reviews

“A spectacular reference source for high school, university, and public libraries. . . . This scrupulous survey of early-1940s to mid-1950s cartography offers a full study of the war through posters and photos of communication lines, waterways, and troop movements, with text from government and media sources."

Donna Seaman | Booklist, "2020 Editor's Choice in History"

"In this thrilling and unique book, Jeremy Black blends his singular cartographic and military expertise into a captivating overview of World War II from the air, sea, and sky, making clear how fundamental maps were to every aspect of this unforgettable global conflict."

Charles Coutinho | New Books Network

"A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps is a valuable work not only for anyone with an interest in the Second World War, but also in uses and abuses of maps and the craft of map making, and might even be useful in piquing the interest of younger persons in the history of the war."

StrategyPage

"A valuable work not only for anyone with an interest in the Second World War, but also in uses and abuses of map[s] and the craft of map making."

New York Military Affairs Symposium Review

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1. Geopolitics

Chapter 2. Strategic

Chapter 3. Operational

Chapter 4. Tactical

Chapter 5. Reportage

Chapter 6. Propaganda

Chapter 7. Retrospective

Reference
 
Further Reading

List of Maps

Index

Picture Credits and Acknowledgements

Awards

Library Journal: Best Reference Pick of the Year
Won

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