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Zones of France – Second Edition

Object | Accession Number: 2012.427.5

British topographical silk escape map of France acquired by Captain Ralph M. Kopansky during his service as a US soldier in Europe from 1944 - 1945. Britain’s Military Intelligence Section, MI9, ran an escape and evasion program that issued this type of map to help soldiers find their way to safety if caught behind enemy lines. Silk maps were used because they were durable, made no noise, and were easy to conceal when carried by a soldier or smuggled into a prisoner of war camp in a board game or record. On September 22, 1941, Ralph, an Army reservist, enlisted for active duty. Following Japan’s December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II. In 1943, he received intelligence training and was assigned to the XIII Corps as an Assistant Intelligence Officer. In 1944, Ralph’s Corps was deployed to Europe. The Corps trained in England, and fought in France, before advancing into Germany, in January 1945. On April 4, the XIII Corps was with the 4th Armored and the 89th Infantry Divisions when they liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp. During an inspection tour of the camp, Ralph was photographed viewing the charred remains of the prisoners. The photograph, 74589, is part of the Museum’s collection. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered.

publication:  1944 March
publication: London (England)
Information Forms
Object Type
Military maps (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dr. Terry Kopansky
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:14:01
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