American Red Cross Map of Paris. [Captured WWII German map of England, recycled to print a Map of Paris]
Distributed to American G.I.’s shortly after the liberation of Paris from Germany
American Red Cross Map of Paris was published for soldiers on leave in newly-liberated Paris. The map is printed on a captured and then-recycled circa 1940 German-language ordnance survey map of Cumbria in the northwest of England. This example includes a note written in 1964 by an American veteran soldier:
“In 1944 and 1945 large quantities of German maps for the invasion of England were captured by American forces invading France. After the liberation of Paris, because of the shortage of paper and the need of a map of the city for the use of soldiers on leave, a map of Paris was printed up on the reverse of the captured maps of England. I received this one when I went on pass in April, 1945.”
The map shows an aerial perspective of central Paris (showing Red Cross Clubs, roads, parks, places of interest) and an inset map of the city’s subway system. Instructions provide soldiers with guidance to French-language travel-related terms and phrases.
Description: American Red Cross Map of Paris. [Captured WWII German map of England, recycled to print a Map of Paris]
Paris: Blondel la Rougery, (1944). Folding Pocket Map. 5¼ x 2¾ inches, opening to 21¼ x 14¼ inches. Printed in four colors. With keyed indexes. Rubbed at some folds; very good.
Notes. For an excellent overview on the history of this map see Spack, Carol J. “American Red Cross Map of Paris (1944)”in Calafia Journal, Volume 2021, Issue 2.