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Mapping the First World War: The Great War through maps from 1914-1918 (Imperial War Museum) Hardcover – 24 Oct 2013

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Mapping the First World War: The Great War through maps from 1914-1918 (Imperial War Museum) + The Great War: A Photographic Narrative (Imperial War Museum) + The Battlefields of the First World War (Book & DVD)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (24 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007522207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007522200
  • Product Dimensions: 26.4 x 22.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A visual feast for the eyes" All About History

"This book should be high on the list of any serious reader with a general interest in the First World War. For those interested in the history of military mapping, it is essential." Military History Monthly

“the appeal of this richly illustrated work lies in the maps – barrage maps, diagrams of "battlefield geometry" for artillery, diagrams showing the elevation of craters made by exploding mines, and pioneering aerial photography.” Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian

“A fascinating collection… All those who love studying maps will thoroughly enjoy tracing the conflict as it unfolded.” This is England Magazine

“Of the many publications appearing to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, this book must stand above the crowd, offering a fascinating new angle on the subject.” Your Family Tree

Book Description

The Great war through maps from 1914 to 1918


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a former soldier I am all too aware of the importance of good accurate maps. They are vital.
In the avalanche of books on the Great War those that deal with maps are very rare. In fact there are, in English, only 5 or 6 that can be recommended. This is one.

The author describes every suitable scale that was used in the war, highlighting their merits. Trench maps are fascinating. The crucial maps used by the artillery for ranging and target acquisition are discussed and described in great detail.

Chasseaud covers all the campaign theatres from the Western Front to Macedonia to Palestine. The war at sea is not forgotten nor the air war. He explains how the great improvement in literacy enabled people to read maps in order to locate themselves and to recognise land forms. As a result, demand for maps by 1900 increased significantly. Maps were produced for cyclists, Boy Scouts, the TA, car owners and flyers.

New printing technology is described. Powered presses and offset printing developed apace after 1910. As the war was an industrial war -the Germans called the Somme battle the Materialschlacht-mass production spread to maps. Many maps were used for propaganda. Information was manipulated and fed to newspapers. In part
this was to boost army morale. In 1918 over 1 million such maps were produced to show our front line for the benefit of the Germans! Many were air droppedover enemy lines. As Lt Col Jack said:'A map is a weapon'. It was
a crucial element in the search for intelligence , the order of battle and defence dispositions. As indirect fire by
artillery became the norm careful survey by triangulation became essential to fix positions and provide accurate
lne of fire.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David Baker on 6 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I've instantly returned my purchase so can't comment on the text which may well be brilliant. I was looking forward to reading but I committed to the purchase price for the maps. Shame that the comments I read forgot to mention that many of the maps have no detail. Zooming in the placenames are largely unreadable, everything is a fuzz, awful. This is true of all the large maps in the first few chapters. Some of the smaller maps are zoomable so that you can read placenames but overall and given quite a hefty price this is a poor show for the digital version. In my view the maps should have been scanned again for the digital version so that they are viewable as maps or the publicity for the book should clarify that the maps are illustrated but not included as maps.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Newbold TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a layman with a keen interest in history, I was attracted to this book as I thought it would give me a more dispassionate overview of the War, expecting a mass of emotion, documentaries and the like in this centenary year. Well, Dr Chasseaud certainly delivers - a magnificently assembled, presented and described collection which interweaves historical, military, propaganda and geographical themes through high quality scholarship. I particularly appreciated the coverage of the (to me) less well-known 1918 campaigns, culminating in the evocative map showing the Order of Battle in Northern France dated 11am on the 11th November. Highly recommended as a companion to other books or TV documentaries, and if, as other reviewers suggest, there are other facets (e.g. mud maps) which haven't been featured in the book, I'm up for a second volume!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TheJollyGreenMan on 28 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have collected a number of books with maps for WWi so far. This book is really the best book about the topic of map making that I have read so far. I would highly recommend it. If you want a detailed blow-by-blow account of the war, this book is not for you.

I loved reading about the progress that the art of map making underwent during this war. The Germans printed copious quantities of maps - 775 million - and they were the first to make extensive use of aerial photography.

The British produced some 34 million maps, and by the end of the war they used portable map printing equipment working right behind the lines. I also find it amusing that it took until 1917 before the British adopted the French grids. Goodness knows how the French Artillery gave support to the British troops before then.
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Format: Hardcover
IN Mapping The First World War military cartographer Dr Peter Chasseaud has illustrated how the conflict became, more than any previous conflict, a war of maps.
The book, produced in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, boasts 150 rare maps from the museum’s archives, many of which have not seen the light of day in more than 90 years.
When, in 1914, the war plans of the great powers fell to pieces and trench warfare took hold, precise information about the enemy’s rear areas, artillery positions and strongpoints were required if the deadlock was to be broken.
This required the production of maps, produced with the aid of aerial observation, which throughout the war became an integrated part of the ‘weapon’s system’ each side employed and, according to Chasseaud, was a revolution in military affairs.
This is a really impressive book which covers a previously understudied aspect of the Great War in an analytical and succinct way.
The maps which feature in the book are as varied as they are rare. Including trench maps from 1:40,000 scale to the immensely detailed 1:10,000 developed to aid pin-pointing the exact location of enemy strongpoints, breastworks and machine-gun nests.
There are extracts of maps from period magazines and newspapers from all nations such as a reproduction from the Daily Mail in 1919 of Zeppelin and air attacks on London.
The book not only covers the more well-known offensives at Ypres and the Somme but also how maps were used in the lesser-known theatres such as the Eastern and Italian Fronts as well as fighting in Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and naval actions across the globe.
This book would be an investment well worth making for anyone who wanted to understand the war from a different, but intriguing, angle.
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