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M19 two-sided silk escape map of Western Europe

Object | Accession Number: 2003.408.1

British made, double sided, color topographical silk escape map, Sheet 43C and D, showing areas of the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany, with an ancillary map of the new frontier, Belgium and Germany. The maps were produced by Branch M19, which was created in December 1939 to facilitate escape and evasion strategies for soldiers and prisoners-of-war by helping them find their way to safety from behind enemy lines. Silk was used because it was durable, easy to conceal, and made no noise. Maps were issued to RAF pilots, Special Forces, and other troops. M19 developed ways to smuggle them to POWs by hiding them in leisure items, such as board games and phonograph records. They were based on commercial maps by John Bartholomew and Son Ltd. which waived its copyright fees. Around 44 different maps were designed and about 300,000 were made. Toward the end of the war, surplus maps were sold for a few shillings to female employees of the Air Ministry. Some women made blouses from them as wartime rationing made clothing hard to obtain.

Title
Holland, Belgium (except west coast), France (north east), Germany (west and central), Sheet 43 C and D
Date
1943  (manufacture)
Geography
manufacture : London (England)
Language
English
Classification
Information Forms
Category
Maps
Object Type
Military maps (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of College Park Aviation Museum
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Record last modified: 2018-01-26 10:30:48
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn514511