World War II - Cloth Maps - Memorabilia
Rare Old & Antique Maps for Sale.
82.00 ‘Silk Maps’, c1944 – 1952, Army Air Force / USAF
Escape and Evasion Cloth Maps
Most maps today are printed on good quality paper, but there were maps produced on cloth (or, textile cartography) dating back many centuries. The fabric map technique dates from the Han dynasty. In 1973-74 excavations near Mawangdui, in the province of Ch’ang-sha, China produced three maps drawn on silk. After careful restoration, it became clear that one of these maps (now known as the Garrison Map), had been prepared by cartographers to the king of Ch’ang-sha, whose kingdom was made up of modern Hunan and that the map was for military use sometime around 168 BC. The maps we offer were first introduced by the British during World War II. The first maps during WWII were issued by M19 and based on existing maps of John Bartholomew, one of England’s most prominent map-makers. In addition to the British, the Australians and the United States began production of cloth maps. The Army Air Force (AAF) through the efforts of there Aeronautical Chart Service produced a series of the cloth maps on printed on rayon. From this came the term ‘silk maps’. One of the military uses of the silk (cloth) maps was to have them included in the survival kits of allied pilots. There durability and foldability were ideal for downed pilots in enemy territory, for escape and evasion needs [the kits were known as Escape & Evasion Survival Kits]. After WWII the cloth ‘silk maps’ continued to be used as the Cold War escalated. Soon after WW II ended, the U.S. Air Force was formed and under their Aeronautical Chart Service the cloth maps continued until the early 1950’s as part of the Cold War effort. The story of the WWII cloth (silk maps) has been difficult to piece together because of the manner in which they were developed and their production was shrouded in secrecy during and after the war. The collection we offer of these unique examples of mapping differ slightly in size. All are printed on both sides with adjoining sections. We also have a number of WW II maps listed below that are very rare and, in some case, were used by agents of the British intelligence service. The following list of cloth maps indicates ones still available: $60. each – except where noted, (shipping / handling / insurance $9.00) per order.
B-17 crew of the 398th Bomb Group, 8th Army Air Force (AAF) in England during World War II. Lt. Wallace Blackwell, co-pilot is seen standing, back row second from right.
The surrender of some 40,000 German soldiers in 1945 in Belgium.
Prior to the 3rd Reich and Nazi Germany, the National Forestry Service controlled the vast lands of Germany’s many forests. During the 3rd Reich, Hermann Goring was made head of…Read More
The flag was found in a German bunker on Walcheren Island, Netherlands. The German Atlantic wall system, referred to by Hitler as the “Fortress Walcheren” was occupied by the 202…Read More
The hat is worn by the Belgium security forces throughout the country. It bears the Royal Crown of Belgium and signifies their security symbol. The hat is new and indicates…Read More
801.105 - Pre-War Colonies .... Which Herr Hitler Declares Must be Returned to the Reich ... or Elsel, dated 1938, by Ken Magazine, England
The article was written by Richard and Peggy Yardley for the June 2, 1938 edition of Ken Magazine. It graphically depicts Hitler’s desire to reclaim lost colonies in Africa as…Read More
The newspaper New York Journal American in September 23, 1944 published on the back page map titled “Plan for Peaceful Germany Must Strip Prussia of Power”. The map shows a…Read More
The Battle of Midway was fought June 3 – 7, 1942 at and near the island of Midway in the central Pacific Ocean. It is considered to be the decisive…Read More
Published by the Army Air Force (AAF), Washington, D.C., 1944; scale 1:1,000,000 (32″ x 36″).Read More