National Geographic : 1944 Jul
THE GEOGRAPHIC'S New Map of Germany and Its Approaches With a Review of The Society's Maps of Europe BY GILBERT GROSVENOR President, National Geographic Society ANEW ten-color Map Supplement of "Ger many and Its Approaches" distributed with this issue of the NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE adds a timely chapter to the National Geographic Society's series of maps showing the fateful history of Europe from the time of the peace conferences of 1919-1920 to the invasion of 1944. Members who have retained their ten gen eral maps of Europe, from that of August, 1914, and now receive this revealing chart of July, 1944, have a complete running account of the surging politics and racial rivalry from the beginning of World War I to the big drive of World War II (page 68). A study of these ten large ten-color maps shows how fickle have been Europe's bound aries in the last three decades and how change ful the sovereignty over many areas. The current map embraces Hitler's vaunted "Fortress Europe," comprising the Reich homeland and the fringe of conquered and enslaved peoples around prewar Germany.* It shows the approaches to Germany in de tail, with numerous names that are spring ing to new prominence and deep meaning in the United Nations' assault. More Names to the Square Inch The chart is printed on a sheet 332 by 26/ inches. It contains 8,286 place names, more names per square inch than ever before shown on any GEOGRAPHIC map. The scale of 31.57 miles to an inch is larger than any heretofore used on a GEOGRAPHIC map of con tinental Europe. This map takes in Copenhagen on the north; the French coast as far as Le Havre and embarkation points in England on the west; industrial cities of northern Italy on the south; reaches out to East Prussia on the northeast; and on the southeast includes nearly all of Hungary and Yugoslavia south to Belgrade.t A unique feature of our new map is the showing in detail of the elaborate network of military highways built since Hitler came into power. Construction of this series of highways radiating from Berlin began in 1933 and speeded up during the war. The project called for 8,500 miles of these remarkable roads, which resemble the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Many of them have been completed. Connecting links reach out from Berlin to Diisseldorf on the west, Munich on the south, Breslau on the east, and Stettin on the north east. One 560-mile section cuts across the country from the Baltic Sea to the Alps-that is, from Stettin to Salzburg by way of Berlin. Highways, Railroads, Canals Shown These double-lane speedways, marked by double red lines, by-pass cities and towns. No grade crossings slow up traffic. There are hundreds of overpasses and underpasses. No traffic lights cut down speed. Streams of trucks move swiftly over the entire system. A single heavy red line shows the new Alpine Highway, built ostensibly as a scenic route but now serving as a major military road stretching from Berchtesgaden, near Salzburg, to the Lake of Constance (Boden See). The map also shows Germany's amazing network of canals. Most important is the Rhine River system, which before the war car ried more than half of Germany's inland-borne water traffic. The country's elaborate railroad system is depicted in detail. Thus the map enables the 1,250,000 mem bers of the National Geographic Society to follow all transportation systems-highway, canal, and rail-which feed supplies to the Nazi armies. Nearly every place on all three systems is a potential bombing target. Already your Society has contributed much detailed information garnered through the years to the Army and Navy for bombing * Members may obtain additional copies of the new "Map of Germany and Its Approaches" (and of all other maps published by The Society) by writ ing to the National Geographic Society, Washing ton 6, D. C . Prices, in United States and Posses sions, 50¢ each, on paper; $1 on linen; Index, 25¢. Outside of United States and Possessions, 75 on paper; $1.25 on linen (postal regulations gen erally prohibit mailing linen maps outside of West ern Hemisphere); Index, 50. All remittances pay able in U. S. funds. Postage prepaid. t For a map of all Europe, see "Map of Europe and Near East," with 9,133 place names, supplement to the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, June, 1943.